Great Rivalries: Newcastle v Sunderland

The rivalry between Newcastle and Sunderland is, undoubtedly, one of the most hotly contested in English history. Stretching back to the 1600s, the cities of Newcastle and Sunderland have always endured a heated rivalry, with contests stretching far beyond the confines of a football pitch.

The two cities aligned with different sides for the first time during the English Civil War, and whilst Sunderland won on that occasion, their battles on the pitch have been equally as competitive since their first meeting in 1883.

Over the years the two sides have been in different divisions and involved at different positions in the English Football League, though meetings between the clubs are always well fought and competitive.

In recent years, with both sides struggling near the bottom of the table, fixtures have been particularly interesting – with games between the pair often having a defining impact in the context of their respective seasons. Sunderland have had the upper hand in recent fixtures, but that hasn’t always been the case.

The North East is renowned for its passionate supporters, with both Sunderland and Newcastle regularly seeing around 50,000 supporters packed into their respective stadiums cheering on their teams on any given Saturday.

Visit Britain are looking to find the biggest Super Football Fan in the world, and to be honest, there will be a fair few to choose from in this particular part of England.

Whilst you contemplate whether you feel you have what it takes to be considered, we have showcased five of the best Tyne-Wear derbies in recent memory…

Newcastle 3-1 Sunderland, January 1985

This game arguably sums up the nature of ties between the two sides better than any other.

Sunderland, who were struggling to keep up with Newcastle’s rampant forward Peter Beardsley, ended the game with just 9 players – having had two players sent off.

Beardsley bagged a hat-trick to seal the points for the Magpies, with Sunderland ending the season in the relegation zone.
This is a game that is still fondly remembered whenever the sides meet at St James’ Park.

Sunderland 1-4 Newcastle, April 2006

A poor first half display from Newcastle saw the Magpies go in 1-0 down, but an impressive turnaround in the second-half brought the three points back to the other side of town.

Goals from Michael Chopra, Alan Shearer, Albert Luque and Charles N’Zogbia sealed the points for Glenn Roeder’s side.

The game was a particularly significant one for Newcastle, given that it was the final time that Alan Shearer was seen on the pitch for the Magpies. A fitting end to a magnificent career, it was classic Shearer to finish his career how he had spent much of it – by putting the ball into the back of the net.

Sunderland 2-1, October 2008

Whilst the 2006 clash was significant for the Magpies, the clash between the pair in 2008 at the Stadium of Light proved to be a turning point for the Black Cats.

Goals from Kieran Richardson and Djibril Cisse would seal a famous win for Roy Keane’s side, with the win coming after 8 years of failure in the contest. Perhaps more significantly, it was also the first home win for the Black Cats in 28 years, signalling how important the game was in the context of the rivalry.

The game also played a part in Newcastle’s relegation at the end of the season, which was certainly an extra bonus for Sunderland.

Newcastle 5 – 1 Sunderland, October 2010

Possibly the most one-sided victory in the game in recent memory.

Newcastle were struggling under Chris Hughton in the lead up to the game, but his side were able to put aside those jitters and win against their old rivals in emphatic fashion.

The game was put beyond doubt even before the end of the first-half, with two more goals coming after the break to add a bit of extra shine to the Magpies’ finesse.

The game was a bit of an anomaly for the Magpies, with the side struggling in the Premier League, with Hughton’s tenure culminating just a few months later.

Newcastle 0 – 3 Sunderland, April 2013

The clash between the sides in April 2013 was, arguably, the most significant in recent memory.

Both sides were not in the best run of form leading into the game, with relegation a very real possibility – with Sunderland, in particular, struggling.

Paolo Di Canto was the man charged with keeping Sunderland in the Premier League, and he duly came through with a stunning display of managerial prowess in what was his second game in charge of the Black Cats.

What followed was a masterclass from the Italian, with his passion and determination rubbing off on a group of players that had seriously struggled in the lead to the clash. A dominant 3-0 victory was the end result, with the game proving vital as the Black Cats escaped relegation.

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Article title: Great Rivalries: Newcastle v Sunderland

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