Wolves blown away by Cottagers
Premier League review: Wolves dropped back into the relegation zone on goal difference after a 5-0 thrashing at Fulham. January arrival Pavel Pogrebnyak was the star of the show with a hat-trick, while Clint Dempsey's second-half double added extra gloss to the result for Martin Jol's side, who jump from 13th to eighth in the table on 36 points.
In the early kick-off, derby specialist Shola Ameobi was Newcastle's hero once again as he spared Demba Ba's blushes with an injury-time equaliser against 10-man Sunderland. The substitute made it 1-1 at the death after Ba had seen an 83rd-minute penalty saved by Simon Mignolet.
Nicklas Bendtner had given the visitors a 24th-minute lead by converting a controversial penalty, but the visitors managed to hang on until the dying seconds despite having Stephane Sessegnon sent off, while Black Cats captain Lee Cattermole was also dismissed after the final whistle for arguing with referee Mike Dean.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neillwas frustrated by the late equaliser but delighted with his side’s effort.
“I am very proud of the team and very disappointed to have dropped the points so late in the game,” he said. “We played brilliantly first half and deserved to be in front. But it is difficult to win a game with 10 men. We defended resolutely and it was a terrific effort.”
O’Neill had no qualms about Sessegnon’s red card, after the Benin international was dismissed for lashing out at Cheick Tiote.
“It’s a sending-off offence and it hands the initiative to the opposition,” he added.
Sunderland will now be without their key performer for a number of games as well as skipper Cattermole, who picked up his 10th booking of the season early on and then saw red himself after the final whistle for using foul and abusive language to referee Mike Dean.
“I have gone in to see the referee and you can’t be abusing the referee and therefore it has to be merited,” O’Neill said. “There were plenty of mitigating circumstances though. Tiote is a fine player but he was very lucky still to be on the field.”
Newcastle manager Alan Pardewfelt his half-time team-talk changed the complexion of the game.
“In the first half Sunderland came here to upset us and Cattermole set the scene, it was ugly,” he said. “Luckily we got to half-time and got into our players about calming down and playing the game. We put them under pressure and sometimes people crack. And when Sessegnon was sent-off it was all us.”