An 83rd-minute equaliser from Aleksandar Mitrovic earned Newcastle a 1-1 draw in an entertaining derby encounter with Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.
- Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1
- Defoe opens scoring
- End-to-end action
- M’Vila clears ball off the line
- Mitrovic scores late leveller
An enthralling encounter between Newcastle and Sunderland at St James’ Park began with the sides trading blows within the first 10 minutes of the match, though it took until a minute before half-time for Jermaine Defoe to break the deadlock.
Newcastle were the better side after the break but were unable to find an equalising goal until Mitrovic rose above the defense in the 83rd minute to break the Black Cats’ hearts and earn his side a point.
It was a frenetic start to proceedings between Sunderland and Newcastle at the St James’ Park and Defoe should have had the visitors in front inside the first five minutes after being brilliantly teed up by Fabio Borini, but he disappointingly blazed an easy chance over the bar.
The Magpies responded well and Andros Townsend went charging down the right wing in the seventh minute before squaring the ball for Mitrovic, but he also couldn’t keep his shot down.
The end-to-end action continued and Rob Elliot was forced to tip a Jack Rodwell header over the bar just two minutes later.
The Sunderland fans on the other end of the stadium were incorrectly celebrating a goal in the 19th minute when Defoe blasted the ball into the side netting, which the home faithful found rather amusing, deriding their rival’s fans for the error.
The action dropped off a bit in the second quarter as both sides found their shape, but the Black Cats looked the better of the two sides and grabbed the lead a minute before half time.
Wahbi Khazri found Borini on the edge of the box with a neat pass and though the striker’s powerful shot was well saved by a diving Elliot, the rebound fell to Defoe, who took a touch before slamming the ball home to give the away side a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Newcastle were desperately unlucky not to get back on level terms just three minutes after the half time interval. Mitrovic headed a corner towards the back post where Ayoze Perez was waiting and he had Vito Mannone beaten, but the ball was cleared off the line by Yann M’Vila.
The home side continued to push for an equaliser and had a two chances in quick succession around the 55-minute mark as first Mitrovic was denied by Mannone and then Sissoko wasted another chance from close range.
Sunderland hit back immediately and Elliot was forced into a brilliant diving save to deny a fierce Patrick van Aanholt shot in the 58th minute.
The sides continued to trade blows without creating too many more clear cut chances – until the 83rd minute when they seized on a foul throw from DeAndre Yedlin to launch a brisk counter attack that resulted in Georginio Wijnaldum lofting a delightful ball in for ever-dangerous Mitrovic at the back post, who rose above his marker to head his side level at 1-1.
Sam Allardyce is bound to be livid with Yedlin for needlessly conceding possession, effectively costing them two vital points in what is turning out to be a tight relegation battle – but you could see how much it meant to the Toon Army.
This Newcastle fan still a better tackler than Fellaini ??????????????? pic.twitter.com/hFctPHjUiT
— 90min (@90min_Football) March 20, 2016