‘SIX of the Best’ – Greatest Tyne and Wear Derbies

In light of the launch of the new football gaming phenomenon that is ‘Goaldash’ I decided to look at the six greatest Tyne/Wear derbies of recent times.

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This weekend sees Newcastle face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and the reinstallation of one of the greatest local rivalries in world football. As with all local rivalries there will certainly be some questionable tackles and an energetic style of play with the respective fans urging their side on to take bragging rights home. To mark this occasion, here are some of the top Tyne & Wear derbies that have taken place in recent memory.

Play Off Final 2nd Leg

In 1990 Newcastle and Sunderland faced each other in a tense encounter that saw Sunderland claim victory 2-0 in the second leg after a goalless draw in the first leg. During the match Newcastle fans invaded the pitch in order to protest their anger and try to get the match abandoned. Sunderland went onto lose the final 1-0 against Swindon Town but ended up being promoted regardless due to successful prosecutions against Swindon involving 36 breaches of League rules.

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Newcastle 1 – 2 Sunderland

1999 saw a memorable encounter due to the fact that Newcastle’s number 9 and all time great Alan Shearer was left on the bench by then manager Ruud Gullit. Newcastle took the lead through a Kieron Dyer goal, only to witness Sunderland enact a two goal comeback through Niall Quinn, now chairman, and Kevin Phillips. The loss resulted in Ruud Gullit being shown the door, culminating a poor managerial spell.

Newcastle 1 – Sunderland 2

A repeat score line of the previous seasons encounter saw Sunderland make it back to back wins to the dismay of Newcastle fans. Again Newcastle entered the lead through Gary Speed, but this was short lived with Don Hutchinson regaining the ground on their rivals. The eventual winner was scored by Niall Quinn popping up in this fixture again; he would go onto gift Newcastle a penalty but subsequently wipe the nervous look from his face when Alan Shearer’s spot kick was saved by Thomas Sorenson. This fixture seemed one of déjà vu, apart from the Shearer miss as he was usually clinical from the spot.

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Newcastle 3 – 2 Sunderland

In 2005 a five goal thriller was to be the result of an extremely engaging match. Shola Ameobi put Newcastle into the lead with a header only to see Liam Lawrence reply with a goal for Sunderland. Ameobi not to be outdone scored another header and yet this was equalled by Stephan Elliott. These goals came in the space of 8 minutes and the final word was to rest with Emre who curled the ball over the positioned Sunderland wall and earned a well contested three points for Newcastle.

Sunderland 1 – Newcastle 4

In what we would be Alan Shearer’s final game for the club, he retired in idiosyncratic style scoring a penalty and helping to claim a famous victory. It was Sunderland who took the lead this time in a role reversal with Justin Hoyte unable to miss. A revitalised Newcastle team won the second half convincingly with Michael Chopra scoring only minutes after being brought on. Hoyte turned villain by giving away a penalty which Shearer duly obliged in scoring, Charles N’Zogbia then made it 1-3 and Albert Luque compounded Sunderland’s misery by making it four goals three minutes from time. The above two games are compiled together in the video below.

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Sunderland 2 – Newcastle 1

Newcastle relinquished their 28-year unbeaten record on Wearside when suffering defeat in 2008. The eccentric Frenchman Djibril Cisse put the home side in front with a simple finish from eight yards out. Newcastle replied with Ameobi rising highest to meet a cross and head in, but the final goal was to be attributed to Sunderland and came from Kieran Richardson who rocketed home an unstoppable free-kick in the 75 minute.

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