Newcastle are 1-0 down at the interval after Sunderland’s Cisse got the all important first goal, when he beat a poor offside trap by Newcastle, and although Steve Harper blocked his first shot, the rebound was put into the net by the French striker without much trouble.
Before the game kicked off it was interesting to see who was doing all the talking in the huddle before the game, with Kevin Nolan taking charge of the team talk – probably best to make this lad captain right now.
And a shot of manager Joe Kinnear seems to show Joe has piled on the weight, probably due to the stress he’s under right now.
The teams got off to a good start and the first period of the game was fairly level but then Sunderland missed a gilt-edged chance to go ahead.
On 20 minutes Gutierrez gave a free kick away needlessly on the right, and Kieran Richardson’s curling free kick beat everybody, including goalkeeper Steve Harper, and rebounded off the far post and Cisse had a chance form just 7 yards out into a gaping goal but somehow Kevin Nolan amazingly kicked the ball off the line.
A huge let-off for Newcastle, whose defense looked all at sea, and didn’t look too much better during the first 45 minutes, if truth be told.
And then just 2 minutes later Enrique put in a good first time cross from the left, and Andy Carroll got in a good looping header which rebounded off the top of the cross-bar.
A great effort from Andy, who also looked so menacing in the first 45 minutes.
The onb 29 minutes Cisse had good shot from the inside right position, that keeper Harper did well to turn round the post for a corner, but Sunderland were slowly starting to get on top.
The on 33 minutes Cisse beat a poor Newcastle offside trap as he found himself clean through on goal.
Steve Harper came out and was able to block the shot, but the ball bounced kindly for the Frenchman, who rolled the ball into the empty net to put the visitors on top.
Ameobi was trying his best with Andy Carroll up front, but Shola looked a good yeard off the pace, having not played this year.
Maybe Joe should give Xisco a run-out in the second half.
Carroll was easily Newcastle’s best player in the first half with 22 year-old Bassong shoring things up continually at the back.
Then on 42 minutes Carroll had a good left foot shot, which whistled just wide of Fulop’s left hand post.
Newcastle came more into the game more after Sunderland scored but the visitors were the better side in the first half.
If the disaster of all disasters is to be avoided then Newcastle will need to play a lot better in the final 45 minutes of this game.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Sebastien Bassong, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Damien Duff, Andy Carroll, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Xisco, Geremi, Peter Lovenkrands, David Edgar, Kazenga LuaLua, Tim Krul, Ryan Donaldson
Sunderland: Marton Fulop, Phil Bardsley, George McCartney, Dean Whitehead (c), Carlos Edwards, Steed Malbranque, Djibril Cisse, Kieran Richardson, Danny Collins, Kenwyne Jones, Anton Ferdinand
Subs: Daryl Murphy, Michael Chopra, Grant Leadbitter, Dwight Yorke, Andy Reid, David Healy, Nick Colgan
Referee: Howard Webb