Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunderland 0 Newcastle United 1

Sunderland 0

Newcastle United 1

Taylor R

These sides have clashed three times in a year and with two wins and a draw Newcastle have shown themselves to be superior.

Very much second best in the first half the Geordies controlled the second 45 and after Simon Mignolet flapped at Ryan Taylor’s well-directed free kick there was never any chance that the Wearsiders would recover from going a goal down. That was especially so after a horrendous over the ball challenge by Phil Bardsley on Fabricio Coloccini had earned him a second yellow card and an early bath.

On another day the defender would have been, least, the second Sunderland player dismissed because midway through the first half Sebastian Larsson clearly prevented Joey Barton’s close in header with his hand after Mignolet had missed Yohan Cabaye’s corner and Shola Ameobi had headed towards goal. Strenuous appeals for a penalty were however waved away by referee Howard Webb, one of the few mistakes made by him all afternoon.

With Lee Cattermole winning the midfield battle Sunderland had attacked from the start. Stephane Sessegnon brought a fine save from Tim Krul but it was the home sides failure to take advantage of the half a dozen occasions when they got behind the Newcastle full-backs that ultimately cost them. Up to January last season Steve Bruce’s side had Darren Bent to snaffle up balls that fizzed across the box but despite spending heavily in the summer Sunderland have yet to find an adequate replacement.

As half time approached the home side were unfortunate when Asamoah Gyan’s curling shot beat Krul only to scrape the top of the bar. Home fans hopes that this would see their side up the pace in the second proved misplaced as with Barton, Cabaye and Chieke Toite exerting a grip in midfield it was no great surprise when Newcastle, to the delight of their fans behind the goal, took the lead, all three points and local bragging rights.

Standing up report

Home fans - many of the home fans in the South West corner and North Stand stood during the entire match.

Away end - Newcastle's 2,500 fans who paid £30 a ticket stood during the match. 

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