Sunderland 1 Newcastle 0 Sunday 5 April 4pm
Goals: Defoe (45+1)
Never can Newcastle fans have travelled to Wearside with such an expectation of getting beat by such a poor Sunderland team.
In their previous 20 Premier League matches, Sunderland had won ony two, one of those being against Newcastle…
The most depressing thing about today was that as well as the acceptance of a likely defeat, Newcastle made the mackems look like a football team.
I thought the only way that Sunderland wouldn’t win today was if they were cagey and didn’t attack our lot.
It wasn’t any cunning plan that brought the win, just a combination of mixing it with long balls that the likes of Fletcher invariably won, along with playing through our anonymous midfield.
The home side should have won comfortably and it was only through their lack of quality at the sharp end and Krul in decent form that prevented that.
After a first half where Ayoze Perez was left isolated up front and watched from a distance as Sunderland repeatedly put pressure on a Newcastle team that were so deep they invited the opposition to attack, the only surprise was that it took until the final seconds of that opening period to make the breakthrough.
Pantilimon launched a long ball up the pitch which Fletcher easily beat Williamson to, his knockback was volleyed first time by Defoe on his left foot and flew in from over 20 yards out. A stunning goal that is rare to see in any derby.
Up to that point it is hard to say what Newcastle were actually trying to do, apart from waiting for the final whistle to go and carwl back to Tyneside with a 0-0 draw.
Perez had had an early shout for a penalty ignored but that was about it, if we expected the second half to lift the spirits we were sadly mistaken.
John Carver’s one ‘decisive’ reaction to his team’s no show was to put on the hopeless Emmanuel Riviere for the useless Yoan Gouffran, predictably it changed nothing. Not that we had any superstars unused on the bench but most fans would have had Abeid on from the start and Adam Armstrong given something more than the final three minutes.
As the match drifted towards its obvious conclusion and Sunderland having passed up the chances that would have finished the game off. As often happens in these derby games you do get that one chance to get an undeserved draw no matter how badly you have played.
A right wing corner was flicked on at the near post and Ayoze Perez was unlucky to see his volley at a slightly awkward angle end up a yard over the bar.
With only minutes to go it would have been devastating for Sunderland and given all Newcastle fans at least a temporary lift, no matter how crap the players had been.
That late Perez chance was preceded by Newcastle’s only shot on target in the whole 90 minutes, Cabella’s right foot shot comfortably saved by the mackem keeper.
Whilst Tim Krul was made a topic of conversation on TV after he was caught at half-time in the tunnel smiling and chatting to Jermain Defoe about his goal, it was Carver and his team overall who were given the full-on abuse by the 3,000 black & whites in attendance.
The players were informed that they ‘weren’t fit to wear the shirt’ and Carver was told that he doesn’t know what he is doing.
Two things that so many matches have told us already this season.
John Carver later said that everybody at the club had to take responsibility for this defeat, right down to the tea lady.
It would be more useful if people further up the food chain started taking responsibility for the shambles that is the running of Newcastle United.
If Sunderland manage to crawl to safety on the back of yet another six points gifted in the derbies, none of us will be surprised to see the losing derby run extend to six and possibly seven next season.
What a sorry mess.
These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;
Possession was 47% Newcastle and 53% Sunderland
Total shots was 10 for Newcastle and 16 Sunderland
Shots on target was Newcastle 1 and Sunderland 4
While corners was Newcastle 4 and Sunderland 8
Team: Krul, Ryan Taylor, Janmaat, Williamson, Colback, Jonas, Sissoko, Gouffran (Riviere 58), Ameobi (Armstrong 87), Cabella, Perez
Unused Subs: Elliot, Anita, Obertan, Abeid, Kemen
Ref: Mike Dean