Honours even at St James’ Park

Newcastle United and Sunderland play out a 1-1 draw

Newcastle United and Sunderland couldn’t be separated at St James’ Park this afternoon after they played out a 1-1 draw.

In what was being labelled as one of the biggest Tyne-Wear Derbies in recent history, both sides knew that a defeat today could be damaging to their Premier League status.

Further pressure was added to the game following Norwich City‘s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion yesterday, with two of the three likely to join Aston Villa in the Championship next season.

The Black Cats have had the bragging rights for the past seven outings, and they were close to making it eight only to be denied by an 83rd-minute equaliser.

Summary

It was quite a quiet affair in terms of chances, with neither side really creating much in the opening 45-minutes, but just like their last meeting, there was a goal right on half-time.

Ever the poacher, Jermain Defoe found a bit of space in the box and managed to fire home past Rob Elliot just one minute before the interval.

Once again the second-half created very few openings, with Ayoze Perez going close but seeing his volley cleared off the line, but with just seven minutes remaining, the Magpies finally got an equaliser.

A deep cross from Georginio Wijnaldum was met by Aleksandar Mitrović, who headered home past Vito Mannone.

That’s how the game ended with both sides having to settle for a point apiece, which means Newcastle remain 19th on 25 points, and Sunderland stay 18th on 26.

Match Reaction

Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum: “We have come back in other games, but I’m still not happy because we wanted to win. The first half was a disappointment, because we conceded and didn’t make the chances we had.”

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce on Sky Sports: “It’s like Southampton all over again. For me, if we don’t start getting these clean sheets it’s going to be a massive problem. We are a team that has to score twice to win. Sadly we didn’t get the second goal and we conceded late on again. We had the chances to put the game to bed, but missed them.

“Second half, I don’t know why we sat in and let Newcastle come at us. Maybe that was the size of the game, but in the end we haven’t done that and it’s two points dropped. We should have won this one. We need four wins from the last eight, so it’s now must-win rather than draw.

“The foul throw [by DeAndre Yedlin before the equaliser] is in their half and they have to goal long way to score. It’s disappointing when you’re in the lead going into the last few minutes of the game and not being able to protect that lead. I don’t want to get paranoid about it, we are what we are, so next time we need to score two goals.”

Sunderland goalscorer Jermain Defoe: “We should have got all three points, we controlled the game in the first half so we are disappointed. We were solid and it’s one mistake and you have to concentrate until the last minute. These are the games you want to play in. Time is running out but I’m sure we will be fine.”

Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt

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