Sam Allardyce secured his first win as Sunderland boss with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Newcastle United in the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light.
After Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat, Allardyce – who coached Newcastle for less than a year between 2007 and 2008 – is now the fourth consecutive Sunderland boss to record their maiden victory in the role against the club’s local rivals.
Newcastle dominated the opening period but found themselves behind in first-half stoppage time when Adam Johnson converted a penalty after Fabricio Coloccini saw red for a clumsy challenge.
Sunderland made the most of their extra man in the second half, adding a second when Billy Jones tapped home from inside the six-yard box.
The crossbar denied Johnson a second but Steven Fletcher got the third with a fine finish four minutes from time.
Sunderland consequently rise off the bottom of the Premier League table with a record sixth consecutive league victory over Newcastle.
Newcastle took just three minutes to force Costel Pantilimon into a save when the goalkeeper reacted quickly to parry Coloccini’s acrobatic volley from Aleksandar Mitrovic’s flick-on behind.
The Serbian striker went close himself nine minutes later, looping a header from Daryl Janmaat’s cross wide as Steve McClaren’s side continued to apply all the pressure.
Georginio Wijnaldum – scorer of four goals in Newcastle’s previous outing against Norwich City – was next to worry Pantilimon, but the keeper was equal to his low drive from 18 yards after a neat exchange of passes with Mitrovic.
Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback was denied by Pantilimon at his near post in the 26th minute and Mitrovic nudged narrowly wide from the resultant corner.
There was no let-up from Newcastle but Sunderland were handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when Coloccini barged Fletcher to ground in the box following a counter-attack.
The Argentine was shown a red card and Johnson slotted the subsequent penalty into the bottom right-hand corner before racing to the other end of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Newcastle fans.
Despite having a man fewer, McClaren’s side were denied an equaliser 10 minutes after the interval as Pantilimon raced off his line to block a shot from Mitrovic, the Serbian having cut inside of full-back DeAndre Yedlin.
Sunderland’s advantage was doubled in the 65th minute when Yann M’Vila’s superb volley from the left-hand side of the box was tapped into the net by Jones.
Pantilimon thwarted another Wijnaldum effort before Johnson was denied a second when his curling strike from 20 yards rattled the bar with 18 minutes remaining.
Newcastle fought for a way back into the game but their willingness to attack cost them dearly as Fletcher volleyed home from a lovely Younes Kaboul pass following a swift break in the 86th minute.
The victory was Sunderland’s first of the season, sending them above Aston Villa and Newcastle into 18th.
Key Opta stats:
– Sunderland have won the last six Tyne-Wear derbies in league competition; their best ever run against Newcastle United.
– Sam Allardyce has never lost his opening Premier League home game in charge of a club (W4 D1).
– This victory ended a run of 12 top-flight games without a win for the Black Cats (W0 D5 L7).
– Newcastle have managed to score just one goal in their last 627 minutes of football against Sunderland.
– Adam Johnson is now Sunderland’s joint top-scorer in Premier League derbies against Newcastle (4, level with Kevin Phillips).
– Newcastle United have picked up 10 red cards in the Premier League since the start of 2014-15, three more than any other side.
– Billy Jones netted only his second Premier League goal, after also scoring against Newcastle in April 2013.
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