Sunderland-Newcastle United derby ups and downs

OH DANNY BOY! Danny Higginbotham scores for Sunderland in the 1-1, 2007 clash.
OH DANNY BOY! Danny Higginbotham scores for Sunderland in the 1-1, 2007 clash.
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THE Echo’s former Sunderland writer GRAEME ANDERSON has covered every derby game between Tyne and Wear since the mid-1990s and he’ll be there Sunday too.

In this second of this three-part series, he looks back at his memories from the most emotive fixture of all in the North East calendar.

2001/02

Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1

August 26, 2001

Both goals in this game came against the run of play – Kevin Phillips’ header across Shay Given in the 33rd minute came after a long spell of Newcastle being on top.

And Craig Bellamy’s equaliser, on the stroke of half-time, arrived just as Sunderland looked sure to reach the break with a lead.

Jody Craddock was outstanding in Sunderland’s defence.

For Newcastle, the villain-of-the-piece was Nobby Solano who missed chance after gilt-edged chance, leaving Sunderland fans the happier at the final whistle.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Barton, Hughes, Dabizas, Elliott (sub O’Brien 39), Solano, Lee, Speed (sub Acuna 42), Robert, Ameobi (sub Shearer 75), Bellamy. Subs not used: Harper, LuaLua.

SUNDERLAND: Sorensen, Haas, Craddock, Thome, Gray, Hutchison (sub Bellion 68), McCann, Schwarz (sub Rae 90), Kilbane, Phillips, Quinn, Subs not used: Arca, Macho, McCartney.

Sunderland 0 Newcastle 1

February 24, 2002

VICTORY in this game took Newcastle up to second in the table on what Magpies manager Bobby Robson called his: “best day in the job”.

A Sunderland side on the wane was below par on an afternoon when Shay Given was outstanding.

Thomas Sorensen, too, made a string of important saves.

But the Sunderland keeper was beaten in the 64th minute by Nikos Dabizas from one of many dead-ball situations the home side struggled with.

Peter Reid praised his players afterwards for giving their all but admitted they had fallen short on a day when the heroics of Given – a player Reid had first plucked from obscurity as a teenager – came back to haunt the Black Cats’ boss.

SUNDERLAND: Sorensen, Haas, Gray, Bjorklund, Craddock, McAteer, Schwarz (sub Butler 70), Reyna, Kilbane, Quinn (Mboma 46), Phillips. Subs not used: McCartney, Macho, Williams.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Hughes, Distin, Dabizas, O’Brien, Solano, Speed, Robert (sub Ameobi 89), Jenas, Shearer, Bellamy. Subs not used: LuaLua, Elliott, Harper, Acuna.

2002/03

Newcastle 2 Sunderland 0

September 21, 2002

“Totally unacceptable”, “Pathetic performance a disgrace to club’s name”, “No battle, no bottle”.

Wow. The Echo really didn’t hold back after this awful defeat at St James’s Park.

Much of the anger probably lay in the contrast between previous recent Sunderland performances.

Only substitute Niall Quinn and local boy Mickey Gray escaped with any credit and afterwards even Quinn lambasted his lacklustre team-mates.

Alan Shearer was Newcastle’s inspiration on a day when Sunderland were irredeemably bad.

The Black Cats were like rabbits in the headlights as Craig Bellamy burst through to put his side ahead just two minutes into the game and they looked likely to score every time they attacked.

In contrast, Sunderland were utterly lightweight with Tore Andre Flo up front.

Shearer scored his side’s second in the 39th minute and, looking back, the only silver lining was that Sunderland were not on the wrong side of a hammering.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Hughes, O’Brien, Dabizas, Griffin, Solano (sub Jenas 64), Dyer, Speed, Robert, (sub Viana 77), Shearer, Bellamy (sub Ameobi 86). Subs not used: Harper, Bramble.

SUNDERLAND: Sorensen, Wright, Babb, Bjorklund (sub Williams 71), M Gray, Piper, McAteer (sub Quinn 45), Reyna, McCann, Kilbane, Flo (sub Stewart 86). Subs not used: Bellion, Myhre.

Sunderland 0 Newcastle 1

April 26, 2003

Peter Reid was gone by this derby. So was Howard Wilkinson. And Mick McCarthy was presiding over Sunderland’s 13th consecutive defeat.

Many of those defeats were through wretched performances but the Black Cats at least showed some pride in this match.

Sunderland created comfortably the greater number and better chances, but the only goal came in the 42nd minute, from the penalty spot.

Kevin Kilbane brought down Craig Bellamy in the box and Nobby Solano fired a low shot home.

Memorably, Kevin Kyle thought he had entered folklore with a headed “equaliser” in the 90th minute, only for it to be chalked off for what was adjudged a foul on Shay Given.

Defeat meant Sunderland had lost both derby games that season, as well as their matches to Middlesbrough. Silver lining? At least this defeat didn’t relegate Sunderland – they were already down.

SUNDERLAND: Sorensen, William, Bjorklund, Craddock, M Gray, Arca (sub Flo 83), Kilbane, Thornton, Kyle, Proctor (sub Ryan), Bellion. Subs not used: Clark, Poom, McCartney.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Griffin, Woodgate, O’Brien (sub Caldwell 19, Huhges, Solano, Dyer, Jenas, Vianna (sub Bernard 72), Shearer (sub Ameobi 26), Bellamy,. Subs not used: Harper, LuaLua.

2005/06

Newcastle 3 Sunderland 2

October 23, 2005:

This defeat really, really hurt Sunderland, simply because they were the better side and deserved to win.

They scored two goals of absolutely stunning quality from Liam Lawrence and Stephen Elliott but got absolutely nothing from referee Rob Styles.

Sunderland were having another abject season, but they played with passion and pride at St James’s.

Lawrence had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down, Elliott struck a delicious lob which hit the crossbar but bounced out, not in, and Newcastle won the game through a hotly disputed free-kick converted by Emre.

Shola Ameobi scored in the 34th and 37th minutes – taking advantage of one of Sunderland’s weaker rearguards in recent year – while Lawrence and Elliott’s goals came in the 35th and 41st minutes.

It was breathless stuff, but, at the final whistle, I felt as winded as any of Sunderland’s players.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Carr, Boumsong, Taylor, Ramage, Solano (sub Clark 80), Parker, Emre (sub Faye 81), N’Zogbia, Shearer, Ameobi (sub Chopra 79). Subs not used: Craig, Brittain.

SUNDERLAND: Davis, Nosworthy, Breen (sub Stubbs 42), Caldwell, Hoyte, Lawrence, Miller, Whitehead, Welsh (sub Arca 45), Elliott, A Gray (sub Le Tallec 79). Subs not used: Robinson, Alnwick.

Sunderland 1 Newcastle 4

April 17, 2006

I can only imagine that there are still nights when Kevin Ball wakes up in a cold sweat still struggling to comprehend how his players lost this game the way they did.

Spirit of Sunderland, Ball – caretaker manager at the time – prepared his players as best as he humanly could, but was rewarded with the biggest derby defeat in 50 years.

On-loan Justin Hoyte gave Sunderland a lead just after the half-hour and the home side preserved it up until the break. But they imploded just after the hour mark, shipping three goals in half-a-dozen minutes.

The first came when substitute Michael Chopra sprinted onto the pitch and did not break his run as he nudged past Kelvin Davis.

A penalty goal from Alan Shearer came a minute later and Charles N’Zogbia added a third five minutes after that.

The fourth, scored by Albert Luque in the 87th minute, only added to the delight of Newcastle fans in the south stand who made the most of their chance to mock the miserable home fans.

The next day, I wrote the comment piece “Send in the clowns”, slaughtering the club on behalf of ashamed and embarrassed fans.

The club seemed to have reached a new low, but the same day came news that Niall Quinn was planning to lead a consortium to take over the club.

SUNDERLAND: Davis, Hoyte, Caldwell, Collins, McCartney, Lawrence, Whitehead, Miller, Murphy (sub Arca 64), Stead (sub Kyle 68), Brown. Subs not used: Leadbitter, Murphy, Breen.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Carr, Bramble, Moore, Babayaro, Solano, Faye, Clark (sub Chopra 59), N’Zogbia (sub Boumsong 88), Dyer, Shearer (sub Luque 71). Subs not used: Ramage, Harper.

2007/08

Sunderland 1 Newcastle 1

November 10, 2007

Roy Keane’s first derby as Sunderland manager did not end the club’s decades long wait for a home win in this fixture.

This was one of the most fast-paced derbies I’ve witnessed as both sides set off on the front foot and stayed on it.

Sunderland had the better of the first-half chances, but the deadlock was not broken until early in the second, when Black Cats defender Danny Higginbotham raced onto Grant Leadbitter’s centre and nodded down and in.

Sunderland were on course for their first home derby win since 1980 but, annoyingly, Lady Luck smiled on Newcastle – James Milner centred from the left in the 64th minute, his cross evading everyone, to nestle in the far corner of Craig Gordon’s goal.

One of the more frustrating derby results!

SUNDERLAND: Gordon, McShane, Nosworthy (sub Collins 25), Higginbotham, Harte, Edwards, Leadbitter, Etuhu, Wallace (sub Stokes 72), Chopra, Jones. Subs not used: Connolly, Ward, Miller.

NEWCASTLE: Harper, Taylor, Faye (sub Beye 61), Rozenhnal, N’Zogbia, Milner, Smith, Barton, Emre (sub Geremi 88), Owen (sub Martins 83), Viduka. Subs not used: Enrique, Forster.

Newcastle 2 Sunderland 0

April 20, 2008

This was a derby in which Sunderland failed to turn up. They were both bullied and outclassed.

Managers are supposed to make teams in their own image but this limp Sunderland surrender was about as “un-Keane” as you could get.

Once again the Echo was scathing of a performance which wounded fans deeply and a comment piece suggested that if Keane wanted to work on character-building he might consider sending his players into the pubs of Sunderland after this defeat, rather than on paintballing or white-water rafting trips.

Michael Owen tortured Paul McShane in particular on his way to scoring a fourth minute goal and adding a second on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot.

This was far from a vintage Newcastle side but it still had more than enough for Sunderland on the day.

NEWCASTLE: Harper, Beye, Faye, Taylor, Enrique (sub Edgar 87), Geremi, Butt, Barton, Owen, Viduka (sub Carroll 76), Martins (sub Duff 70). Subs not used: Forster, Smith.

SUNDERLAND: Gordon, McShane (sub Harte 87), Nosworthy, Higginbotham, Collins, Edwards (sub Richardson 58), Whitehead, Miller, Reid, Murphy (sub Chopra 80), Jones. Subs not used: Leadbitter, Fulop.

2008/09

Sunderland 2 Newcastle 1

October 25, 2008

Only two things really stand out from this game – but boy do they stand out!

Kieran Richardson’s unstoppable free-kick winner flashing past the gloves of Shay Given is the indelible image, and the euphoria of home fans at the final whistle the lingering memory.

This was Sunderland’s first home derby win in 28 years – a ridiculous length of time to pass before the bulk of fans could see and celebrate with a victorious Sunderland team.

Djibril Cisse was man-of-the-match and gave Sunderland a 20th-minute lead which was cancelled out by Shola Ameobi on the hour.

Sunderland were the better side throughout, as they had been at home the previous season, but this time they got their reward thanks to the boot of Richardson.

In the 75th minute came the shot which echoed around the North East – a rifled free-kick which beat even Given’s cat-like reflexes to rocket up into the roof of the net.

The long wait was over and after a few nail-biting minutes, the celebrations could begin.

SUNDERLAND: Fulop, Chimbonda, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque (sub Tainio 87), Whitehead, Yorke, (sub Jones 57), Richardson, Cisse, Diouf (sub Reid 89). Subs not used: Chopra, Leadbitter, Colgan, Bardsley.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Beye, Taylor, Coloccini, Bassong (sub Enrique 84), Geremi (sub Gutierrez 73), Guthrie, Butt (sub J Barton 85), Duff, Ameobi, Martins. Subs not used: Xisco, Harper, N’Zogbia, Cacapa.

Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1

February 1, 2009

Cisse scored for Sunderland and Howard Webb levelled. Sorry, not Howard Webb. It was Shola Ameobi again.

Just like the fixture earlier in the season the Sunderland striker scored the opener (32 minutes) and Ameobi got the leveller (68).

But this time there was to be no Richardson rocket as our World Cup referee, not for the first or last time, had a stinker in charge of a Sunderland game.

Strapping Steven Taylor went down in front of the Gallowgate End as if he had been shot, knocked to the ground by that famous tough-tackler, Steed Malbranque!

As the home fans went up in unison, so did Webb’s whistle and Sunderland’s fate was sealed.

Ameobi took his penalty well, but he had been a marginal figure up to that point.

Sunderland might still have won it but, inexplicably, former Magpie Michael Chopra squandered what looked like a simple chance late on when he elected to square rather than shoot close in.

It was an incredible decision and only he will know what happened, but it looked for all the world as if he had hesitated to shoot against his former side.

Certainly, the Cardiff City chairman saw it that way. He rang up chairman Niall Quinn the same night and asked to do a deal on the basis that surely Chopra was a lost cause now as far as the fans were concerned? Quinny might have agreed with him because Chopra never played for Sunderland again.

NEWCASTLE: Harper, Taylor, Bassong, Coloccini (sub Edgar 90), Enrique, Gutierrez, Butt, Nolan, Duff, Carroll (sub Lovenkrands 82), Ameobi. Subs not used: Donaldson, Krul, Geremi, Lua, Lua.

SUNDERLAND: Fulop, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Edwards (sub Reid 71), Whitehead, Richardson, Malbranque, Cisse (sub Chopra 55), Jones. Subs not used: Colgan, Healey, Yorke, Murphy.

2010/11

Newcastle 5 Sunderland 1

October 31, 2010

WHEN I see this result, I don’t see the goals. I see Steve Bruce standing on the touchline utterly miserable and adrift.

It wasn’t his fault that his side let him down so badly in a game the importance of which he knew only too well.

Or perhaps it was.

Perhaps his sense of nervousness about such a loaded fixture transmitted itself to his players.

Local boy Jordan Henderson admitted afterwards that the occasion had got to him – that he found nothing in the tank of his normal Rolls-Royce engine when he tried to run.

But he had company in his misery with other team-mates who also had little to be proud about on a day in which they utterly wilted.

Easy to forget that Sunderland had gone into the game as favourites!

Andy Carroll, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan were on fire and Sunderland simply had no reply.

The match report headline was “An embarrassment of glitches” and the biggest one was Titus Bramble’s 53rd minute sending off.

Newcastle were 3-0 up though by half-time and the game was effectively over by then. Home fans loved it and spent the last half-hour having the lives of Sunderland fans. Kevin Nolan and Shola Ameobi scored in the last 20 minutes which meant when Darren Bent got a 90th minute consolation goal, it was no consolation at all.

As bad as it gets.

NEWCASTLE: Krul, Williamson, Enrique, Simpson, Coloccini, Barton, Gutierrez, Tiote, Nolan, Carroll, Ameobi (Ranger 86). Subs not used: Taylor, Perch, Lovenkrands, Smith, Soderberg, Routledge.

SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Bramble, Turner, Bardsley, Onuoha, Cattermole, (sub Mensah 76), Elmohamady (sub Gyan 40), Henderson, Malbranque, Bent, Welbeck (sub Richardson 55). Subs not used: Zenden, Ferdinand, Da Silva, Gordon.

Sunderland 1 Newcastle 1

January 16, 2011

Once again Steve Bruce’s side failed to perform in a derby.

They may have got a point from the game, but the Sunderland manager was the first to admit his side got lucky with a scrappy, injury-time equaliser which seemed to go in off Asamoah Gyan’s jockstrap!

Newcastle would have been full value for the three points for their efforts both before and after Kevin Nolan back-heeled the ball over the line in the 52nd minute.

The mood was darkly ugly from the home crowd by the end of the game, even if it was assuaged by the equaliser.

Sunderland were sixth in the table at the time and I remember leaving the ground wondering how it was that a team with the likes of Darren Bent, Gyan, Jordan Henderson, Steed Malbranque etc, who had been in great form, could collectively fail to bring their “A” games to the derby.

SUNDERLAND: Gordon, Bramble, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Onuoha (sub Zenden 76), Richardson, Elmohamady (sub Colback 89), Henderson, Malbranque, Bent, Gyan. Subs not used: Da Silva, Mignolet, Reid, Angeleri, Riveros.

NEWCASTLE: Harper, Williamson, Enrique, Simpson, Coloccini, Barton, Gutierrez (sub Lovenkrands 89), Nolan, Smith (sub Guthrie 36), Best (sub Gosling 89), Ameobi. Subs not used: Routledge, Perch, Ranger, Krul.