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A magnificent strike from Sunderland substitute Fabio Borini gave the Black Cats their second successive win over bitter rivals Newcastle United and injected hope and optimism into their season.

A victory over Newcastle is always something to cherish on Wearside, but ultimately the three points are more significant because they Sunderland off the bottom of the table. It was their first league win since April in Gus Poyet’s second game as manager. Newcastle’s nemesis now lives just 12 miles down the road.

If the roar that greeted the first whistle set the pulses racing, the noise inside the Stadium of Light when Sunderland took the lead after just four minutes sent a shiver down the spine.

A well worked corner between Adam Johnson and Seb Larsson, allowed the former to dribble into the area before sending a delicate chipped cross to the far post where Sunderland’s tall men had gathered.

It was a lovely piece of skill given the perfect finish as Steven Fletcher jumped above Paul Dummett and nodded home. Dummett, a local lad, who had been Newcastle’s goalscoring hero in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last weekend, collapsed to his knees.

This was only his second start in the Premier League and he is a left-back who has been asked to play as a centre-back because of injuries and suspension. He looked a bag of nerves, almost gifting Jozy Altidore a second when he pondered for too long on the ball after Tim Krul had saved a low shot from Fletcher.

To his credit, the 22-year-old at least managed to regain his composure, although he was given time to do so by Newcastle’s midfield.

With Cheick Tiote every bit as destructive as Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole and with Yohan Cabaye able to find a bit more room on the ball, the visitors gradually built up some pressure.

Sunderland dropped deeper and deeper, but held firm. Newcastle were restricted to ambitious attempts from free-kicks, one of which needed to be saved by Keiren Westwood. The Sunderland goalkeeper’s only over notable contribution in the first half was to get a vital punch on Cabaye’s cross as Moussa Sissoko ran in unmarked.

It had been Adam Johnson’s failure to go with Sissoko that had created the danger and, while the winger did well in offensive areas, his lack of awareness was key to Newcastle equalising.

Sunderland had started the second-half brightly, but when Hatem Ben Arfa drilled cross evaded everyone in the middle, Mathieu Debuchy ran past the dozing Johnson and slotted a side-footed finish beyond Westwood.

It was the full-backs first goal for the club and he made a point of sprinting towards the dugout for a knee slide celebration a la Paolo Di Canio.

Sunderland wobbled, Newcastle thought they were back in control. But it was the home side who came close to scoring again when substitute Fabio Borini fired straight at Tim Krul at his near post, ionly for the ball to go through the Dutchman’s legs, but mercifully for him, not over the line.

It was merely a glimpse of what was to come as the Italian, on loan from Liverpool, picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, ran into space and unleashed an unstoppable shot.

Source: Telegraph

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