Newcastle United crashed to a demoralising 3-0 loss at home to bitter rivals Sunderland, as Paolo Di Canio recorded his first win as the Black Cats’ boss.

Goals from Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan done the damage for the visitors but the game changed when Papiss Cisse had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

It was 1-0 to Sunderland when Cisse seen his effort ruled out by the linesman and just minutes later, Johnson cut inside to put the Mackems out of sight. A late third from Vaughan rubbed salt into the wounds.

Alan Pardew was able to select arguably his strongest side for the crunch clash, with Cheick Tiote coming back into midfield alongside Captain Yohan Cabaye. Jonas Gutierrez filled in at left-back in place of the injured Davide Santon, while Steven Taylor returned to the heart of the Toon defence.

Neither side started sharply as both struggled to dominate possession but the first half chance came the way of the home side after just five minutes.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s controlled chip over the top of Carlos Cuellar looked to be finding the run of Papiss Cisse, only for Simon Mignolet to make a late decision to come and gather before the in-form striker could convert.

The visitors responded by trying to feed lone striker Danny Graham whenever they could and the former Swansea striker almost found earned a penalty just minutes after Cisse’s chance. Graham turned in the box and as he attempted to unleash an effort, fell to the floor as Taylor seemed to have a handful of his shirt. Referee Howard Webb’s view was blocked by a sea of bodies but replays show there could have been a shout for Paolo Di Canio’s side.

Despite Newcastle getting the better of possession for the most of the first half, Sunderland were the ones creating half chances as the home side wasted their use of the ball on numerous occasions.

It was only a matter of time before one of the mistakes led to a serious chance for the visitors and after Gutierrez gave it away cheaply, the Black Cats struck.

James McLean was the beneficiary of the Argentine’s poor pass and after bursting forward and finding Sessegnon, the former PSG midfielder found Tim Krul’s bottom corner with a low, 20 yard effort.

Going behind instantly galvanised the hosts and they could have been level within minutes if it wasn’t for the superb form of Mignolet. The Belgian goalkeeper pulled off a stunning save to deny Cisse just 60 seconds after Sessegnon’s goal as the Senegal striker looked certain to equalise.

Then, just a few seconds later, Sissoko’s cross found Cisse in space and Mignolet was on hand to stretch and deny the striker, whose shot was creeping into the far corner.

Newcastle certainly started to improve their performance after going behind and creating the two Cisse chances, but it was Sunderland who could have extended their lead just before half-time when Cuellar met a Seb Larsson corner with a free header, only for Krul to react brilliantly and repel the effort.

The save proved to be Krul’s last real involvement in the game, as he was withdrawn in the second half when he landed awkwardly on his elbow after tipping a corner away. Rob Elliot was introduced as Pardew’s substitute options were affected, with Shola Ameobi already having come on.

Newcastle continued to batter on the Sunderland door in search of an equaliser, with Cisse being the main threat. He fired a shot from range which was beaten away by Mignolet and from the resulting corner, the controversy occurred.
The initial effort was cleared and Gutierrez won a free kick from the clearance. After it was swung into the box, Sissoko flicked on and Cisse applied the finish at the far post, only for the linesman to wrongly raise the flag. Replays show that the decision was clearly the wrong one and the Geordies have every right to feel aggrieved.

Hatem Ben Arfa was introduced as Pardew played his final card and the Frenchman had the clearest chance of an equaliser. Marveaux’s left-wing cross was flicked back across by Mathieu Debuchy and Ben Arfa’s header flew narrowly over the bar, with Cisse well placed behind him.

The chance proved to be the last Newcastle could create before Sunderland ended the game as a contest.

Adam Johnson faced Gutierrez on the right wing and was always going to cut inside onto his stronger left foot. The Argentine didn’t seem to realise this and let Johnson go and the former Middlesbrough winger, who grew up a Newcastle fan, curled an effort into the far corner.

David Vaughan came off the bench to add a late third to add insult to injury for Newcastle and go a long way towards getting Sunderland clear of the relegation battle.