Passionately fought derby ends amid late drama

Simon Mignolet was a few minutes away from becoming a Sunderland legend last Sunday but the goalkeeper’s penalty save could only temporarily maintain the visitors’ 1-0 lead from the first half. Voted man-of-the-match by Black Cats supporters after he had denied Demba Ba from the penalty spot, Mignolet was eventually beaten by Newcastle substitute Shola Ameobi in the final minute of the derby.

The fierce nature of the contest spilled from the pitch to the two managers on the touchline at times as Sunderland were reduced to ten players for the final half an hour following Stephane Sessegnon’s dismissal for a swung elbow at an opponent in full view of referee Mike Dean. And after the final whistle Dean showed Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole the second red card of the afternoon.

With Sessegnon and Cattermole set to miss a total of seven games between them, their manager Martin O’Neill said he felt the home side could consider themselves fortunate to come away with a full compliment of players. O’Neill praised his team’s performance without condoning the actions of either of his red carded players. He said, “The players were intent on not letting anybody down, particularly the supporters, and I think they did that admirably today.”


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