Mon, Oct 26, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Sunderland off the bottom with derby win

AFP, SUNDERLAND, England

Sunderland’s Adam Johnson, front, celebrates scoring a penalty against Newcastle United in their Premier League match in Sunderland, England, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Sunderland swept to a record sixth successive Premier League triumph over bitter rivals Newcastle United as Fabricio Coloccini’s controversial dismissal sparked the hosts’ 3-0 win at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

However, there might have been a totally different outcome if Newcastle had capitalized on their early domination before a goal in the closing moments of the first half that transformed the match and will be debated in the northeast corner of England for a long time.

Newcastle had more than one reason to be aggrieved over the incident that shaped the outcome.

It came from a penalty awarded in first-half stoppage-time when Newcastle defender Coloccini blocked Steven Fletcher as the Sunderland striker tried to reach a through-ball.

Whether referee Robert Madley was right to award the spot-kick converted by Adam Johnson was highly debatable, but the red card shown to the centerback was certainly harsh since goalkeeper Rob Elliot looked certain to reach the ball ahead of Fletcher.

Coloccini’s anger over the red card was only matched by Newcastle’s fury at Madley’s failure to spot Lee Cattermole’s reckless challenge on Aleksandar Mitrovic seconds earlier in the other penalty area.

Billy Jones and Fletcher added further goals for Sunderland in the second half to ensure that Sam Allardyce would be their fourth successive manager to win the derby in his second match in charge and to make the derby success even sweeter for Sunderland’s players and fans, their first league win of the season lifted them above Newcastle on goal-difference, although both remain in the relegation zone.

It was a painful afternoon for Newcastle, who had scored six times in a victory over Norwich City in their previous match.

Sunderland were desperately clinging on until halftime when, astonishingly, they took the lead through Johnson’s controversial penalty.

Coloccini was still protesting as he left the pitch and Newcastle manager Steve McClaren walked to the center circle to complain to the officials.

The next long walk of the game was made by Colback, who was injured in a challenge by Lee Cattermole four minutes into the second half and was abused by Sunderland fans as he progressed round the perimeter of the pitch.

Inevitably, Newcastle were no longer in total control of the game and they went further behind in the 65th minute when Jones pounced from close range after Yann M’Vila volleyed a deep corner toward goal.

Sunderland then struck the bar through Johnson, before Fletcher swept in their third goal from Younes Kaboul’s cross in the 86th minute.

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