Newcastle started the game quickly as you’d expect from the home side in a derby and they had the first chance of the game on 13 mins through Sissoko. A neat one-two exchange got Sissoko in behind Vergini but his shot was a tame one as Pantilimon saved easily.
Cheap fouls in the middle of the park hindered either side of creating any attacking momentum, however it was from a foul were Sunderland should have taken the lead. A free kick out on the right was whipped in to the back post were the ball was met by Connor Wickham but he couldn’t get enough on his header with the goal at his mercy.
Sunderland were in the ascendency now after seeing out some early Newcastle possession and could’ve opened the scoring on 26 mins. Seb Larsson played the ball over the top to Fletcher who beat the offside trap but he saw his first time effort clip the bar.
Three minutes later another chance for Wickham after he created space and drove in from the left but his powerful effort was palmed away by Alnwick.
Newcastle were being limited in attack by a strong Sunderland midfield but they created a half chance on 35 mins through Ayoze Perez. He picked the ball up and with nobody up in support he tried to curl one into the far corner but his effort curled wide of the post.
Wickham had another chance on 37 mins as Sunderland were upping the pressure. Johnson created the space for Vergini on the right with Vergini crossing to an unmarked Wickham whose header wasn’t powerful enough to beat Alnwick.
Wickham continued to feature in the play for Sunderland, and he was unlucky with a long range effort on 42 mins as he saw his curling shot go wide of the post.
Sunderland started the second half well and were denied the opening goal by Steven Taylor’s header off the line as Fletcher was about to head home at the back post after Wickham’s cross.
Sunderland undoubtedly should have broken the deadlock on 53 mins after a quick counter attack. Gomez set off and passed to Fletcher who ran into the box and laid the ball on a plate for Gomez but he scuffed his shot from twelve yards.
Newcastle had their best chance of the game on 63 mins through Perez. Sunderland failed to clear a Newcastle attack and with the Black Cats defenders scrambling, the ball was played back to Perez whose shot looked destined for the top corner before Pantilimon made a fantastic save.
Newcastle were now having their best period of pressure and had another chance on 72 mins, this time it was Armstrong who broke the offside trap but his effort was a weak one as he was fed through on goal.
A swift counter attack by Sunderland saw another golden chance for the Black Cats spurned on 76 mins. Wickham broke from inside the Newcastle half and he fed Johnson who cut in from the right but his effort didn’t curl in enough to find the net.
Sunderland’s deserved winner came on 90 mins from a counter attack led by Johnson. He fed the ball out to Fletcher who played the ball back in to Buckley, he set up Johnson who smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
The game could’ve further been out of sight as another Sunderland counter attack saw Larsson bear down on goal, he rounded Alnwick but his shot hit the side netting.
Newcastle (4-3-3): Alnwick, Janmaat, Coloccini (c), S Taylor, Dummett, Sissoko, Colback, Tiote (Cisse 75’), Gouffran (Armstrong 58’), Perez, Ameobi (Cabella 88’).
Subs: Woodman, Williamson, Haidara, Cabella, Riviere, Armstrong, Cisse.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Vergini, Coates, O'Shea (c), Brown, Cattermole (Bridcutt 70’), Larsson (Rodwell 94’), Gomez, Johnson, Wickham (Buckley 80’), Fletcher.
Subs: Mannone, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Alvarez, Buckley, Altidore.
Goals: Johnson (90’)