Sunderland's biggest win in 18 months surprises delighted boss Sam Allardyce

Adam Johnson scores the opening goal

Adam Johnson scores the opening goal

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Sam Allardyce admits he didn't expect to romp to victory in the Wear-Tyne derby by such a convincing scoreline.

For the third time in six successive derby triumphs, Sunderland beat Newcastle by a 3-0 margin, albeit that flattered Allardyce's men after the Magpies were in the ascendancy throughout the first half before the game-changing penalty on the stroke of the interval.

Before the game, new Sunderland manager Allardyce had stressed that the pressure was on him, rather than opposite number Steve McClaren, as he looked to continue the Black Cats ' winning streak in the fixture, plus secure an elusive first win of the campaign.

But Sunderland registered their biggest Premier League win in 18 months, to move off the bottom of the table and leap-frog Newcastle in the process.

Allardyce said: “I thought it would be hugely difficult for us to win 3-0, but we have.

"The pressure on us was enormous because it was nine games without a win.

"The pressure was on to beat our local rivals and when you think about the odds of winning six on the trot, you tend to think that somewhere along the line you’re not going to manage to do that.

"We have again and we’re all absolutely delighted with the three points.

“Winning the local derby is special wherever you are. Everybody knows how important it is at the football club.

"For the first time this season, everybody can go home happy and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

“The atmosphere was electric – I was finding it very hard to hear what Paul Bracewell and Robbie (Stockdale) were saying to me.

"That’s what you expect in such a big local derby, and particularly when you get the first goal and you’re in the lead."

Allardyce sympathised with McClaren for the game-changing moment on the stroke of half-time, when Sunderland were awarded a penalty and Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini was sent-off.

Unlike McClaren, Allardyce felt it was a spot-kick for Coloccini's foul on Steven Fletcher, yet is not in favour of the 'double whammy' punishment which saw the Argentine dismissed for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

"It’s a bit harsh sending him off, but sadly that’s the rules," said Allardyce.

"We’ve taken full advantage of that, and after getting a harsh decision against us last weekend, we’ve maybe got one in our favour.

“I thought it was a penalty, but the unfortunate thing is sending him off. Is it really a sending off?

"Because of the rules, if it’s a goalscoring opportunity, you have to send him off, but for me, the penalty is enough.

"It’s not the referee that makes the rules though, it’s FIFA and UEFA.

"But I don’t particularly like that rule, and I never have - 11 vs 11 is what we all want, not 10 vs 11.

"I know it’s gone in our favour, but I thought the penalty was enough and you don’t have to send him off."