Just 10 miles apart, one of the longest-running and still fiercely competitive local rivalries in football stems from the Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle and Sunderland, which is this weekend’s prime Premier League fixture.
The tie is often overlooked to those not from the North East of England, while those involved in the emotion and the passion that runs deep will know all too well what a day in the calendar the Tyne-Wear derby is.
The first meeting of the two sides took place in 1883, and support can be heard at its loudest inside St James’ Park or the Stadium of Light when their neighbours head the opposite way.
The stats appear equally as exciting, as Newcastle narrowly lead on 53 wins compared to Sunderland’s 50 overall, 49 further matches ending as draws.
The bookmakers have proved undecided on a result it seems thus far, BetVictor’s 10/3 for Sunderland to win appearing a far greater tip than the best 19/20 with Bet365 for in-form Newcastle to come through with a home win. A draw appears most favourable, 5/2 among many including Coral, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
Sunderland infamously did the double on their great rivals last season, making it three on the spin for the Black Cats as Sky Sports show the latest clash this Sunday 21 December live at 1.30pm.
With that in mind, Freebets look back at a few classic matches from down the years between the Magpies and Black Cats…
Newcastle 1-2 Sunderland (25 August 1999)
We open with a significant derby from the Premier League for several reasons, most notably being that Ruud Gullit oversaw his final match as Newcastle manager on a rain-sodden August evening at St James’ Park.
The controversy started even before kick-off, as under pressure Newcastle manager Gullit left Newcastle superstar Alan Shearer out of the starting 11 in favour of youngster Paul Robinson.
The striker watched on mightily unimpressed, although the Magpies started out the brightest and netted the initial goal after the half-hour mark when Kieron Dyer lifted the ball over Thomas Sørensen in the Sunderland goal.
Sunderland grew into the game and eventually drew level when poor Newcastle defending allowed Niall Quinn to head home a free kick after leaving his marker behind.
The visitors then took the lead with 15 minutes to go as Tommy Wright denied Kevin Phillips from close range, before the ball fell back to the striker at a difficult angle that proved no problem as Phillips sensationally lifted the ball over the keeper to seal the triumph.
Sunderland celebrated a huge win while the result proved to be a blessing in very damp disguise for Newcastle over the long-term, Gullit’s sacking not long later seeing Sir Bobby Rosbon take charge and rejuvinate the Toon Army.
Sunderland 1-4 Newcastle (17 April 2006)
The 2006 drubbing at the Stadium of Light by Newcastle added more disaster to Sunderland’s already relegation-bound season, but saw Geordie icon Alan Shearer net the final Premier League goal of his record 260 tally against his great rivals no less.
The match did not start too brightly for the visitors however as The Black Cats went ahead through Justin Hoyte’s close-range finish after Dean Whitehead cut the ball back in his direction, earning a first-half lead for the side that claimed just three wins all season in the league.
The restart saw a collapse however for Kevin Ball’s side, where a manic 65s period saw Newcastle go in front. Substitute Michael Chopra netted instantly upon appearing as he tapped in after being put clear by Steven Caldwell’s reckless decision to leave an aimless long ball heading into the box.
Goalscorer Hoyte then went from hero to villain when he fouled Charles N’Zogbia in the penalty box, converted by Shearer from the spot in typical fashion. However, Shearer went off shortly after with an injury which, ultimately, brought his scheduled retirement three games earlier than planned.
N’Zogbia made it 3-1 just five minutes later to compound Sunerland’s woes, sliding home from 12 yards before Albert Luque slotted home low past Kelvin Davis to seal the deal four minutes from the whistle.
Sunderland 2-1 Newcastle (25 October 2008)
When Joe Kinnear was manager of the Toon in 2008, Sunderland beat Newcastle for the first time in eight years thanks to a superb winning effort.
A fiery, but evenly-matched contest at the Stadium of Light saw Djibril Cisse open the scoring just before the 20th minute to put Sunderland ahead, steering in Steed Malbranque’s cross from the far post after a fine delivery.
Shola Ameobi brought the visitors back into the game 10 minutes later with a powerful header from Geremi’s inviting free-kick from the left flank, the game soon fizzling out as both sides hunted for a winner.
That winner did arrive, and in fine style as Kieran Richardson hit a ferocious 18-yard free kick on the 74th minute after Nicky Butt had fouled El-Hadji Diouf in a dangerous position.
Victory was Sunderland’s and, as the final whistle was heard, jubilant fans started pouring onto the pitch to celebrate a great day for Roy Keane’s men.
Newcastle 5-1 Sunderland (31 October 2010)
It was a Halloween nightmare for the visiting Black Cats at the end of October 2010, as promoted Newcastle United thumped their great rivals in the return of the Tyne and Wear derby in the famous “5-1” at St James’ Park.
The home side looked in total control of their destiny almost from the first minute, a brilliant hat-trick from Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan coupled with a brace from an inspired Shola Ameobi making it hard to believe why Chris Hughton’s managerial role was under scrutiny.
Following a series of fouls and tumbles from both sides, Newcastle’s persistence finally paid off when Joey Barton’s cross was brought down by Mike Williamson and landed perfectly for Nolan’s acrobatic overhead kick to gift the home side the lead after 25 minutes.
A tactical meltdown for Steven Bruce was compounded by a second after the persistent Andy Carroll’s scissor-kick landed directly in place for the just onside Nolan to slot home, although home fans looked puzzled when it was Ameobi who took the third from the penalty spot instead of the hat-trick bound forward after Nedum Onuoha’s clumsy tackle brought Jonas Gutierrez down in the box.
3-0 up at half-time, things shone even brighter on the restart when Carroll’s break for glory down the wing was ended abruptly by Titus Bramble’s desperate slide-in, the ex-Newcastle player shown a straight red and trudged off to a chorus of boos from the home fans.
Newcastle took advantage further and Danny Simpson reached Carroll who saw a bullet header rebound off the bar, landing to Ameobi who drilled a sensational volley past Simon Mignolet for the fourth. Moments later, Nolan was Chicken dancing his way to the corner flag for a third time as a second corner bounced off the head of Carroll straight to Nolan to head home a fifth goal and complete a memorable treble for the Newcastle captain.
Darren Bent’s simple late consolation goal was stark at the least, greeted with greater applause from the home fans than Sunderland supporters who had suffered a Halloween harrowing.
Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland (4 March 2012)
The wet winter affair at St James’ Park in 2012 was as ill-tempered as you would expect with Sunderland eager to stop the rott against Newcastle, the game producing a near touchline bust-up between managers, two red cards and a thrilling contest between the two in front of 52,388 fans.
Sunderland’s kryptonite in the derby was often Shola Ameobi it seemed, this another game where the loyal Nigerian broke Sunderland hearts by denying them with a late equaliser in stoppage time.
(YouTube credit: Welzyyy)
It took just two minutes for Lee Cattermole to pick up the first of what would be eight yellow cards shown in the match by referee Mike Dean, who had the first say in the scoreline after awarding a penalty in the 24th minute against Newcastle’s Mike Williamson for pulling on Michael Turner’s shirt during a free-kick, Nicklas Bendtner stepping up to beat Tim Krul and hand Sunderland the lead.
A bewlidered Newcastle could not find a way back in as tempers continued to show, James McLean and Danny Simpson almost coming to blows before the scenes threatened the turn even uglier when managers Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill had to be kept apart on the touchline.
Sunderland on the restart were reduced to 10 as Stephane Sessegnon was sent on the long walk for a raised elbow on Cheick Tiote, the home side revitalising suddenly. A feisty Hatem Ben Arfa ran riot and was kept out by Simon Mingolet, who then became a hero by saving Demba Ba’s weak late penalty after Ameobi was tripped by fellow substitute Fraizer Campbell.
Newcastle continued their attack, whereafter substitute Ameobi popped up to poke home an almost inevitable 91st-minute leveller to stop the blushes for the Magpies with his seventh goal in 12 games against Sunderland.
Cattermole was then shown red after the whistle for unsavoury language, capping off a stormy Tyne-Wear derby where both shared the spoils.
Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland (14 April 2013)
Sunderland needed a win in the fixture fairly sharpishly, but also to end a barren slump of nine games without a win in the league as relegation worries had been put on red alert and manager Martin O’Neill had been sacked in place of the flamboyant – if not controversial – Paolo Di Canio.
The Italian however masterminded Sunderland’s first victory at St James’ Park in 13 years to drag the pressure onto the home side in the league dice for survival that season, his knee-sliding celebrations illustrating a huge derby win for the Black Cats.
(YouTube video: SAFC Compilations)
Sunderland had a pair of penalty shouts in the opening exchanges before the deadlock was eventually broken after 27 minutes when Stephane Sessegnon picked up Jonas Gutierrez’s loose ball, subsequently driving through the faultering defence and squeezing a shot past Tim Krul to put the visitors ahead.
The deafening atmosphere in Newcastle was silenced, drowned out by an ecstatic Di Canio sprinting down the touchline, while Sunderland stopper Simon Mignolet twice denied the mercurial Papiss Cisse as the hosts fought for an equaliser.
Instead it got worse, as substitute goalkeeper Rob Elliot could do very little to stop a delightful curling shot by Adam Johnson from towering into the top corner to double Sunderland’s lead after 74 minutes, before the killer blow came from substitute David Vaughan who launched another sublime effort into the top corner with eight minutes left.
Victory was assured and Sunderland had stopped their woes as the season reached its final stages, one of the shining moments of glory in Di Canio’s brief reign in charge.