Sunderland ruined Newcastle's Christmas by snatching a fourth successive victory over the Magpies - and a third straight win at St James' Park.
Alan Pardew's team were reeling after back-to-back hammerings at Arsenal and Tottenham, and were desperate for a derby win to help get their season back on track. The Magpies started brightly, but sturggled to create clear chances. The best of the first half then fell to Sunderland's Connor Wickham, who headed wide after rookie Toon keeper Jak Alnwick flapped at a cross.
Newcastle cranked up the pressure in the second half, with Black Cats keeper Costel Pantilimon on fine form between the sticks to deny the hosts, making 7 saves. Yet, as the match wore on, Sunderland started to carve themselves a few good openings on the counter-attack, and with 89 minutes on the clock, Adam Johnson broke from his own half, sprayed the ball to Seb Larsson, who crossed for Will Buckley too tee-up Johnson for the winner.
- Sunderland are unbeaten in their last 6 Premier League games against Newcastle (won 4, drawn 2), winning the last 4.
- Newcastle are without a win in 4 games against Sunderland at St James Park (drawn 1, lost 3).
- The Black Cats have won 4 successive league derbies against Newcastle for the first time in their history.
- Lee Cattermole has been shown more yellow cards than any other Premier League player this season (8). It was also his 70th yellow card in the PL – moving him level with Dennis Wise, Mark Hughes and Jamie Carragher.
- Indeed, Cattermole is the only player with fewer than 250 Premier League appearances to reach 70 yellow cards.
- Sunderland have picked up more yellow cards than any other Premier League side this season (41).
- Newcastle are the only Premier League side yet to score in the opening 30 minutes this season.
- Adam Johnson has scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist in his last 4 Premier League appearances against Newcastle.
- Sunderland have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 6 Premier League matches, this after conceding in each of the previous 5.
- Sunderland have a goal difference of -9, with 8 of those goals came away at Southampton.
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