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Only The Scoreline Counts

Sick of the derby day banter yet? Obviously not, here's some thoughts a few days on...

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A few days on and it still feels great doesn't it? We should all be used to beating Newcastle by now but that record breaking sixth win in a row, yes six, seems all the more sweet given the torrid first half performance by Sunderland.  The quality of football on display by the Black Cats during that period was frankly abject but it served to only exacerbate the bewilderment of the Newcastle supporters when the penalty was correctly awarded.  A sea of red and white support all turned en masse to look on as 3000 perplexed away fans fell silent and it's a sight that won't be quickly forgotten.

Yes, the red card was a little more contentious and yes it's since been rescinded but even well respected pundits in the game had opposing views on the matter post match.  This goes to demonstrate even with the benefit of video replays so-called experts couldn't agree, never mind a referee watching in real time.  (It's also probably relevant to declare at this stage a lack of concern around whether the decision was correct or not!)

In any event, all this talk of statistics, shots on goal and percentage of possession by the crestfallen Newcastle supporters means absolutely nothing does it?  It's something you cling to desperately when you literally have nothing else - small morsels of pointlessness.  The only stat that anyone should ever concern themself with in football is the number of goals scored.  That lot up the road wouldn't have it any other way if the shoe was on the other foot, of that there can be no doubt. The Magpies couldn't get the job done on the day and quite simply we could.  If anything, we can be thankful that the referee's decision making didn't further negatively impact upon us anymore than it already did.  We certainly didn't get any judgements in our favour for the majority of the match save for the penalty, which was correct and the sending off which was a 50/50 call.

Given the vitriolic loathing that now unfortunately exists between some Sunderland and Newcastle supporters, the build up to the day and the fallout, which subsequently follows, is becoming increasingly more feverish as the years go by.  That part of the occasion is bordering on being tiresome and is the only part of the event best forgotten.  If we're honest it isn't a pleasurable experience for anyone, especially since some quarters seem fixated on bringing irrelevant and ludicrously inappropriate accusations into the fore.  There are far more likenesses between us than most would like to acknowledge. Unfortunately the enemy lines both sides have collectively chalked around the region only serve to jettison us further away from the epicentre of football as we turn more savagely on each other. While there should be banter - always banter - it's worth recognising that there should be a degree of respect for our local neighbours and some boundaries that should not be crossed.

Still, six in a row eh?

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