Sunderland earned their first Premier League win of the season as Steven Fletcher struck early and sub Fabio Borini netted late to sink neighbours Newcastle United. The visitors had levelled during the second half through Mathieu Debuchy’s first goal in English football.
Black Cats boss Gus Poyet made four changes after Swansea put four past his team in his first game in charge. Wingback Andrea Dossena, on loan from Napoli, finally made his debut. Carlos Cuellar also came into defence.
Jack Colback and Jozy Altidore were named in the XI too. That meant Ondrej Celustka, Craig Gardner, Emanuele Giaccherini and Valentin Roberge all dropped to the bench. Lee Cattermole and Phil Bardsley were back in the fold under the new coach.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew made a single enforced alteration after ten men held Liverpool last time out. Academy product Paul Dummett made his full debut at centre back with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa suspended. Hatem Ben Arfa continued to lead a three-pronged attack.
Sunderland took just five minutes to exploit young defender Dummett as Newcastle were undone from a short corner. Adam Johnson got the ball back from Sebastian Larsson, crossed with his weaker foot and Fletcher rose highest to head home.
United were reduced to long range attempts from Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa that hardly troubled Keiren Westwood in response. Black Cats front pair Altidore and Fletcher then combined as the American knocked down for the Scot, but Tim Krul kept his volley out.
A succession of Magpies corners followed and these resembled scrums rather than set piece soccer. Newcastle, who changed formation, never really penetrated their hosts in the first half despite a growing slice of possession as it wore on.
Pardew brought on Papiss Cisse at the break with the anonymous Moussa Sissoko coming off. United continued to press for an equaliser and had it before the hour as Debuchy turned in a low Ben Arfa ball at the back post.
Concentration in Sunderland ranks slipped just briefly here as Adam Johnson let the French fullback continue his run and they were pegged back. Cabaye then curled wide as Newcastle chased completing the turnaround.
Poyet threw on Borini for the final quarter and his first involvement saw the Italian forward draw a low stop from Krul. The Magpies keeper got lucky as he almost spilled this effort into his own net.
Davide Santon and Shola Ameobi fired wide for the visitors, yet they succumbed to a late winner. A quickly taken Black Cats free kick allowed Colback to drive forward and Altidore to lay the ball off to Borini. Krul simply couldn’t get enough on his rocket of a shot and the crowd erupted.
Sunderland survived a scare when skipper John O’Shea almost headed into his own net, but Westwood plucked the ball out of the air. Bragging rights in the Northeast stay with Mackems as they climb a place, consigning Crystal Palace to the basement.
There seems a new togetherness about the Black Cats, particularly present during goal celebrations. Poyet repeats what predecessor Paolo Di Canio did in his second match in charge. Pressure could once again increase on Pardew meanwhile.
- Sunderland: 20 Keiren Westwood, 2 Phil Bardsley (12 Ondrej Celustka 77’), 24 Carlos Cuellar, 16 John O’Shea (c), 3 Andrea Dossena, 7 Sebastian Larsson, 33 Lee Cattermole (4 Ki Sung-Yueng 70’), 14 Jack Colback, 21 Adam Johnson (31 Fabio Borini 69’), 17 Jozy Altidore, 9 Steven Fletcher 4-4-2
- Goals: Steven Fletcher 5’, Fabio Borini 84’
- Newcastle: 1 Tim Krul, 26 Mathieu Debuchy, 6 Mike Williamson, 36 Paul Dummett, 3 Davide Santon, 4 Yohan Cabaye, 24 Cheick Tiote (c), 7 Moussa Sissoko (9 Papiss Cisse 46’), 11 Yoan Gouffran (28 Sammy Ameobi 86’), 10 Hatem Ben Arfa, 14 Loic Remy (23 Shola Ameobi 70’) 4-3-3/4-4-2
- Goals: Mathieu Debuchy 57’