It was as entertaining of a 0-0 match as we could have been given, but it wouldn’t finish that way as a familiar foe plagued Newcastle again at their home ground at the death.
Adam Johnson, a boyhood Newcastle fan rejected by his favorite club at the age of 12, scored at St. James Park for the third year in a row to give Sunderland its fourth win in a row over their derby rivals for the first time ever, stealing the Tyne-Wear derby.
Both sides has plenty of chances throughout the match, but no one could cash in until Johnson’s goal as regulation time ran out. Both goalkeepers played
The game had sting, bite, and physicality early on, to the surprise of no one. Newcastle appeared to be the more convincing side going forward early on, but there were half-chances on both ends. Connor Wickham missed a free header at the far post on a corner on 20 minutes.
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There was also some chippy play, as we’ve seen so often in this fixture, with Fabricio Coloccini earning an early yellow card for a kick off the ball. Physical midfielder Cheick Tiote also committed a handful of early fouls (five on the 25 minute mark) and that earned him a caution as well. All in all, we reached four yellow cards when Jack Colback was booked moments after Tiote.
Following the card, the best chance of the match fell to Sunderland. Steven Fletcher came inches away when he broke free on a pinpoint long ball from Seb Larsson, but the striker clattered the top of the bar with a dipping shot over Jak Alnwick.
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Wickham also had an opportunity with minutes left in the first half, but his strong header was collected by Alnwick. Despite the chances, the match finished goalless at halftime for the first time in this fixture’s Premier League history.
Sunderland continued to ask questions in the second half. A great cross from Wickham nearly found Fletcher but Steven Taylor put his body on the line to end the opportunity. It came at a cost, as he went headfirst into the goalpost and flowing blood stopped the game for some time. Despite coming out of the clash in good health, Taylor had to go off to stop the bleeding. Newcastle weathered the storm with its defender off, and Taylor returned without a change needed.
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Upon his return, the home side saw their best chance. Moussa Sissokho sliced a ball towards the top of the box where Ayoze Perez had found space, and his curling effort was only parried away by a stunning diving save from goalkeeping tree Costel Pantilimon.
Gus Poyet left Jozy Altidore on the bench, but Alan Pardew brought on leading scorer Papiss Cisse with 15 minutes to go, and it sent Newcastle into the clear ascendency. Sissokho nearly scored an absolute blinder with a minute to go, but Pantillimon produced another beautiful save, diving to rescue his top corner.
Newcastle: Alnwick; Janmaat, Coloccini, S.Taylor, Dummett; Sissoko, Colback, Tiote (Cisse 75′); Gouffran (Armstrong 59′), Perez, Ameobi (Cabella 89′).
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Vergini, Reveillere, O’Shea, Brown, Cattermole (Bridcutt 70′), Larsson (Rdowell 90′), Gomez, Johnson, Wickham (Buckley 81′), Fletcher.
Goals: Johnson 90′