Barclays Premier League
Newcastle United 1-1 Sunderland



Sunderland's James McClean and Newcastle's Danny Simpson (above) square up to one another in the second half of a fiesty derby

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor from St James Park

Shola Ameobi snatched a late equaliser off the substitutes bench to rescue a point for Newcastle in a bad-tempered Tyne Wear derby against Sunderland, who had two players dismissed.

Striker Papiss Demba Cisse, who had scored on his previous two home appearances for Newcastle, was fit enough to start after being ruled out of Senegal's international friendly against South Africa in midweek with a groin problem. Tiote was in the side while Shola Ameobi was back on the bench despite still struggling with illness. Goalkeeper Kieran Westwood was ruled out with injury but Sunderland could call upon Phil Bardsley even though he was a major doubt with a calf problem. Bendtner and Larsson were fit and Sessegnon started despite returning late from international action with Benin.

On-loan Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner's penalty, after Mike Williamson needlessly fouled Michael Turner, put the Black Cats ahead after twenty-four minutes. The redhot Demba Ba missed a late penalty for Newcastle before Ameobi's injury-time equaliser to ensure that both sides take a point from a controversial match. The visitors had Stephane Sessegnon sent-off in the second half for using an elbow against Cheik Tiote while skipper Lee Cattermole was sent off after the final whistle for a second yellow card after remonstrating with the referee.

Cattermole's dismissal capped a crazy Tyne-Wear derby where tempers boiled over at frequent intervals.

Sunderland have now had four players sent off in their last four Premier League games against Newcastle- Phil Bardsley was sent-off in the corresponding fixture in August which Newcastle won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light while Titus Bramble was given his marching orders against his old club when Newcastle bashed Sunderland 5-1 here in October 2010 last season at St James Park.

Black Cats skipper Cattermole was fortunate not to join the list of shame inside the opening 47 seconds after an ugly tackle on Newcastle's Ivory Coast midfielder Tiote brought the game's first card of a yellow variety from referee Mike Dean- a challenge that set the tone for another bruising encounter between the north-east neighbours.

Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye was also cautioned for hacking down Bardsley in a frantic opening when chances were at a premium and referee Mike Dean had his work cut-out.

The home side lost a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Wolves at St James Park last weekend while Sunderland were beaten 4-0 at West Bromwich Albion.



Sunderland were the only side yet to score from a penalty in the Premier League this season- while Bendtner's spot-kick was only the second they had been awarded after Sebastian Larsson failed to convert their other in a 2-1 defeat at Wolves in December.


Sunderland winger James McClean, fresh from making his senior Republic of Ireland debut in midweek, only added to the simmering tensions with a yellow-card challenge on Danny Simpson, whose angry reaction also earned him a caution.

It was all extremely unsavoury and the game was crying out for cool heads from both sides yet too few players were willing to oblige. Indeed Dean was forced to reach for his pocket yet again after awarding a penalty against Newcastle centre-back Williamson for trying to rip the shirt from Michael Turner's chest while defending a free-kick. Bendtner seemed to keep a cool head to beat Tim Krul from the resultant penalty with a very composed spot-kick in the 24th minute, to score his fourth goal since joining on loan for the season from Arsenal in August.

It said much about the home team's lack of creativity that Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet only had one serious save to make before the interval when he kept out Fabricio Coloccini's 39th-minute header from a corner kick by the impressive Frenchman Yoann Cabaye who once again put in an assured shift. Newcastle were sluggish and lacklustre and the closest they came to an equaliser before half-time was Demba Ba's 44th minute header from Ryan Taylor's corner which hit the woodwork.



Newcastle haven't come from behind to win a league game this season- only Manchester United are the only other Premier League side to have the same record.


Sunderland, who haven't won on Tyneside since 2000 when former chairman Niall Quinn got the winning goal in a 2-1 victory, went close to doubling their lead through Bendtner and McClean and were far too comfortable after the break even though Newcastle increased the urgency notch. But they were reduced to ten men with more than half an hour remaining when Sessegnon was given his marching orders for striking Tiote with his elbow. The dismissal revitalised the home side and it took a superb save from Mignolet to deny Hatem Ben Arfa a 77th-minute equaliser when he cut in from the left and blasted in a left-foot shot.

The Frenchman was adamant he should have been awarded a penalty two minutes later after he went down under McClean's challenge, but Dean did point to the spot when Ameobi was tripped by fellow substitute Frazier Campbell- who made his England debut in midweek against Holland at Wembley. Ba struck the penalty low to Mignolet's left but the Belgian made a fine save to preserve his side's lead.

However, with the clock having ticked into the first minute of injury time, Ameobi stabbed home Wilkinson's flick-on from close range to score his seventh derby goal against Sunderland in his career and snatch a point.



Sunday 4th March 2012

Barclays Premier League

St James Park


Newcastle United 1-1 Sunderland                                     KO 12pm                (HT 0-1)

Ba 81 missed pen      Bendtner 24 (pen)
Ameobi 90


Newcastle:  26 Krul- 6/10, 5 Simpson- 6.5/10, 2 Coloccini (C)- 6/10, 6 Williamson- 7/10, 3 Santon- 4/10 (Ben Arfa 45- 6/10), 16 R Taylor- 7.5/10 (Lovenkrands 88- 1.5/10), 4 Cabaye- 9/10, 24 Tiote- 8/10, 18 Gutierrez- 8/10, 19 Ba- 7.5/10, 9 Cisse- 7.5/10 (Shola Ameobi 72- 3.5/10).

Subs not used:  35 Elliot, 14 Perch, 8 Guthrie, 25 Obertan

Booked:      Cabaye (13), Simpson (19), Ba (23), Williamson (24), Tiote (66)


Sunderland:  22 Mignolet- 7/10, 2 Bardsley- 7.5/10, 16 O'Shea- 8/10, 4 Turner- 8/10, 11 Richardson- 8/10 (Bridge 85- 1.5/10), 7 Larsson- 8/10 (Colback 73- 3/10), 6 Cattermole (C)- 7/10, 8 Gardner- 7.5/10, 23 McClean- 8/10, 28 Sessegnon- 6.5/10, 52 Bendtner- 7.5/10 (Campbell 71- 3.5/10).

Subs not used:  1 Gordon, 12 Kilgallon, 15 Vaughan, 18 Meyler

Booked:      Cattermole (1), McClean (19), Gardner (51)

Sent-off:    Sessegnon (57), Cattermole (after final whistle)


My Man of the Match:   Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United)- Rating 9/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:   Davide Santon (Newcastle United)- Rating 4/10



Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)- 6/10
Attendance: 52,388



Match Facts


Possession: Newcastle- 57%                 Sunderland- 43%

Shots: Newcastle- 24                      Sunderland- 7

Shots on target: Newcastle- 12                     Sunderland- 6

Shots off target: Newcastle- 12                     Sunderland- 1

Corners: Newcastle- 19                         Sunderland- 4

Fouls: Newcastle- 14                          Sunderland- 14

Offside: Newcastle- 0                            Sunderland- 0

Assists: Newcastle- 1 (Williamson)                     Sunderland- 1 (Turner)


Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

"It's an incredible game. There was a lot of passion and commitment from both sets of lads and it shows that even the foreign lads know the significance of this fixture to everybody around these parts. This game means more than any other in the season for the supporters. We were poor in the first half and were caught in the game plan which I think from Sunderland was to try and unsettle us. It was an ugly game and Cattermole set the scene for it. The shirt pull we see a thousand times and doesn't get given but we have to accept it because it is in the laws that players cannot tug the shirt of an opponent. We did a fantastic job in the second half and even before the sending off put them under a pressure and it was only a matter of time before they buckled. We still showed character after missing the penalty to get the equaliser and it couldn't have come to a better guy- Shola (Ameobi) loves the club and he epitomises everything we are about."

Click here to hear the post-match interview with Toon boss Alan Pardew


Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

"It feels like a defeat if I'm being honest. It is very disappointing to lose a goal so late on in the game especially because of how brilliant we played. We were absolutely terrific in the first half. The sending off with about half an hour to go changes the game and does have a bearing on the way we had to play after that in order to protect the lead. Stephane (Sessegnon) has led with his elbow and it is a sending-off offence. We had to dig in deep and defend very strongly. They got the penalty which Simon (Mignolet) saved. Overall if we had managed to hold on I thought we would have deserved the win because our performance was good. I went into see the referee afterwards and he said that Lee (Cattermole) used foul and abusive language towards him and if this is true then it is foolish and he got what he deserved."

Click here to hear the post-match interview with Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill

Watch Lee Cattermole's red card after the final whistle here

Listen to the thoughts of Newcastle's Shola Ameobi and Demba Ba


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