HT: Sunderland (0) Newcastle United (0). Fortune smiles, not just on us

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Ouch! Mignolet’s desperately poor positioning allows Ryan Taylor’s free kick from the elft to sail over him. One-nil to the Mags and that was how it stayed.

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Big controversy but no goals in the first half.

The first 45 were busy, niggly and mostly dominated by Sunderland. But arguably neither Seb Larsson nor Yohan Cabaye ought to have finished the half, and Newcastle should have gone ahead, massively against the run of play, with a penalty.

Both Howard Webb and his assistant missed Larsson’s hand ball that deflected a goal-bound header round the post. So a huge let-off, just as at Anfield when, on another interpretation, Kieran Richardson’s challenge on Suarez would have led not just to the just the penalty, which Suarez ballooned into the Liverpool skies, but a red card.

But as happened then, there was another handball involved.

At Anfield, Suarez had beaten down Richardson’s poor halfway line clearance with hand, the ball bouncing splendidly in his path. That was missed or ignored by Phil Dowd. Today’s combination of headers by Ameobi and Barton also involved a handball, so should the whistle have gone even before Larsson’s intervention?

A difficult one, unless you’re a Mag screaming for blood or a Mackem speculating, while trying to keep a straight face, that maybe poor Seb’s hand flopped unintentionally in the way of a ball on its way out anyway and that he did all he could while falling backwards to avoid contact.

Cabaye? The former Lille player’s studs-up lunge at Phil Bardsley could very, very easily have been seen as a sending-off offence. Webb gave benefit of doubt and waved a yellow.

Otherwise, mainly long-range efforts, three good ones from us (Sessegnon twice and Gyan) and Cabaye for them. We played the better football, they worried us into losing possession far too easily in dangerous positions, with Wes Brown nowhere near as commanding as he had been at Liverpool.

Half chances at both ends, our early dominance giving way to a more even flow. Nil-nil at half time, controversy notwithstanding, just about fair.

Sunderland

Mignolet; Bardsley, Richardson, Brown, Ferdinand: Larsson, Elmohamdy, Cattermole (c), Colback; Sessegnon, Gyan.
Subs: Gardner, Wickham, Vaughan, Dong-won, Bramble, Laing, Westwood

Newcastle United

Krul, Simpson, R Taylor, Coloccini (c), S Taylor Gutierrez, Obertan, Tiote, Barton, Cabaye, Sh Ameobi
Subs: Williamson, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Ba, Best, Marveaux, Harper

Monsieur Salut

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1 thought on “HT: Sunderland (0) Newcastle United (0). Fortune smiles, not just on us”

  1. Usually I don’t like to comment when we’ve just been humiliated, due to the temptation to overreact, but needs must. When all the dust settles, as fervent a Sunderland fan I am, once again I have to console myself with the mindset that once again we were beaten by the better team. Newcastle have Jonas Guttierrez – we have Elmo. What does that tell you?

    Frankly, our performances against the enemy would try the patience of a Saint!! Second half especially I saw NOTHING to inspire me. Gyan flatters to deceive. Wickham looked slow and leggy. Sess aside, we totally lacked imagination and creativity. We were insipid, impotent, utterly useless, and no matter how bitter the rivalry, irrespective of the fact that I wanted us to win so freekin badly – we simply didn’t deserve to.

    Newcastle fans will be chomping at the bit to come on here and gloat, and show no mercy in the aftermath of our sickeningly familiar derby defeat. After the last 3 games let’s face it – they deserve their moment, however tough it is to take.

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