As expected the game lived up to the pre-match hype and both sets of players gave it their all with a series of crunching tackles. Whilst there was no doubting the commitment of either side, clear cut chances were at a premium with both defences doing excellent jobs.
The Mackems enjoyed much of the first-half possession, but Newcastle went closest to breaking the deadlock through Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez. There was some controversy when the Geordies should have been awarded a penalty after Seb Larsson handled on the line. After much debate between the referee and his assistant, a corner was given – much to the delight of the home crowds.
The game’s defining moment came on 62 minutes when Newcastle were awarded a free kick far out on the left hand side. Ryan Taylor stepped up and whipped the ball into the far corner beyond the home keeper to send the Newcastle fans wild!
The Geordies defended stoutly for the remaining half an hour and the game threatened to boil over after a series of fouls which saw the Black Cats reduced to ten men in the final minutes, but Newcastle hung on for a famous victory.
After a nail-biting 90 minutes, Geordie fans will enjoy going into work today safe in the knowledge that the 146th Tyne-Wear derby belongs to Newcastle!