Sunderland secure record sixth consecutive Tyne-Wear derby win

Sam Allardyce picks up first win of tenure against 10-man Newcastle at Stadium of Light

Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher scores his side’s third goal during the Premier League game against Newcastle at the Stadium of Light. Photograph:  Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher scores his side’s third goal during the Premier League game against Newcastle at the Stadium of Light. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

 

Sunderland 3 Newcastle United 0

History repeated itself on Wearside where Sam Allardyce became the fourth successive Sunderland manager to preside over a victory against Newcastle United in his second game in charge.

Perhaps even more remarkably this was the club’s sixth straight win against their Tyneside neighbours. In many ways it proved one of Sunderland’s most peculiar triumphs, coming after a first half in which they appeared virtually incapable of stringing two passes together. Significantly, though, that 45 minutes concluded with Fabricio Coloccini’s hotly debated dismissal and Adam Johnson’s conversion of a similarly questionable penalty.

Somewhat ironically, Friday afternoon had found Allardyce warming to a favourite theme. Possession, suggested Sunderland’s new manager, can be both overrated and boring. As half-time approached Newcastle had enjoyed around 70 per cent of the ball as they pretty much passed Sunderland off their own pitch, Steve McClaren did not look to have too many complaints. But then Coloccini went and rather proved Allardyce’s point.

In one of those self-destructive moments which have become Newcastle’s hallmark, McClaren’s captain barged Steven Fletcher with a shoulder as the striker attempted to connect with Jermain Defoe’s pass. In reality the substitute’s pass was a little long and Rob Elliot looked to have things covered anyway, but Coloccini got himself needlessly involved and paid a very big price.

Quite apart from conceding a contentious penalty, the Argentinian centre half found himself collecting an arguably harsh red card. It left a disbelieving McClaren incandescent as Johnson stepped forward to beat Elliot from the penalty spot. By way of celebration the winger extended his arms and, apparently pretending he was flying, raced the full length of the pitch.

Until Coloccini’s intervention it had seemed only a matter of time until Newcastle opened the scoring but their world was about to turn upside down.

Suddenly everything was going Sunderland’s way, a trend emphasised when Lee Cattermole – who else? – wiped out Jack Colback courtesy of a blood curdling tackle which ended his one-time team-mate’s afternoon and was rather fortunate not to collect what already seemed a slightly overdue yellow card.

If Allardyce must have been even more relieved to see Costel Pantilimon save superbly from Aleksandar Mitrovic, Sunderland’s manager surely sensed victory when Yann M’Vila met a corner on the volley and Billy Jones hooked the ball into the net from two yards.

Suitably encouraged, Johnson sent a shot crashing against the woodwork but it was not long before Elliot found himself retrieving the ball from the back of his net once again. This time Defoe’s pass, Younès Kaboul’s fine chip and Fletcher’s excellent low volley combined to offer Allardyce the perfect start to life in the Stadium of Light’s home dugout.

Across in the adjacent technical area, McClaren folded his arms tighter across his chest.

(Guardian service)

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