Newcastle go down without a fight

Posted by Lee Ryder

Fabio Borini Sunderland penalty celeb NewcastleAPFabio Borini celebrates smashing home his penalty against Newcastle.

Want an instant reaction after Newcastle United's 3-0 defeat against bitter rivals Sunderland? Try gutted.

Not because the Toon Army had to watch Sunderland players celebrating on the hallowed turf of St James' Park after an easy win to make it THREE triumphs in 10 months against the Magpies. And not just because Yohan Cabaye was sold to Paris Saint-Germain without a replacement coming in.

More so because Newcastle failed to match Sunderland when it came to battling qualities. The Magpies did not show as much desire to even make a game of it.

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Indeed, it was the red and whites who demonstrated a sense of occasion on the day. Newcastle may have had a couple of sniffs around the goalmouth in the opening stages, but no clear-cut chances.

After Vurnon Anita had conceded a cheap penalty to allow Fabio Borini to smash home from the spot, the tone was set.

It seemed to erode confidence for Newcastle and after goalkeeper Tim Krul had gifted Adam Johnson a second goal, Sunderland were well on their way with just 23 minutes gone.

That was the problem though. It didn't take very much for Sunderland to kick the stuffing out of Newcastle and many fans were resigned to defeat by half-time.

Surely the second half could be better? And surely the Magpies could at least put that Sunderland goal under a bit of pressure? That didn't prove to be the case and a lack of clear cut chances on the day were there for all to see.

Cheick Tiote forced a good save out of Vito Mannone, then Shola Ameobi headed an effort wide. The arrival of Luuk De Jong also resulted in a couple of shots straight at the keeper. By then Newcastle had given themselves too big a mountain to climb.

On a day when they'd lacked confidence and failed to match Sunderland's desire a comeback was too much to ask.

Jack Colback netted a third and hammered the final nail in the coffin for Newcastle. Given there had been a lack of response to the first half collapse it felt inevitable that a third goal was on the way.

So where do Newcastle go from here?

Fan unrest was cranked up at St James' Park on Saturday afternoon with three pitch invasions from disgruntled punters. The first fan had charged on to the field to launch his season ticket at manager Alan Pardew in a moment that must count as his lowest since being put in charge of the club.

Last season losing this fixture 3-0 was painful. This though was meant to be revenge, not just for last season, but also the 2-1 loss at the Stadium of Light. It didn't come and instead more disappointment at the hands of the local rivals Newcastle used to boss was served up.

The Magpies must now brush themselves down.

There may have been talk about Pardew's position as manager as fans streamed out of St James' on Saturday, but how can the regime in charge justify it? After all, they did set him a top 10 target in the Premier League and he is currently in eighth place. His board are also selling his best players and not replacing them.

Sadly though, like a lot of things about Newcastle, the board's aims don't tell the full story. Fans aren't on the same page as the board and want to see their side giving it a go in the cups and at least putting up a fight against Sunderland. This season they've not experienced any of that.

Maybe Pardew summed up the feeling after the match. He was asked about the game with Chelsea next week but responded swiftly by saying even a victory wouldn't make up for the defeat against the Wearsiders. Quite right too.

For the first time in Newcastle's history the Evening Chronicle were banned from the press room on derby day. Therefore they weren't able to ask the questions on behalf of the fans. But whatever positives Pardew tried to pluck out of this one would probably fall on deaf ears anyway.

This one will take some getting over.

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