STEPHANE SESSEGNON says he has gone from agony to ecstasy in the Tyne-Wear derby after helping Sunderland to their biggest win over Newcastle in 34 years.
Sessegnon’s sixth goal of the season sent rampant Sunderland on their way to a stunning 3-0 victory over the Magpies at St James’s Park yesterday, as Paolo Di Canio secured his first points as Black Cats head coach.
The Benin international was left in tears on Tyneside last season after his red card for lashing out at Cheik Tiote ultimately proved costly as Sunderland saw their lead cancelled out in the last minute.
But Sessegnon was the linchpin for Sunderland this time around, as the Wearsiders ended their three-month winless streak with what could prove to be a pivotal result in the survival battle.
Sessegnon told the Echo: “I experienced the agony of this fixture when I got the red card last season. But I think I learned from that and how to control myself in that atmosphere.
“It was important yesterday that we kept our composure and everyone finished the game very strongly. It was a great day for us.
“We’d had a good preparation for the game and it was important to win this one.
“Everyone knew that with the position in the table, a win was needed to boost our position. And then with it being a derby as well, it gave it that bit extra, especially to score a few goals.
“Obviously, it’s a massive win for the fans.
“It’s not been a comfortable situation recently, but it’s great for everyone to win.
“And now to do it at Newcastle after several months without one, I think that will give everyone a lot of pleasure.”
Sessegnon’s low strike from the edge of the area handed Sunderland a half-time lead and after Papiss Cisse wrongly saw a goal ruled out for offside, the Black Cats sealed the win with two stunning strikes in the closing stages.
First, Adam Johnson unleashed a thunderbolt from 20 yards and then substitute David Vaughan cemented a first win over the Magpies since 2008 with a sizzling strike into the top corner.
Sessegnon was quick to share the credit among his team-mates though after Sunderland followed up an encouraging display in Di Canio’s first game in charge at Chelsea, with both a stellar performance and result.
The 28-year-old added: “I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter who scores the goals. Everyone contributed to the win. But to score three goals of such quality is magnificent for everyone.
“To come away 3-0 winners is something special. We learned from the defeat at Chelsea, but we also took confidence from that.
“We kept our concentration during the second half because we knew Newcastle have got quality players. But we kept the ball well and worked so hard. Everyone remained compact and kept our shape.
“We still also tried to remain a threat on the counter-attack and we did that. In the last five minutes, we were able to enjoy the game and we could have even scored a few more.
“The effort from the lads was exceptional.”