- Fabricio Coloccini was controversially sent off just before halftime
- Adam Johnson, Billy Jones, and Steven Fletcher all scored
- Sunderland has won 6 straight over Newcastle
There are no more winless teams in the Premier League this season. Sunderland used a controversial red card to their advantage, winning 3-0 over heated rivals Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light for their first victory of the year and sixth straight over Newcastle, a first in this hotly contested fixture.
Newcastle, on the heels of last week’s blistering win, started on the front foot, earning a trio of corners in the opening five minutes. Captain Fabricio Coloccini had a difficult chance saved by Costel Pantilimon in just the third minute, while Aleksandar Mitrovic looked dangerous, with a headed attempt saved on 10 minutes and teeing up last week’s hero Giorginio Wijnaldum for an effort on target in the 16th minute.
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American youngster DeAndre Yedlin was a positive for Sunderland, but they struggled to deal with Newcastle’s attack down the Magpies right flank. Newcastle’s physical midfield play earned Chieck Tiote an early yellow card in the 14th minute.
Newcastle continued to push forward and hold the ball, and Sunderland had to deal with an injury as Ola Toivonen aggravated a groin injury and had to come off, forcing Jermain Defoe into the match after the half-hour mark. Just moments after that change, John O'Shea pulled up lame with an apparent hamstring injury, bringing on Sebastian Coates and burning Sam Allardyce‘s second substitution.
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The match’s turning point occurred in stoppage time just before the halftime break. On the break, Steven Fletcher was bumped to the ground by Coloccini in the box, and referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot. Then, he sent Coloccini off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, a highly controversial decision given goalkeeper Robert Elliott had scooped up the ball as the foul occurred.
Adam Johnson stepped up and buried the penalty, causing the Stadium of Light to roar in delight at the stroke of halftime.
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Newcastle fought well a man down in the second half, and had a massive opportunity to draw level on 55 minutes as Mitrovic stepped past Yedlin to get one-on-one with Pantilimon, but was beaten by the goalkeeper as his shot couldn’t find the gaping net.
They’d rue the miss as Sunderland went 2-0 ahead to put the game away. The Cats’ first corner in the 65th minute floated across the box to Yann M'Vila who expertly volleyed a shot that squirted through bodies to the far post. Billy Jones was there to tap in the effort and make sure it went in the net.
It was all Sunderland from there behind the home supporters. Adam Johnson nearly scored a blinder but his curling shot clattered the corner of the woodwork. On the break with five minutes remaining, Sunderland picked up an extra for good measure as Younes Kaboul found Steven Fletcher for a quality volleyed finish.
The Black Cats win pulls them level with Newcastle on six points, and while they both remain in the relegation zone, each are just two points from escape.