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Player Ratings: Sunderland 1-0 Newcastle United

Right, let's talk degrees of class.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Costel Pantilimon 8

Not much to do - one shot to save if you were counting - but a solid commanding influence at the back.

Billy Jones 8

Ran his legs off and really helped contribute to the energetic performance.

Santiago Vergini - 8

Huge tackle in the seventh minute and never put a foot wrong all afternoon.

John O'Shea - 8

Did what O'Shea does. Very steady and never looked in trouble.

Patrick van Aanholt - 9

Massive presence down the left with Newcastle utterly unable to contain him. Much more like it from the Dutchman.

Lee Cattermole - 8

Gave the team it's heartbeat back.

Jordi Gomez - 9

Best game in a Sunderland shirt by some way. Drew fouls and gave the midfield some real moments of calm.

Seb Larsson - 8

Very good. Not as good as he can be though and could have easily scored a couple goals.

Connor Wickham - 8

Sometimes good, sometimes sloppy. Influential though and a big handful.

Steven Fletcher - 9

Held it up brilliantly, won long ball after long ball, and some of his movement off the ball was brilliant.

Jermain Defoe - 10

Even if his goal was his only touch, he'd still get a ten. That's how good it was.

Adam Johnson (Sub) - 6

Didn't have time to do much but held the ball very cleverly in the dying stages as those around him tired.

Man of the Match: Jermain Defoe

He wasn't the best player on the pitch, but his goal out of absolutely nothing won the game. It was worthy of winning a game. It was worthy of winning a derby. It was worthy of making it five in a row. And it was worthy of man of the match.

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