Sunday, 31 October 2010

Newcastle 5 Sunderland 1: It's three cheers for the boss, as Nolan leads derby rout



Get in: Kevin Nolan hits Newcastle's second in the north-east derby

If Chris Hughton is fighting to save his job, the Newcastle manager delivered an emphatic message to the board on Sunday with a crushing win in the most important game of the season.

This was the biggest humiliation heaped on a side in the Tyne-Wear derby for more than 50 years. It was a game no supporter on either side of the divide will ever forget.

Surely now the manager who guided Newcastle back into the Barclays Premier League last season will be given the new contract he deserves.

Captain Kevin Nolan, who had given Hughton a ringing endorsement in the build-up to the game, produced actions to go with his words by scoring a hat-trick. Shola Ameobi added two goals to complete an unforgettable day.

Sunderland had believed this was their best chance of success on Tyneside for more than a decade. A victory would have lifted them into fifth place in the table. How foolish their pre-match optimism looks now.

First of many: Nolan acrobatically hits Newcastle's opener

The greatest show of support for Hughton came from all sides of St James' Park after an hour. Borrowing the tune they still sing in memory of Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle supporters repeatedly belted out Walking in a Hughton Wonderland.

It delighted the manager, resplendent in the suit his father recently persuaded him to wear rather than a tracksuit.

Hughton said: 'I am a very, very proud man and it's a nice feeling. I am always grateful for their support but it's about the players. They put the performance in and the supporters loved what they saw, which was a committed team taking the game by the scruff of the neck.'

Top gear: Kevin Nolan (right) gave Newcastle a flying start at St James' Park

In contrast, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce cut a forlorn and angry figure in the visitors' technical area. As a Geordie, on any other occasion he would have appreciated the 'Oles' ringing out.

In his current job, and with owner Ellis Short sitting above him, it was embarrassing. As were his team.

'I have been saying all week we must handle the occasion,' he said. 'But from the off, we got blown away by a far superior team. We had three or four playing and, to win it, you need seven or eight. We got our backsides kicked.'

Sunderland were in the game for the first 10 minutes, when Danny Welbeck squandered an opportunity to square to Darren Bent. They capitulated after 25 minutes, when Nolan scored his first goal. Joey Barton, who Sunderland failed to handle all afternoon, had already twice gone close when Mike Williamson met his drilled corner and Nolan stretched in front of Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet to scoop the ball over both their heads into the net.

The Newcastle skipper emerged from a team pile-up on the goal-line - only home keeper Tim Krul was missing - to perform his familiar 'funky chicken', a tribute to a friend's nightclub dancing.

Nolan was flapping his arms again seven minutes later after a sweeping Newcastle move which started when Titus Bramble gave away possession.

Sunderland inexplicably stood off their opponents and Nolan seized on Andy Carroll's overhead kick to slot the ball past Mignolet.

Bruce threw on £13million striker Asamoah Gyan for the final six minutes of the half, at least showing ambition to mastermind a fightback.

Threeasy: Shola Ameobi puts Newcastle three ahead from the spot

But that hope died just before the break when Nedum Onuoha was punished for a sloppy challenge on Jonas Gutierrez in the area and Ameobi beat Mignolet with the resulting penalty.

Bruce could justifiably complain about the amount of injury time played by referee Phil Dowd at the end of the half, but he was not about to allow his players a hiding place in the dressing room.

He sent them back out long before the standard 15 minutes had elapsed. The tactic failed and, within nine minutes, Sunderland were down to 10 men.

Getting stuck in: Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is tackled by Phil Bardsley

Off you go: Titus Bramble becomes the only player to be sent off in Premier League matches playing for both Newcastle United and Sunderland.

All season Bruce has defended Bramble, the much maligned former Newcastle centre back who endured the worst of the crowd's abuse yesterday.

Bruce has even demanded apologies from those who dared to criticise the player, but it is Bramble who should say sorry now, to his manager and Sunderland's supporters, after a reckless challenge on Carroll left his team even more stretched.Dowd was as quick with his red card as Bramble was slow with his cynical tackle.

Newcastle continued to dominate and Nolan, Williamson and Carroll went close before Ameobi put the finishing touch to another fine move, thumping a rising half-volley into the roof of the net after Carroll had headed Danny Simpson's teasing cross against the bar.

Hughton was in the process of acknowledging Newcastle fans, not for the first time, nor the last, when the ball hit the net to make it 4-0.

And it wasn't the last goal, either. Sunderland failed to clear two Barton corners before Ameobi rose to flick a third into Nolan's path and he headed home to complete a magnificent treble.

Sunderland's defenders just stood and watched, as they had all afternoon.Many of their supporters headed for the exits and only a few remained by the time Darren Bent prodded his sixth goal of the season past Krul in the final minute.

source: dailymail

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