As is usually the case, Sunderland started very brightly. Clearly looking the more energetic side, epitomised with Seb Larsson busting a gut to whip in a dangerous cross after just four minutes. That yielded a corner, from which Sunderland took full advantage, and the lead.
Adam Johnson played the ball short to Larsson who in turn gave him it back. From the edge of the area the Easington-born winger stood the ball up to the back post, crying out to be attacked. It was, and Steven Fletcher rose above Paul Dummett to score from close range and send the home fans into dreamworld.
Fletcher was at the heart of some heated exchanges with Yohan Cabaye in midfield. With the Frenchman sitting in front of the Newcastle defence and Fletcher sitting off Jozy Altidore.
Cabaye drew the visitors only chance of note in the first fifteen minutes, ballooning one over from distance, with Hatem Ben Arfa's strike from similar distance two minutes later even worse. Sunderland were dominant during the first phase of action, and good value for the lead.
The visitors shifted information to make Loic Remy the man through the centre and it allowed them to get a little bit more into the game as things began to level off.
Cabaye twice put pressure on the Sunderland goal. The first a low freekick had Keiren Westwood scrambling and recovering at the second attempt while when he directed a shot at the other bottom corner the adopted Irishman barely broke sweat.
The best chance they could create in the opening half hour came when following some decent possession a ball chipped to the back post saw an unmarked Moussa Sissoko ghost in completely unmarked, but thankfully, perhaps taken aback by the situation he found himself in, did nothing with what was a great chance.
Speak of great chances Sunderland weren't just allowing Newcastle to knock it about and take pot-shots. They fashioned their own chances, and could well have made it 2-0.
Steven Fletcher and Jozy Altidore linked up superbly to create a shooting opportunity for Fletcher from the edge of the area, parried by Tim Krul and with Paul Dummett at sixes and sevens, Altidore nearly stole in to slot one home but the defender just managed to force him wide enough to put it out for a goal kick.
Handbags-Watch, which earlier starred Fletcher and Cabaye shifted focus to Cheik Tiote and Seb Larsson where when Larsson had fouled Tiote, the Ivorian threw the first bag in the Swede's direction. Neither were booked.
Some sloppiness for five or so minutes by Sunderland allowed Newcastle to win some corners and generally keep the pressure on but still they couldn't find a way past what on paper was a very, very poor back four. Not that they were playing like it in the first half, to a man they were superb.
The opening ten minutes of the second half were drastically different to the first half. Neither team appeared to want to get overly stuck into things, which in a way played right into Sunderland's hands what with already holding the lead.
One player who did manage to put himself about in this period though was Jozy Altidore, who did very well to win possession back for Sunderland 30-yards from the Newcastle goal before eventually being fouled by Dummett. Referee Lee Probert played on and allowed Fletcher to have a shot blocked.
You could argue in at least five of Sunderland's eight games to this point they were the better side in the first half before hitting self-destruct in the second half and capitulating. This looked as though it might be the case when the visitors equalised.
Approaching the hour Mathieu Debuchy found himself with absurdly in acres of space inside the area to slot the ball in from about 5-yards. A slow, possibly mis-hit cross-come-shot from Ben Arfa trickled across goal, with nobody at all doing anything about it or taking responsibility for clearing. Not one to look the gift-horse in the mouth, nor punch it, Debuchy tapped in to level things up.
In response Seb Larsson curled a strike well over the bar from 25-yards out, while substitute Fabio Borini nearly got lucky when his shot straight at Tim Krul, almost slipped through the Dutchman's legs and into the back of the net.
Newcastle were certainly on top though as the final fifteen minutes approached, and looked much more threatening, particularly as Cabaye was starting to actually test Westwood with one of his many, many shots from well outside the area.
The continued to press on. Sunderland continued by hook and crook to keep them at bay. Davide Santon shot low and wide from around 20-yards out. Shola Ameobi did exactly the same a few minutes later. Things didn't really seem to be going Sunderland's way you felt. But football has a funny way of surprising you from time to time.
Sunderland were presented with a glorious chance when Altidore won himself a freekick on the edge of the area. With Larsson, Fletcher and Altidore all over it, chances were certainly fancied of it flying into the net. It wasn't to be however as Fletcher sent it straight into the wall, and what you felt might be our best chance as time dwindled away, was gone.
A quick freekick in our own half caught the visitors off-guard. The ball moved forward quickly by Ki to Colback and in turn to Altidore who sat the ball up for Fabio Borini to latch on to and hit a screamer from the edge of the area beyond a helpless Tim Krul and into the top corner. An incredible moment for the young Italian.
Sunderland saw out time well, holding on resolutely and playing out the dying minutes in the Newcastle half. On a thump forward John O'Shea nearly lobbed Westwood for a spectacular own goal, however that was as much as Newcastle could muster with the wind knocked well and truly out of them.
The full-time whistle sounded. Sunderland goes wild. And without doubt it was completely deserved. Each and every single player, Phil Bardsley included, rammed the words of writers like myself back down our throats.
I think I speak for everyone here when I say I've never been happier for that to happen.
We should enjoy the day and night, however not let any of this superb work to be undone at Hull City Tigers next week.
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