Paolo’s purr-fect warriors
Desire and passion made sure of all three points against Sunderland’s most bitter rivals as Sunderland notched their first victory on Tyneside since Niall Quinn’s winner in 2000.
Sunderland started very brightly and dominated proceedings in front of the Gallowgate. They could have even scored but Steven Taylor dived as Sessegnon was through on goal to deny the Cats an early lead. The Lads also had a few good penalty shouts both involving Danny Graham which were wrongly waved away by Howard Webb. Also, Gouffran should have been sent off for a bad stamp on Johnson’s ankle.
However, Sunderland did get the opening goal on 27 minutes. James McClean cut out a slack pass and fed the ball inside to Sessegnon. Just under 25 yards out, the forward looked to have fired a shot going just wide but it somehow crept into the bottom corner, cueing made celebrations from the 3,000 SAFC fans up in the top tier and on the bench, lead by the ecstatic Di Canio.
It could have been one all only a few seconds later when a ball over the top found front man Cisse. His shot was well saved by the hand of Mignolet. Two minutes later, some good work by Sissoko on the left meant that he could pull the ball back to Cisse, who was 12 yards out. His shot was squirming for the back on but Mignolet hauled himself across the goal to gratefully clasp the ball on his left.
It could have been a dreamlike 2-0 before the half time whistle if not for some fantastic goalkeeping by Tim Krul. Larsson’s in-swinging corner was met by the head of Cuellar. His pile-driver of a head was palmed away to safety by the Dutchman.
Midway through the second half, Newcastle won a free kick even though Sessegnon had made a good tackle. The ball over was good and eventually found the unmarked Cisse at the front post. The Senegalese striker put the ball in the net but the flag was raised. Replays showed that Cuellar has just kept the striker on.
It was Sunderland who got the second goal, though. A bit off skill from Seb Larsson found Johnson on the right. Cutting inside, nobody went to tackle the ex-Boro man so he unleashed a shot which was his 5th goal of the season as the ball flew into the top corner, leaving sub ‘keeper Rob Elliott helpless. Di Canio celebrated by sliding down the touchline on his knees as victory at St. James’ was now very likely.
The home side still piled on the pressure but it was Sunderland who scored next and put the nail in Newcastle’s coffin. A break was on after Sessegnon left Tiote chasing shadows. David Vaughan, bursting from midfield, received the ball on the left side off the box. His shot curled inward and into the top corner was fit to win any football match. The Derby Day rout was completed as Magpie fans flooded out of the Stadium, leaving 3,000 Sunderland fans to enjoy a memorable day out for all of Sunderland.
After a famous derby win, Paolo Di Canio showed his passion as Sunderland moved three points clear of the relegation zone ahead of the visit of Everton.
Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy, Jonas Gutierrez, Steven Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye ©, Yoan Gouffran, Slyvain Marveux, Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse.
Simon Mignolet, Phil Bardsley, Danny Rose, Carlos Cuellar, John O’Shea ©, Seb Larsson, Alfred N’Diaye, Adam Johnson, James McClean, Stephane Sessegnon and Danny Graham.