Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1

Newcastle United versus Sunderland. Feisty, aggressive, scrappy, hot-blooded and hugely entertaining. There was bad feeling on the pitch and in the dugouts, where the two managers went nose to nose, but in the end there was nothing to separate these two bitter rivals.

A first-half penalty from Nicklas Bendtner looked as though it would be enough to give Sunderland their first win on Tyneside since 2000, but Shola Ameobi, the Geordie striker who has so often been the scourge of the Black Cats, came off the bench to score a stoppage-time equaliser.

Newcastle thought they had blown it, just as they had 12 years ago when Sunderland last won here. On that occasion, Thomas Sorensen saved a spot-kick from Alan Shearer in front of the Gallowgate, this time it was Simon Mignolet keeping out Demba Ba at the same end.

Sunderland, though, simply could not repel wave after wave of black and white attacks in the second-half, following Stephane Sessegnon’s sending off for an elbow on Cheick Tiote.

Lee Cattermole, booked after just 40 seconds for a cynical foul on Tiote, was also dismissed after the final whistle for verbally abusing referee Mike Dean.

In the end it was a game short on quality, but rich in drama. For those who like their football with an edge, this was perfect viewing.

Sunderland were the better side in the first-half, and took the lead after 24 minutes when Bendtner converted from the spot, after Mike Williamson had held on to Michael Turner’s shirt in the area.

It was a soft penalty and one which, eight times out of 10, would not have been given. Holding on to the shirt is common at set-pieces, but Williamson made the mistake of holding on for a second too long, allowing Turner to attract attention to the offence and for referee Dean to see it.

Nevertheless, Sunderland deserved to go in ahead at half-time as they had done most of the pressing. Bendtner also forced a good save from Tim Krul, with a snap shot on the turn, as Alan Pardew’s side struggled to get to grips with their neighbours in midfield.

Ba did hit the crossbar with a header and Fabricio Coloccini was kept out by Mignolet, but Sunderland were looking comfortable.

That changed with Sessegnon’s 58th-minute dismissal. Sunderland rarely got out of their half, although they did have one glorious chance to increase their lead, but Krul saved well twice from Seb Larsson and again, with his feet, from James McClean.

It turned into a game of defenders versus attackers. Mignolet saved sharply from substitute Hatem Ben Arfa at his near post, Newcastle kept seeing penalty appeals rejected. Ba missed, Ameobi did not. Honours even and both Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill will be relieved about that.

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