Goalscorers: Kevin Nolan 26, 34, 75, Shola Ameobi 45 PEN, 70, Darren Bent 90
Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Joey Barton, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi (Nile Ranger 86), Andy Carroll
Sunderland: Simon Mignolet, Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble (SENT OFF), Nedum Onuoha, Michael Turner, Lee Cattermole (John Mensah 76), Ahmed Elmohamady (Asamoah Gyan 40), Jordan Henderson, Steed Malbranque, Darren Bent, Danny Welbeck (Kieran Richardson 55)
Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 51,988
The Tyne & Wear Derby has seen plenty of classic memories and crucial encounters down the Premier League Years. For Newcastle United supporters, few can topple Halloween 2010 when Sunderland turned up for what turned out to be a horrific afternoon for the visitors.
Steve Bruce’s side started a point above the Magpies and had just beaten Aston Villa in their previous match. Newcastle were also coming off the back of a fine away victory at bottom-placed West Ham United. This eased the pressure on Chris Hughton who was coming under pressure regarding his position as the club’s manager.
Hughton had a simple plan for this match – get balls into the box for Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi to battle with. Their hard work and ability to win balls in the air meant others like Kevin Nolan could benefit – with deadly results. Nolan would enjoy one of the greatest days of his career as Newcastle ran their local rivals ragged all afternoon.
The scoring was opened by the midfielder on 26 minutes. Ameobi won the aerial battle from Joey Barton’s corner. Nolan latched onto the knockdown and even though he was back to goal, he still managed to flick the ball over Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and a couple of defenders on the goal-line. It was wonderful improvisation from the former Bolton man and more was to come.
Just eight minutes later, he doubled Newcastle’s advantage. Good work from Jonas Gutierrez and Carroll saw Nolan profit to finish from close-range after Carroll’s attempted bicycle kick ended in his path. Despite having the pace of Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan in their attacking ranks, Sunderland just couldn’t put it to any use. They were virtually out of the game by half-time.
The home side won a penalty which was confidently dispatched by the excellent Ameobi, who always seemed to raise his game for these occasions. Shortly into the second half, Sunderland’s day got worse. Titus Bramble chopped down Carroll and the ex-Newcastle defender got his marching orders from Phil Dowd, who showed nine yellow cards and didn’t have his best afternoon in the middle.
Newcastle took advantage of the extra man to increase their lead. Carroll, who deserved a goal for his brilliant display was so unlucky when his header in the 70th minute thumped the crossbar. Ameobi was first onto the rebound and smashed the ball past a shell-shocked Mignolet. Nolan’s day was about to be complete, nodding home from close-range five minutes later as Sunderland gave him the freedom of St James’ Park from a corner.
Darren Bent scored a late goal for the visitors but it wasn’t even consolation for Sunderland who had been well and truly humbled. The Black Cats finished above Newcastle in the final table but this was a day of pain and misery. Chris Hughton was harshly sacked in December but this win will go down as one of his greatest achievements as a manager.