Fabio Borini’s blistering 18-yard shot six minutes from time saw the Black Cats to a first league win of the season, following seven defeats and a draw, after Steven Fletcher’s fifth-minute header had given them the lead.
Victory gave Sunderland manager Gus Poyet a win in his first game in charge at the Stadium of Light, since replacing Paolo di Canio, but was not good enough to lift the Black Cats out of the bottom three.
Fans of the Wearside club will need no reminding that one of di Canio’s few successes during his tempestuous time in charge was a derby win over Newcastle but this result at least gave Sunderland hope of avoiding the drop.
And Poyet, who has now won 10 of his 17 matches against Newcastle as both player and manager, said it could change the course of Sunderland’s season. “Everything is big today,” said Poyet. “It’s a first win against our biggest rivals in our (his) first home game.
The fans are going to be delighted and the players will be relieved. We needed this. When I saw four minutes added time, I nearly had a heart attack. Nothing is going to be easy.
“(The introduction of Borini) was a moment when we needed to take risk. What a goal, the stadium nearly came down. For teams in our situation, when you concede a goal the players would hold for a result. We were talking in the week about not stopping. Conceding goals happens, I’m still looking for a clean sheet.”