Club Focus – Sunderland – Cats are shooed away by dominant Magpies

Sunderland were humbled at the home of their rivals yesterday as newly promoted Newcastle ran the show in a 5-1 victory at St. James’ Park , Chris Hughton’s men recording their first home win since the 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa back in August. Pride and bragging rights are almost as important a factor as the result itself in the Tyne-Wear derby, but the Black Cats’ fans can question little other than their own team’s performance following the final whistle.

A Kevin Nolan hat-trick, alongside a Shola Ameobi brace put paid to any hopes ten-man Sunderland had of coming away from the day with any share of the spoils, a late Darren Bent strike proving too little far too late for the visitors. Titus Bramble was sent off in the 53rd minute following a professional challenge on Andy Carroll. Despite looking much-improved in the second half, the 3-0 half-time deficit proved far too heavy a burden for Sunderland’s players to shift.

With both sides appearing to aim for mid-table safety this season, and regional pride at stake, the clash could easily be considered a six-pointer in more ways than one, but the despondency surrounding the Sunderland faithful this evening was echoed in Steve Bruce’s post-match statement: “No excuses. We were beaten well and truly. We were na

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