Black Cats record 50th win over Magpies.Fabio Borini’s late wonder strike secured Sunderland their first win of the season as the Black Cats downed near rivals Newcastle United 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
Gus Poyet made four changes to the side that lost at Swansea with Andrea Dossena, Carlos Cuellar, Jack Colback and Jozy Altidore replacing Ondrej Celustka, Valentin Roberge, Craig Gardner and Emanuele Giaccherini, who all dropped down to the bench.
The visitors, meanwhile, made one change with Paul Dummett replacing the suspended Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Things started excellently for Poyet on Wearside, with Sunderland winning a corner after just five minutes. Adam Johnson played it short to Seb Larsson, who then returned the ball to the local winger on the by-line. Johnson then stood the ball up toward the back post, and Scottish striker Steven Fletcher rose above Dummett to head the ball home, sending most of the 46,000 crowd crazy.
Fletcher then teamed up well with strike partner Jozy Altidore and could have even double the home side’s advantage barely ten minutes after the goal. Keiren Westwood’s long ball forward was knocked down by Altidore, into the path of Fletcher, who unleashed a powerful half volley towards Newcastle’s goal but Dutch keeper Tim Krul managed to parry the ball away.
An extended period of pressure by the Geordies resulted in Fletcher getting penalized for a soft foul on Tiote, with the Ivorian going down when he saw Fletcher running toward him. Hatem Ben Arfa took the 40-yard free kick but sent the ball sailing wide.
However, 12 minutes into the second period of play, it was the Newcastle fans who were cheering.
After starting the better of the two sides, Newcastle found themselves at 1-1 thanks to a Mathieu Debuchy strike. United danger man Ben Arfa hit a cross come shot across the Sunderland goal mouth leaving Debuchy with an easy tap-in at the back stick.
It was game on at the SoL.
Poyet introduced Borini and, 20 minutes from time, the Italian could have scored with his first touch.
The striker found himself in some space on the left and, after cutting in well, hit a powerful shot that squirmed under the legs of Krul, who managed to recover and claim the ball on the line.
Just before this chance Yohan Cabaye had hit a shot just wide of the right hand post and just after substitute Shola Ameobi hit an effort just wide of the left hand post, proving both sides were still going for the win that would claim the bragging rights.
The chance came on 84 minutes. Fletcher was fouled on the right by Tiote, who was caught-out by the free kick being taken quickly. Sunderland then moved the ball on with pace. Substitute Ki, Colback and Altidore all had touches before Borini nipped the ball off the American’s feet.
The Stadium went silent before bursting into a cauldron of noise as Borini’s effort, despite the best efforts of Krul, flew into the top corner of the net with the same power as Kieran Richardson’s free kick the last time Sunderland beat Newcastle on Wearside.
Celebrating with the fans, Borini had surely finished the game off for Sunderland.
Sunderland fans, though, had to suffer a moment where it looked like John O’Shea’s header would be going into his own net, before Westwood leapt across the goal and claimed the ball.
When Lee Probert blew the whistle, the noise was ear-splitting as Sunderland celebrated beating the arch rivals for the second time in six months.
After Sunday’s 2-1 triumph and April’s 3-0 thumping, Sunderland have won back to back derbies for the first time in 46 years, but it was worth the wait!
Poyet’s men now travel to Hull City next Saturday at the KC Stadium, where Sunderland have won 1-0 and 4-1 on their last two visits.
Sunderland team: Westwood, Bardsley (Celustka), Dossena, O’Shea, Cuellar, Cattermole (Ki), Colback, Larsson, Johnson (Borini), Altidore and Fletcher.
Subs not used: Mannone, Gardner, Giaccherini, Roberge.