Sunderland - Fabio Borini's stunning late winner lifted Sunderland off the
bottom of the table as they earned a first Premier League win for six months by
inflicting a 2-1 Tyne-Wear derby defeat on Newcastle at the Stadium of Light on
Borini, a second-half substitute, etched his name into Wearside folklore
with a memorable 84th-minute strike, finding the top corner right-footed from
18 yards after neat build-up play from Jack Colback and Jozy Altidore.
The contest seemed destined for a draw after Mathieu Debuchy cancelled out
an early deadlock-breaking goal from Steven Fletcher. Borini, however, had
other ideas, the Italian international forward opening his account in memorable
style following his summer arrival on a season's loan from Liverpool.
Victory, Sunderland's first in 13 attempts in the league, lifted them above
Crystal Palace at the bottom as they marked new head coach Gus Poyet's first
home game in charge with a vital three points to give them hope of avoiding
It also continued Poyet's impressive record against Newcastle, the Uruguayan
now having won 10 of his 17 games as a player and manager against the Tyneside
Sunderland looked like they would be made to pay for failing to exploit
their dominance before the break, when they could have gone into the interval
with at least a two-goal advantage.
Newcastle were allowed to regroup, and levelled shortly before the hour with
a goal which Sunderland will reflect upon with little satisfaction.
Hatem Ben Arfa's driven cross-shot from the left should have been cleared,
but Adam Johnson, the England international, failed to react, allowing Debuchy
to bundle the ball home from close range at the far post for his first goal
since a £5.5mmove from Lille in January.
However, Borini's dramatic late intervention changed the complexion of the
game, easing the pressure on Sunderland owner Ellis Short, who for the first
time admitted responsibility for the mess left by the sacking of Paolo Di
Canio, dismissed after fewer than six months as manager of the Black Cats.
In his programme notes, Short confessed: "The club has been in turmoil
as a result of the change in head coach so early in the season and I have to
take the blame for that. Clearly at least one of the decisions I made over the
last several months was the wrong one."
The billionaire US businessman's mood was soon lifted, however, as
Sunderland took a fifth-minute lead. Newcastle were caught out by a short
corner as Johnson exchanged passes with Seb Larsson to send over a cross that
was headed in at the far post from close range by the lurking Fletcher.
Sunderland's Scotland international easily out-jumped his marker Paul Dummett,
the 22-year-old Welshman making his full Premier League debut as Newcastle's
injured first-choice centre-backs Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor looked
on from the stands.
Tim Krul saved well low to his right from Fletcher after the forward latched
onto a flick from Altidore to fire in a low shot from 20 yards, but despite
their dominance of possession, Poyet's side failed to carve out many clear
They were almost made to pay, as Newcastle fashioned enough chances to win
it themselves after Debuchy's unexpected contribution, with Yohan Cabaye and
substitute Shola Ameobi both going close from long range.
But just as it looked like both sides would settle for a point, Borini
produced a sublime finish worthy of winning any contest with a goal that
guarantees that whatever path his future takes at the Stadium of Light, the
22-year-old will long be remembered on Wearside.