Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Black Cats roar at St James' Park.

A terrific treble saw Sunderland notch a historic win on Tyneside as Paolo Di Canio's side skewered arch-rivals Newcastle.

The chest-thumping Italian led his new side with aplomb as they netted three goals without reply to claim a vital three points.

Di Canio had called on his side to fight for “honour, dignity and respect” in the build-up to the game, and his squad responded magnificently to the task set in front of them.

Stephane Sessegnon's fine 27th-minute strike gave them a half-time lead and they weathered Newcastle's pressure well.

The Magpies had a goal chalked off just after the hour, but from then on it was all Sunderland as Adam Johnson's outstanding effort doubled the visitors' money with 16 minutes to play.

A stonking finish from sub David Vaughan rounded out a day to savour on Tyneside and Sunderland's first win at St James' Park since 2000.

The final whistle sparked incredible scenes, with Di Canio front and centre as he celebrated a remarkable victory.

Every player put themselves on the line on a day to remember with Sunderland running out thoroughly deserved winners.

Di Canio made three changes to the side which lost narrowly at Chelsea, with Danny Graham - back to full fitness - handed a starting spot in place of the injured Connor Wickham.

Meanwhile Carlos Cuellar and James McClean also returned in place of Matt Kilgallon and Craig Gardner, with the latter starting a two-match ban.

Indeed, Gardner opted to watch from the away end rather than the bench – what a day he will have had.

Newcastle had the first opening of a cagey start on six minutes when Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's intelligent through ball sent Papiss Cisse through, but Simon Mignolet was quickly off his line to gather the ball down low.

Sunderland created their first half-chance on the quarter-hour when Sessegnon and Alfred N'Diaye combined to find Graham, who looked to turn away from Steven Taylor but couldn't get his shot away eight yards out under pressure from the Newcastle defender.

The striker went down amidst claims his shirt had been pulled by Taylor, but referee Mr Webb was unmoved.

Sunderland were just about shading the opening stages and winning the majority of the 50-50 balls, and they stunned St James' Park with an opener just before the half-hour.

And what a breakthrough it was.

McClean, surging down the left, found Sessegnon, who shrugged off Jonas Gutierrez on his back and twisted beyond Taylor before arrowing a low effort into the corner of the goal from the edge of the box.

New boss Di Canio took flight as Sessegnon wheeled away to celebrate his sixth goal of the season.

But Newcastle's response was immediate and the Magpies were almost level just moments later.

Sylvain Marveaux dropped a neat ball into the feet of Cisse, who spun his marker and fired off a shot which Mignolet did brilliantly to deflect behind.

And then the Belgian was at it again, going full-length low to his left to claim a shot after Moussa Sissoko found Cisse lurking on the edge of the box.

It was an exciting end to the first half with chances at both ends.

First Cuellar headed straight at Tim Krul from a Johnson corner before Gutierrez's floated cross-shot was acrobatically tipped wide by Mignolet at the other end.

And as Newcastle pressed in stoppage time Seb Larsson kicked a scrambled shot off the line before Taylor was booked for a rough challenge on Mignolet as the keeper gathered a loose ball in the box.

Predictably, Newcastle started the second half like a train, but it was Sunderland who had the first chance when an error by Mathieu Debuchy let in Johnson, only for Krul to easily field the winger's attempted lob.

The hosts gradually ratcheted up the pressure and Mignolet had to be alert to palm away a powerful drive from Cisse on the hour, after Krul had left the action with an painful elbow injury sustained when tipping away a high cross.

Cisse thought he'd broken through a minute later, tapping home the loose ball from a free-kick, but he was adjudged to be in an offside position and the crowd's celebrations were quickly cut short.

TV replays appeared to show the striker was onside, but the visitors had grievances of their own soon afterwards when they felt defender Yanga-Mbiwa handled Graham's header.

Sub Hatem Ben Arfa headed over as Newcastle continued to push, while Cisse met another low cross at the near post only to see his effort flash off-target.

But, all of a sudden, Sunderland counter-punched in clinical fashion to assume a two-goal lead and take a real stranglehold on proceedings.

Johnson, drifting off the right wing, opened up a sliver of space for himself and arrowed a delightful curling effort beyond the despairing fingertips of substitute keeper Rob Elliot, who was left with no chance.

The goal was a mortal blow to Newcastle, who were floored by Johnson's magnificent strike.

Now the tables had been turned completely, with Sunderland driving forward and making headway with some flowing play down the flanks.

They almost grabbed a third goal when powerhouse N'Diaye bulled his way down the right and clipped in a shot which Elliot did well to turn behind.

But the killer third goal did arrive seven minutes from time – and it was another peach.

Sessegnon found sub Vaughan on the left, and the midfielder let fly with a stunning drive from the edge of the box which swerved in the air before finally nestling in the far corner.

He couldn't have hit it any better, and the Sunderland bench – led by Di Canio - couldn't have celebrated any more as they melted into a team huddle on the near-side touchline.

Newcastle were down and out and Sunderland, roared on by the 2,000 travelling fans, comfortably played out the remaining normal time and six minutes added on.

Just two games into his reign, Paolo Di Canio has already cemented his place in Sunderland history.

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Team Sheet

Krul (Elliot)
1
Yanga-Mbiwa
13
Debuchy
26
Yellow Taylor
27
Gutiérrez
18
Marveaux
22
Sissoko
7
Tioté
24
Cabaye (Ben Arfa)
4
Yellow Gouffran (Ameobi)
11
Yellow Cissé
9
Mignolet
22
O'Shea
16
Cuéllar (Mangane)
24
Bardsley (Colback)
2
Rose Yellow
3
N'Diaye
4
McClean (Vaughan)
23
Larsson
7
Johnson Yellow
21
Sessegnon
28
Graham
9

Substitutes

Elliot
21
Perch
14
Ben Arfa
10
Campbell
49
Anita
8
Haidara
19
Ameobi
23
Laidler
32
Mangane
18
Vaughan
15
Mandron
30
Colback
14
Kilgallon
12
Westwood
20