Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle United – Match Review

Demba Ba’s own goal four minutes from time rescued a point for Sunderland in a feisty Tyne Wear derby with bitter rivals Newcastle, who had Cheick Tiote sent off.

Martin O’Neill’s men trailed to Yohan Cabaye’s early strike but pegged the Magpies back at the death as John O’Shea’s header deflected off an unfortunate Ba to send the ball past a bemused Tim Krul.

It was harsh on the visitors as they held on for more than an hour with 10-men after Tiote was harshly given his marching orders following a late challenge on Black Cats striker Steven Fletcher.

A point was the least Newcastle deserved for their organised defensive efforts, underpinned by the return of goalkeeper Tim Krul and captain Fabricio Coloccini to the back line for the first time since September.

And any nerves prior to kick off were allayed when Cabaye slotted home from just inside the area after Simon Mignolet pushed Ba’s low cross into his path. Sunderland struggled to gain a foothold in the game and barely troubled Pardew’s measured Magpies with Cabaye going close to doubling his tally with a long range free kick that was tipped over by Mignolet.

But Newcastle’s honeymoon period didn’t last long as Tiote, under pressure from Jack Colback, lost control of the ball and caught Fletcher high on the shin prompting referee Martin Atkinson to show him a straight red card, forcing Pardew to send James Perch on for Shola Ameobi soon after.

Sunderland controlled proceedings after the break but couldn’t break down their North East counterparts with Sebastian Larsson, James McClean and substitute Louis Saha all wasting good chances. But their pressure finally paid as Larsson floated a free kick into the area and O’Shea saw his header bounce into the net off Ba’s chest to salvage a draw.