Sunderland 0-3 Newcastle: Magpies secure bragging rights in feisty Tyne-Wear derby and progress to FA Cup fourth-round, with Black Cats’ self-sabotage and Alexander Isak brace helping visitors to victory

6 January 2024 0 By Total Football News
  • The visitors took the lead after Daniel Ballard turned the ball into his own net
  • Magpies then doubled their advantage after the break through Alexander Isak
  • It’s about survival! FA Cup replays must remain for the good of English footballIt’s All Kicking Off 

After a week of PR own goals, for Sunderland, here was an afternoon of yet more self-inflicted wounds. Three, in fact. The black-and-white signage may have gone, but in its place was a red carpet – and Newcastle walked all over their dutiful hosts.

Dan Ballard, scorer of the own goal that set the visitors on their way to an easy victory, found that Black Cats do not have nine lives. He escaped a red card for a foul on Alexander Isak on the half hour but turned into his own net five minutes later. It was the goal that broke what always felt a fragile resistance.

And how in keeping it was with a theme of self-sabotage, 48 hours after the Championship club were forced into an embarrassing climbdown having allowed Newcastle to decorate part of the stadium in their own colours, infuriating Sunderland’s fanbase.

The home hospitality package did not end with Ballard’s gaffe, either. The second half was just 30 seconds old when Pierre Ekwah seemed to want that same length of time to gather his thoughts in the penalty area. By the time the midfielder had come to his senses, the ball was in the back of the net, Miguel Almiron picking his pocket and Isak cashing in. Sunderland were spent.

An atmosphere that had bubbled and boiled very quickly ran as cool as the Wearside air, and with it Sunderland’s hopes of an upset evaporated into it.

Newcastle emerged victorious at the Stadium of Light in the first Tyne-Wear derby in almost eight years

Newcastle emerged victorious at the Stadium of Light in the first Tyne-Wear derby in almost eight years

After struggling to find an opener, Eddie Howe's side had their lead after Daniel Ballard turned the ball into his own net

After struggling to find an opener, Eddie Howe’s side had their lead after Daniel Ballard turned the ball into his own net

Pierre Ekwah was caught in possession less than a minute into the second half at the Stadium of Light

Pierre Ekwah was caught in possession less than a minute into the second half at the Stadium of Light

The visitors immediately seized the opportunity and Alexander Isak doubled his side's lead

The visitors immediately seized the opportunity and Alexander Isak doubled his side’s lead

The home fans, who had outperformed their team in a first half of febrile noise, resorted to taunting Kieran Trippier. He responded by pointing to the scoreboard. Sunderland 0 Newcastle 2, it read. Come then end there was one more, Isak converting a 90th-minute penalty after Ballard had clumsily barged into Anthony Gordon. Act of self-vandalism number three.

MATCH FACTS

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Patterson 5; Hume 5, Ballard 5, O’Nien 6, Alese 6; Neill 6, Ekwah 5; Pritchard 6.5, Bellingham 5, Clarke 5.5; Rusyn 5 (Ba 85min).

Subs: Bishop, Pembele, Semedo, Burstow, Aouchiche, Seelt, Triantis, Rigg

Booked: Ballard, O’Nien, Hume, Pritchard

Manager: Michael Beale

NEWCASTLE (4-3-3): Dubravka 7; Trippier 7.5, Botman 7, Schar 7 (Lascelles 90+2), Burn 7 (Dummett 90+2); Longstaff 7, Guimaraes 8.5, Joelinton 8 (Miley 47, 6.5); Almiron 8 (Livramento 90+2), Isak 8, Gordon 7.5 (Ritchie 90+2),

Subs: Karius, Krafth, Hall, Parkinson

Goals: Ballard 35′ (OG), Isak 46′, 90′

Booked: Guimaraes, Gordon

Manager: Eddie Howe

Referee: Craig Pawson 7 

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So much for this tie being the last thing Eddie Howe had needed. For him and Trippier, it was a welcome relief. That pair have suffered more than most during Newcastle’s slump in form, seven defeats from eight before this. Had Howe lost another, his reserves of goodwill would have taken a hit. Rather, it was his team inflicting the blows during a one-sided derby in which their superiority looked far greater than the 17 places that separate the rivals in the football pyramid.

For Sunderland and Michael Beale, there was to be no new-manager bounce, history having shown immediate derby victories for three of his predecessors in recent times. Beale talks of having the youngest team in the Championship, and this really was men against boys.

By the time Sunderland began to threaten – Alex Pritchard twice went close late on – the game was gone, and so were many of their supporters. They always knew the odds of victory were unlikely, but they had banked on a better performance than this.

Newcastle were fitter, faster and stronger from the off – Joelinton was outstanding – and they would have led before Ballard’s own goal if not for some wild finishing that was a danger to the seagulls circling above.

But when Joelinton burst free on the left and centred towards Isak, it was Ballard’s desperate boot that gave them the advantage they deserved. Almiron then laid on Isak’s first just after half-time and the Swede wrote his name in Tyne-Wear folklore with his cool penalty at the death.

Newcastle celebrated afterwards by taking their customary dressing-room picture on the pitch in front of their 6,000 supporters. There were murmurings of anger among those who were left in the home end, but after a week of outrage against their own club, their appetite for the fight had drained.

Tempers flared between Ballard and Newcastle's Anthony Gordon after the interval

Tempers flared between Ballard and Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon after the interval

Martin Dubravka was forced into action on multiple occasions in the second half

Martin Dubravka was forced into action on multiple occasions in the second half

Isak capped off the victory by doubling his tally by converting a spot kick in the closing stages

Isak capped off the victory by doubling his tally by converting a spot kick in the closing stages

The Magpies added insult to injury with a jubilant display on the pitch after the final whistle

The Magpies added insult to injury with a jubilant display on the pitch after the final whistle

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

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FA Cup third round in numbers

1 – Blackburn’s Sammie Szmodics is the only player to walk away with the match ball in the third round. The Championship top-scorer’s treble helped Rovers to a 5-2 win over Cambridge.

69 – Places in the Football League pyramid between Maidstone and Stevenage, who they beat 1-0. The Stones, who are the lowest-ranked side in the competition, advance to the fourth round for the first time. 

7- Coventry are on seven-game unbeaten run in the Championship and continued their fine form with the big win of the weekend. They beat third-tier Oxford United 6-2. 

2 – QPR had only scored two goals in their last six league games and then netted twice in 42 minutes against Bournemouth… and still lost! That is their record-extending 52nd defeat in the third round. 

243 – Sheffield United fans saw their side win away from home for the first time in 243 days! They thumped Gillingham 4-0. 

95 – Tom Dele-Bashiru’s 95th-minute winner is the latest goal scored so far and helped Watford to a 2-1 win over National League leaders Chesterfield, who had taken the lead. 

2-  Cardiff didn’t help themselves as they crashed 4-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, missing two penalties in the first seven minutes. Owls keeper Cameron Dawson was the hero at Hillsborough, denying first Ryan Wintle and then Callum Robinson from 12 yards. 

5 – Third Round fixtures that require a replay. They are all Premier League ties between Crystal Palace v Everton, Brentford v Wolves as well as Norwich v Bristol Rovers, Newport County v Eastleigh and Hull v Birmingham City. 

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Two young lads in Sunderland colours ran on the pitch – for a moment you wondered if they were part of the matchday squad – and they evaded a couple of stewards with a turn of foot that Black Cats star Jack Clarke had failed to show against Trippier in the previous 90 minutes. That the invasion amounted to just a couple of lone souls showed that home aggro had long since departed the Stadium of Light. Still, the chase was a brief episode of excitement.

Howe, meanwhile, was soon speaking of Newcastle’s win being a springboard for their season, but talk of a corner being turned should be tempered, for waiting around that corner are far tougher opponents than this – namely, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

Still, Howe will be cheered by Trippier’s much-improved display, the midfield dominance of Bruno Guimaraes, the clinical finishing of Isak and the renewed energy of wingers Almiron and Gordon. An injury to Joelinton is a concern, given he was the principal reason for establishing an early dominance.

But even without the Brazilian in the second half Newcastle continued to dance merrily down that red carpet. When Gordon escaped Ballard late on and nearly had the shirt ripped from his back, he cheekily told the aggressor he could have it after the game. Given the indiscretions of Sunderland’s hierarchy this week, it would be no surprise if they hung it in the boardroom.