Sunderland v Newcastle: Chris Young’s verdict

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EVEN Asamoah Gyan struggled to attribute his face-saving leveller to his predatory instincts.

Never someone lacking self-confidence, the Ghanaian admitted he may have got a “bit lucky” with the 94th-minute ricochet which looped into Steve Harper’s open goal to earn Sunderland a 1-1 draw yesterday.

Some would argue that £13million buys those predatory instincts, yet Gyan’s goal had much more to do with fortune than any benefits of wise investment.

But it was ironic that the ineffective Gyan found his way onto the scoresheet while the game’s stand-out striker came away with nothing to show for his efforts.

Shola Ameobi was doing his best to claim Newcastle’s goal in his post-match interview – a strike which would have seen him draw level with Jackie Milburn in the all-time scoring stakes against Sunderland.

Kevin Nolan clearly got a touch as he flicked it over the line though and Sunderland’s nemesis will have to wait until next season to continue plaguing the Black Cats.

Ameobi and strike partner Andy Carroll performed a battering ram task for Newcastle in October’s St James’s Park spanking – providing the room for Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton to wreak havoc.

While Carroll was stuck in the stands yesterday, Ameobi again proved to be Newcastle’s most lethal weapon against the Black Cats.

READ the full verdict in Monday’s Echo