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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 21 May, 2018


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Welcome to our coverage of the Tyne-Wear derby. Beyond the fiery rivalry, this is an intriguing fixture even just on Premier League terms. Newcastle United are defying the usual in-built borders and ceilings in the league by challenging for a Champions League place after some really astute expenditure; Sunderland have surged up the table under Martin O’Neill, even if that has been checked by two recent defeats to Arsenal and West Brom. Newcastle, for their part, threw away a two-goal lead against Wolves last week so will be looking to atone for errors too.

The teams…

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Ryan Taylor, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse. Subs: Elliot, Guthrie, Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, Obertan, Perch.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, O’Shea, Turner, Richardson, Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner. Subs: Gordon, Bridge, Campbell, Kilgallon, Colback, Vaughan, Meyler.

O’Neill, by the by, has an impeccable record in such high-profile Premier League derbies. He won four out of four as Aston Villa manager against Birmingham City.

Despite Sunderland’s last two defeats, only Manchester United and Manchester City have picked up more points since Martin O’Neill took over.

And we’re off.

And, within 40 seconds, Lee Cattermole is booked and will be suspended for the next two games. Quite simply, a wild, disgraceful challenge on Cheik Tiote. That from the captain!

Free-kick for Seb Larsson about 30 yards from the Newcastle goal, a little to the right. He can hit them…

… but he didn’t hit that particularly well. Although, to be fair, Ryan Taylor charged out of the wall very early to block it down.

Sunderland having the better of the opening exchanges and almost opened the scoring there. James McClean rampaged down the right and cut the ball back but it was a little too far behind the Sunderland forwards.

Oh, all kicking off as the majority of the players on the pitch get into a bit of a scrum. It’s been simmering since Lee Cattermole’s challenge in the first 40 seconds and it threatened to boil over there as McClean went in late on Danny Simpson. The full-back then got up and squared up to him, with Tim Krul then getting involved before everyone else did. Both McClean and Simpson go into the book.

PENALTY to Sunderland!

A fine spot from referee Mike Dean even though might consider that soft. Williamson had his hands all over Turner as a free-kick was sent in… it appeared so innocuousit took the crowd a few seconds to realise what happened. Nicklas Bendtner steps up…

GOAL! Newcastle United 0-1 Sunderland

Bendtner fires it in off the post!

Brave decision by Dean but a correct one, akin to Anders Frisk awarding Ireland a penalty for Hierro’s blatant pulling of Niall Quinn’s shirt in the 2002 World Cup.

Newcastle beginning to come back into the game having clearly been affected by the fractiousness of the occasion.

An encouraging Newcastle move that saw some nice interchanges ends with a corner. Chance to get back into this…

And Mignolet makes a good save! Taylor sent the corner over, with Coloccini arriving like a steam train. He met it forcefully with his head but couldn’t put enough on it to get it past the goalkeeper.

Newcastle hit the bar now! Ryan Taylor hits another corner but Demba Ba can only direct it against the metal. Perhaps half-time coming a little too soon for Newcastle because, at the moment, their in the ascendancy. A goal surely would have been coming…

Ba appeared to be nudged in the box for a penalty before Tiote then went over but Dean waves away both to the disgust of the crowd.

HALF-TIME: Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland

An angry game more than an engaging one, with Cattermole’s early tackle setting the tone. Predictably, the only goal has come from a set-piece. Newcastle were finally building, though, by the end of the half.

Members of the teams’ backroom staffs have been sent off for fighting in the tunnel. This looks like it’s going to keep on frothing.

The second half is under way and Newcastle immediately win a corner. Real intent being shown.

Some good football again from Newcastle, seemingly making up for the lack of it in the first half. After a swift attack,Demba Ba turns and curls one just around the post from distance.

I was about to type that we’re at least seeing a lot more football in this second half but, at that very moment, Gardner goes flying in aggressively. Another booking.

Newcastle asking all the questions at the moment but Sunderland have so far answered with some stout defending.

And despite Newcastle dominating this second half, it’s Sunderland who should have gone ahead. Krul’s trailing leg just about keeps out McClean’s effort but the winger might well have scored.

RED CARD for Sunderland!

No surprise that one came but perhaps some at the recipient. Stephane Sessegnon snaps and swings an arm at Tiote. The latter, it must be said, had something of a delayed reaction. Stupid from Sessegnon to give him the opportunity though.

The worst thing about that was that Sessegnon clearly caught Tiote on the chest but he went down clutching his face.

Newcastle, predictably, in the ascendancy after that red as they use the extra space. Jonas getting a lot of joy down the left.

Newcastle well on top now with Cabaye seeing a lot of the ball but they’re still not really creating anything concrete.

Calls for a Newcastle penalty as the ball strikes John O’Shea’s chest/arm but Mike Dean waves it away. It would have been harsh given that his arm was down by his side.

And another call  for a Newcastle penalty as Ben Arfa goes down – rather easily it must be said – as McClean leans on him. Eleven minutes of normal time left and it’s not happening for the home side at the moment.

PENALTY to Newcastle!

After so many close calls, Newcastle get one! And no ambiguity about that. Frazier Campbell slides in recklessly on Ameobi.


Mignolet gets down superbly to touch away Demba Ba’s penalty…but he was a good foot off the line by the time it was taken!

Breaking news: Andre Villas-Boas has been sacked

GOAL! Newcastle United 1-1 Sunderland

A minute into stoppage time, Newcastle United claim a deserved equaliser with Williams flicking on a deep cross and the derby specialist Shola Ameobi diverting in from close rang. The striker has now scored more goals against Sunderland than any other team.

And that should have been the winner for Newcastle! Cabaye knocked down for Williamson, just yards from goal, but instead of shooting he couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet and Sunderland cleared!

FULL-TIME: Newcastle United 1-1 Sunderland

An angry, anxious and ultimately entertaining game but, paradoxically, one that ends with both teams happy given the passage of the game. Well, everyone except Lee Cattermole who is then sent off after the game had finished for words to Mike Dean.

In the grand scheme of things, though, Newcastle a bit too far away from Arsenal in fourth now.