Newcastle went a full 4 minutes into injury time, looking like they had secured another great win against Sunderland this afternoon, when they were deservedly ahead 1-0 -through a goal from Nolan after 52 minutes, until Gyan equalized to save the Sunderland blushes.
The game started at a blistering pace, and just like at Wigan, after just 2 minutes Shola Ameobi missed a glorious chance for Newcastle.
Ameobi was clean through on the Sunderland goal, and as Gordon came out, Shola poked it past the post – he wouldn’t get much a better chance than that – and it was bad miss by the local lad and Newcastle should have taken the lead very early in this game.
But then Bent went through for Sunderland after 6 minutes and only a great save by Steve Harper, whop blocked the shot with his foot, kept the scores level.
Newcastle started the game like a proverbial steam train and an early goal could well have lifted them and demoralized Sunderland but it was clear that both teams had shown up for this game – and it was a typical red hot Wear Tyne derby.
And after 11 minutes following a Newcastle corner, the ball fell to Coloccini and he seemed to have scored, but Richardson kicked the ball off the line for a corner.
So Newcastle had almost scored 2 goals in the first 11 minutes of the game, and it was clear the first goal was going to be all important.
It was clear what the Newcastle tactics were going to be, as they took every opportunity to put high balls into the Sunderland penalty area, even though Andy Carroll was not playing, and watching from the stands.
After 15 minutes Sunderland started to gain the upper hand, and Newcastle had to defend well with Steve Harper in particular looking strong in the Newcastle goal, as he saved well again by turning the ball around his right hand post.
After 35 minutes Alan Smith injured his ankle, as he immediately signaled he could no longer continue. Both Danny Guthrie and Dan Gosling warmed up, but rather surprisingly it was Danny Guthrie who got the nod from Alan Pardew, so we hoped Guthrie would do better than his appalling performance last out at WBA.
But this would also be a big chance for youngster, to show what he could do for Newcastle.
Towards the end of the first half, in which Joey Barton was yellow carded by World Cup Final referee Howard Webb, but Webb had kept a firm grip on the game and was not over-reacting to some of the tackles.
Newcastle came more into the game in the last 10 minutes but at half time, after a blistering first half the scores were still level at 0-0.
On 52 minutes, Newcastle went ahead and yes, it was from a Newcastle corner by Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan flicked the ball into the net for his 10th goal of the season and it was 1-0.
Newcastle had played this game very well, and were on top in that second half, but of course a 1-0 lead is always precarious, and a second goal is what Newcastle really wanted to kill the game.
But it didn’t come and Sunderland were not finished although Newcastle held onto their 1-0 advantage until the 90 minutes when referee signaled a full 5 minutes of added time.
And would you believe after 4 minutes Gyan scored the equalizer for Sunderland after Harper could only block a shot and the ball basically cannoned of Gyan, who didn’t know much about it.
Steve Harper who had otherwise played well, should have done better with the shot from Phil Bardsley, that allowed Gyan to snatch a point Sunderland hardly deserved.- but that sometimes is the run of the dice.
But it is like 2 points lost by Newcastle at the death, and a great chance to do the double over their rivals today.
It was a huge chance lost – and although a draw was a decent enough result – it wasn’t when the lads were one minute away from winning this game.
That last minute goal certainly saved the Sunderland fans’ blushes, and it deprived Newcastle from getting three successive league wins, for the second time this season..
But this Newcastle team played another great game today and all that was missing was the win, and unfortunately the Sunderland goal has to go down as a defensive mistake, and that will hardly please Alan Pardew.
Newcastle got the draw, but were again the better side, and it will seem a bit like a defeat having been so close to another win against Sunderland.
But nobody will dispute the fact that Newcastle were the better side in both the derby games this week – not even Sunderland fans – if they are honest.
Now to hammer Tottenham next Saturday.
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Sunderland: Gordon; Onuoha (Zenden, 76), Bramble, Ferdinand, Bardsley; Elmohamady (Colback, 89), Henderson, Richardson, Malbranque; Bent, Gyan.
Subs: Mgnolet, Angeleri, Da Silva, Riveros, Reid.
Newcastle: Harper; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Barton, Nolan, Smith (Guthrie, 36), Gutierrez, Gutierrez (Gosling, 90); Best (Lovenkrands, 89), Ameobi.
Subs: Krul, Routledge, Perch, Ranger.
Goals: Nolan 52, Gyan 90
Bookings: Barton 36, Richardson 36
Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)
Attendance: 47,864 – sell out