April 13, 2024

The Magpies enjoyed a Tyne-Wear derby at the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle United clinched North East bragging rights with a 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby triumph over Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, but those rights have been solid for some time.

Sunderland’s relegation to the second and third tiers of English football placed the rivalry on hold for eight years, which was only broken by the’magic’ of the FA Cup. While Newcastle went into the match in poor form, having lost seven of their last eight matches, Eddie Howe could still name a starting line-up worth over £275 million – figures their red and white counterparts can only dream of.

Newcastle United exposed a class divide against Sunderland.

Players with Champions League and Premier League experience were pitted against a Championship team that was youthful, passionate, but ultimately inexperienced. Given the discrepancy between the two teams, any sensible person would predict a comfortable win for The Magpies. However, as Newcastle previously discovered, derby and FA Cup games can defy logic.
On this occasion, common sense won out at the Stadium of Light, as Newcastle cruised to a 3-0 victory. For all of Newcastle’s comeback to the top of the Premier League and Champions League football, a win against Sunderland felt like an unchecked piece from the club’s goal list.

However, a Dan Ballard own goal and a brace from Alexander Isak ensured that box was ticked while keeping the dream of ending a 55-year trophy drought alive.

The FA Cup draw provided Sunderland with an opportunity to humiliate their opponents. The Black Cats’ alleged free hit resulted in them failing to place a glove on Howe’s side.

Despite the fact that only 16 positions separate the two teams in the football pyramid, Sunderland were reminded of the threat that Premier League sides pose. In some respects, it was a wake-up call for the Wearsiders, who were put in their place as they attempted to pass out against Newcastle’s strong press with little success.

“There was a gap between the two sides before the game that we haven’t been able to close over 90 minutes,” Sunderland manager Michael Beale confessed afterwards.

Newcastle United’s injury woes continue.
Individual confrontations on the field won Newcastle’s game. As Joelinton bulldozed his way through the first half, Bruno Guimaraes twisted the strings with a swagger in midfield, setting up The Magpies’ first.

However, the United No. 7’s derby was cut short minutes into the second half as he was pulled due to a thigh injury. After the game, Howe described it as the ‘one negative’ of the day, as Newcastle’s midfield needed to regain control of the game.

When the team news arrived at 11:45am, perhaps the most intriguing individual battle of the day pitted Sunderland’s talisman Jack Clarke against Kieran Trippier, who was returning from injury. The 33-year-old England international has had a terrible time recently and was booed by Sunderland fans throughout the game.

But Trippier answered brilliantly, utterly neutralizing Clarke while still offering a creative threat on the other end of the pitch. While the Newcastle captain for the day primarily let his football speak for itself, he couldn’t help but respond to Sunderland fans with a cheeky point to the scoreboard.

Miguel Almiron is ‘back to his best’.

When it comes to players coming back to their best, Howe got exactly what he wanted from Miguel Almiron after the winger was benched at Liverpool. Almiron’s decision-making and final-third quality have been questioned and criticized in previous games, but not on this occasion.

The Paraguayan put on an all-action exhibition, chasing the ball like a tenacious seagull pursuing cheese chips on Roker Beach. That was exemplified by him stealing control from Pierre Ekwah to put up Isak for Newcastle’s second goal.

“Miggy was physically very good and back to his best levels,” he remarked. “That’s not a knock on him because he’s played nearly every minute of every game, but he’s given it his all, as he always does.”

 

Newcastle United - Miguel Almirón

 

“He’s such a wonderful person, and I’m so glad he got that individual award with my help.” He played clinically, and Alex got his reward with the goal, and we all know how vital that second goal was.”

On the other wing, Anthony Gordon caused problems for Sunderland’s defense, forcing them to foul their opponents. The greatest applause of the afternoon came from the home crowd when Luke O’Nien collided with teenager Lewis Miley.

However, the Black Cats’ overly tough style would come back to bite them when Ballard was penalized for a foul on Gordon inside the penalty area. Isak swiftly stepped up to make Tyne-Wear derby history, becoming the first Newcastle player to score a brace at the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle United will remember this rivalry fondly.

Newcastle has finally won another derby. One that puts them ahead of Sunderland in all-time wins in the fixture.

 

Historically, there has been little to choose between the two sides. While there have been more humiliating outcomes for either side in this encounter, few Tyne-Wear derbies have seen a team dominate as Newcastle did at the Stadium of Light.

With that comes a genuine sense of catharsis for The Magpies to savor. And they will savor it because who knows when the next derby match will be?

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