Shola Ameobi once again proved himself to be a Geordie hero, as he struck an injury-time equaliser at St James’ Park to deny Sunderland a rare Derby Day victory.

Referee Mike Dean was the centre of attention all afternoon though, taking just 28 seconds to book serial hacker Lee Cattermole for a cynical lunge on Cheick Tiote. A number of dodgy decisions followed and by the full time whistle sounded, a total of eight yellow cards and two reds had been issued.

Throughout the first half, the ball seemed an irrelevant object, with players from both sides more focussed on imposing their physicality on their opposite numbers. After Cattermole was booked in the first minute, James McLean triggered the first brawl of the afternoon, when he smashed Danny Simpson. Both men were booked after almost everyone on the pitch got themselves involved in a pushing contest.

With an endless amount of free-kicks disrupting the game, it was no surprise that the opening goal came from a set piece. Sebastien Larsson’s free-kick was about to float harmlessly out of play when Dean pointed to the spot. Replays showed that Mike Williamson had been attempting to rip the shirt from Michael Turner’s back, meaning the decision was a correct one.

Nicklas Bendtner stepped up and despite Tim Krul going the right way, drilled into the corner to give the visitors the lead.

Newcastle were far from their best in the first 45 minutes and looked clueless in attack. Simon Mignolet only had one save to make in the first half, when Fabricio Coloccini met a Ryan Taylor corner and forced the Belgian ‘keeper into a comfortable stop.

Going behind certainly seemed to stir the Geordies though, and they could have been level had it not been for the woodwork. Another Taylor corner found its way onto the head of Demba Ba, but the Senegal striker’s header crashed back of the crossbar.

Alan Pardew needed some creativity to inject into the side and didn’t waste time making it happen. Hatem Ben Arfa came on at the start of the second half and looked fantastic, causing all sorts of problems when he was in possession.

Newcastle dominated the second half, with Ben Arfa central to everything the Magpies did. However it was an off the ball incident which gave the home side the biggest advantage, when Stephane Sessegnon senselessy pole axed Cheick Tiote with a forearm smash. Dean wielded his red card and Newcastle had the platform in which to build on.

Ben Arfa operated down the right hand side and nearly had the equaliser when he beat his man and cut inside onto his stronger left foot, but Mignolet repelled the Frenchman’s vicious effort.

You could tell the goal was coming for Newcastle though, and it should have came in the final ten minutes. Substitute Shola Ameobi found space in the area and was brought crashing down by fellow sub Frazier Campbell and Dean pointed to the spot.

Ba stepped up as the capacity crowd held its breath, only for Mignolet to pull off an excellent save down to his left.

However, the Geordie pressure continued and in the five minutes of stoppage time, they got their reward. A cross into the box was flicked on by Williamson and Ameobi was on hand to arrive at the far post and beat Mignolet, sending the St James’ crowd into raptures.

Newcastle could even have won it, with Williamson getting the ball stuck between his feet when on hand to score, but Sunderland managed to hang on.

The action didn’t even stop after the full time whistle had went, with Lee Cattermole needlessy abusing Mike Dean and being shown a straight red card to add to the tenth booking of the season he picked up 90 minutes earlier.

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  1. jim

    weve took 4 points from them again-as always! hahaha- and ten points clear

  2. London fan

    again first half dont why Pardew went with taylor on the right he didnt even try andgo forward
    We looked like a one armed team just pushing forward with Jonas on the left excatly the same as we played against Wolf
    Dont know why he insist on playing Raylor if we went fromthe start with obertan or Benarfa we would have had better results
    yesterday proved Pardaw doeasnt know whar he is doing one would think he has learnt his lesson after the wolfs game but instead he went with the same team that played wolf
    We had two great chances to climbe up above chelsea but pardaw blew it


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