It’s North East derby day in Sunderland with Newcastle making the short trip down the coast. Yes, it’s the Mackems versus the Geordies and you can add your own f-bombs to suit your own personal preferences.
I’ll be here to keep you up to date on all the latest important goings-on and quite possibly a few unimportant ones too. You can leave your own comments and jokes I can steal in the comments section below.
SUNDERLAND 1 – 1 NEWCASTLE (Tiote sent off)
OVERLY-FEISTY LOCAL DERBY TACKLE COUNT: 7
3.23pm: FULL TIME! It’s a draw in an entertaining game. It wasn’t the most high quality game you’ll ever see, but there was plenty of passion to distract you from that fact. Sunderland lacked creativity, whilst the Magpies were hamstrung by the Tiote red card.
3.20pm: Sunderland have a corner that comes to nothing after a lot of scrambling around from the Newcastle defence. Matt Le Tissier gives Coloccini Man of the Match honours.
3.18pm: Gutierrez comes up with a terrible dive, but in keeping with some of his decisions today, Martin Atkinson buys it. There will be four minutes of added time.
3.17pm: James McClean hits a good shot, but it goes narrowly wide and Krul’s reactions suggest he wasn’t that worried.
3.14pm: YELLOW CARD FOR CABAYE! It’s been coming. He’s had a few questionable challenges today.
3.13pm: YELLOW CARD! AND THEN GOAL! The card is for Williamson and the goal is for Sunderland thanks to a Demba Ba own goal. From the free kick for the Williamson foul, Sunderland put a dangerous ball into the box. It misses their player, but his Ba firmly in the face and goes beyond a gobsmacked Krul.
3.11pm: SUBS! Adam Johnson goes off and David Vaughan comes on. Ben Arfa trudges off and Gabriel Obertan is introduced. Prior to that, Saha hit the side netting wide a good chance.
3.09pm: Are they advertising the America’s Cup at the Stadium of Light?! Bring back cigarette ads.
3.08pm: SUB! After an extensive warm up for his mouth muscles, Steven Taylor comes on to replace the kind of injured Coloccini.
3.06pm: Sunderland get a half chance after some chaotic flapping at a corner from Tim Krul. It gets cleared and the Black Cats have little to show for their increased possession.
3.02pm: Brilliant from Ba. He controls the ball brilliant to carve out a chance but can’t get enough of a connection to trouble Mignolet. Sunderland respond with a deflected shot from Gardner.
2.59pm: Poor from Krul. He nearly turns a straightforward low cross from McClean into a chance by spilling it in the six yard box. He recovers but he’ll no doubt get a chorus of ‘Dodgy Keeper’. There’s also another feisty tackle soon after.
2.58pm: 20 minutes to go. Newcastle are 4/9 to hang on and the draw is 13/5.
2.56pm: YELLOW CARD! Curse of the text commentator. Coloccini goes into the book for having a moan at the ref.
2.55pm: Coloccini is having a stormer. If it stays the same, he’s nailed on to win the Man of the Match award to go alongside the Hair of the Match award he wins in every game he plays that doesn’t involve David Luiz, Marouane Fellaini or Sideshow Bob.
2.52pm: SUBSTITUTION! Louis Saha comes on for Sessegnon who has been especially ineffective today. Matt Le Tissier questions the decision which is probably a sign it’s the right call.
2.49pm: Half an hour left. The Mackems are getting behind their team, but they’re 6/1 to win it from here.
2.45pm: Terrible decision from Martin Atkinson! Hatem Ben Arfa fouls the Sunderland player, hears the whistle, doesn’t complain and then looks up to see the ref has given it in his favour. That’s the worst decision at the Stadium of Light since Niall Quinn appointed himself manager.
2.41pm: Stephane Sessegnon is flagged offside for Sunderland. It’s actually good news for the Black Cats because it proves he wasn’t locked in a toilet before kick-off.
2.40pm: Colback with a feisty little sliding number that would probably be punished if it wasn’t a local derby.
2.36pm: Ba has a shot and a deflection makes it trickier than it should have been. Sunderland are looking more threatening so far in the second half though.
2.34pm: Newcastle start the second half. No changes at half-time.
2.32pm: There’s more debate about the Tiote sending off than I was expecting. Here’s the still shot which doesn’t give the whole picture, but is pretty helpful:
2.18pm: HALF TIME! It’s been eventful, if not always of the highest standard. Kind of like your typical episode of Byker Grove.
2.15pm: They’ll be three added minutes of derby goodness at the end of the first half.
2.13pm: Cabaye provides the fifth overly feisty local derby tackle of the match. The ref plays advantage which will mean he avoids further caution.
2.11pm: Another good chance for Newcastle. They play a corner to Coloccini. His first time shot from the edge of the area is a bit pants, but the ball breaks to Demba Ba who attempts an acrobatic overhead kick that whistles not far over the crossbar.
2.08pm: SUBSTITUTION! Shola Ameobi’s Mackem-busting hasn’t lasted long today. He’s hauled off in favour of James Perch, presumably as a response to the sending off rather than a poor performance. Although he was pretty anonymous.
2.04pm: Craig Gardner goes close with a cross/shot from a free-kick that was more shot than cross. His low drive fizzes past Krul’s right hand post.
2.02pm: It’s confirmed Ameobi was the player booked – for being a little too forceful in his moaning about the Tiote red card.
Sunderland fashion a half chance, but Adam Johnson’s curling shot ends up in the stands.
2pm: There’s half an hour gone and ten man Newcastle are EVENS to hold on to the lead. Sunderland are available at 3/1.
1.57pm: Another shout for handball fueled mainly by early morning alcohol. The Newcastle players and fans appeal for Larsson handballing in the box, but the ref ignores it. Better shout than the last one, but still not a peno.
1.54pm: RED CARD! Cheick Tiote with one of the more needless red cards you’re ever going to see. After winning a free-kick for having Colback hanging out of him, Tiote goes in with a high boot, shin-level on Steven Fletcher. It’s the right call. From the referee, not Tiote. Someone has also been booked.
1.51pm: Cabaye tests Mignolet with a long range free kick and the Belgian responds to that test by making the shot look more dangerous than it really is. The Magpies hit the side-netting with the corner via the foot of Craig Gardner.
1.48pm: The passion on display from both sets of fans has been brilliant. It’s totally taking away from the fact it’s been a pretty crap game since Newcastle took the lead. A Seb Larsson kung-fu kick to the chest gives us our third OFLDT.
1.44pm: There’s a shout for handball in the penalty area, mainly from Sunderland fans who have hit the sauce a little too early. Ben Arfa provides us with our second overly-feisty local derby tackle, which few people were expecting. He follows up by conceding a free-kick just outside the Newcastle box. Krul saves the cross/shot easily.
1.40pm: Sunderland have come back into it after conceding the goal, but they don’t have much to show for it – unless they start awarding points for hoofing the ball towards Steven Fletcher’s head.
While I was typing that, we get our first overly feisty local derby tackle of the game. Didn’t spot the culprit.
1.37pm: ‘Santon is making the right back spot his own’ says Alan Parry of the Italian who is playing at left back today.
1.32pm: GOAL! NEWCASTLE! It’s been a positive start for the visitors and they grab the first goal. Demba Ba has manages a good shot from a tight angle, Mignolet saves, but Cabaye latches on to the rebound to fire low from about 12 yards out.
1.30pm: Newcastle, play in their high-visibility jackets and it’s Sunderland who get the game underway.
1.27pm: ‘Even a Belgian understands how important this game is’ Alan Parry basically says.
1.25pm: At 7/4, Sunderland are the narrow underdogs to have the local bragging rights tomorrow morning. Newcastle are 13/8 favourites to claim all three points.
1.17pm: Alan Pardew says it wasn’t a difficult choice picking Shola Ameobi for this game. “He knows this game, he understands it,” Pardew explains, which doesn’t say a whole lot for Ameobi’s knowledge and understanding of every other fixture he’s been involved in.
1.07pm: Sky Sports are moving upmarket from Paul Merson barely stringing a sentence together. They’ve got a historian on talking about the history between the north-east two cities. You’d almost call it highbrow. Cue many football fans thinking they’ve put on BBC FOUR by mistake.
1.02pm: Stephen Taylor was busy in the build-up to this derby. Firstly offending stamp collectors and Sunderland fans by telling everyone he’d rather collect stamps than support the Black Cats. Then he claimed none of O’Neill’s squad would force their way into a first choice Magpies’ team. We analysed his slightly biased claim and it’s hard to argue. Below is the conclusion the Paddy Power Blog came to and here’s the more detailed justification for it.
12.45pm: TEAM NEWS TIME!
The teams have been named and to be honest it’s probably not exciting enough to warrant CAPS LOCK and an exclamation mark. Martin O’Neill has named a fairly normal looking Black Cats’ team.
Migonlet, Gardner, O’Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher
Alan Pardew has gone with Mackem-buster, Shola Ameobi upfront at the expense of Papiss Cisse. Steven Taylor will be limited to shouting abuse at Sunderland fans from the sidelines as he’s only fit enough for a place on the bench.
Krul, Santon, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba, Shola Ameobi
12.35pm: The last snore draw came back in 1990. I went to one of those ‘What was number one on the day’ websites in the hope of finding out something old and naff was topping the charts back then. It is something old and naff, but something old and naff that I actually have on my iPod. Sunderland and Newcastle drew 0-0 in the Division 2 Playoffs of the 1989/90 season and Adamski was number one thanks to the help of Seal.
12.20pm: The guy on Sky Sports News is gleefully telling us that there has NEVER been a goalless draw in the history of this fixture. NEVER! Well, ‘never’ as long as you think football didn’t exist before the Premier League came around to make our lives complete. So just the 94 odd years of rivalry so.