Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1: Adam Johnson joy at goal that will live with him for ever

'To have scored the winner, in the last minute, in front of the Gallowgate End for Sunderland can never be taken away from me now,' he said

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The Independent Online

Adam Johnson spoke with pride of his place in North-east footballing history after scoring the goal which gave Sunderland a fourth successive victory over Newcastle for the first time in the 116 years of the Tyne-Wear derby.

Sunday’s late winner was also the third time in succession the winger had scored a derby goal at St James’ Park. That Johnson trained with Newcastle as a youngster makes these feats even more remarkable.

“To have scored the  winner, in the last minute, in front of the Gallowgate End for Sunderland can never be taken away from me now,” he said. “We have made all the fans’ Christmas even more special.

“We did talk about the  history of the fixture, he [manager Gus Poyet] kept reminding us about the four in a row possibility. We had to focus on our own game and build on our recent good performances. It has been a good ground for us in recent years and for me personally it has been very good.

“That’s three in a row for me now,” Johnson added. “Three wins, three goals and it’s great for me. There must be a little bit of history there too.

 

“Since I signed, I have won four and drawn one. It’s a big win for us. We have started a new era of our own now and it feels great. When everybody jumped on me at the final whistle, it’s probably up there with the best feelings I have had in football so far.”

Johnson’s goal could hardly have been more dramatic, racing 70 yards, evading two fouls before smashing home the winner in the game’s final minute. “[Newcastle’s Moussa] Sissoko was having a go at me [in the first tackle], the second one – I think it was [Paul] Dummett – he tried to scissor me,” added Johnson. “I had turned Sissoko. If you stay on your feet then you get rewarded and to go on from there and get the winner proves that.

“I could have went down, took a free-kick and probably took the draw, but we wanted to go to St James’ Park and win. It’s brilliant to be part of the first Sunderland team to win four in a row. We have  created history. We are the team that did it.”

For Newcastle, the dire run of results against their North-east rivals continues. Manager Alan Pardew has won just one of his eight Tyne-Wear derbies – back in 2011 – with his side scoring just once in the past four matches.

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Adam Johnson strikes his late winner at St James' Park

Steven Taylor, who split his head open in the 1-0 defeat after colliding with a goalpost, said of losing the past three games at St James’ Park: “I don’t want to think about that, it is Manchester United next, but it is a horrible feeling coming off that pitch devastated. The lads are hurting, the fans are hurting but we have to put it right at Man U, we can’t dwell on it.”

Jonas Gutierrez made his first return in a Newcastle shirt yesterday since recovering from testicular cancer, playing 89 minutes of the club’s Under-21 victory against West Ham.

The 31-year-old, who underwent surgery in September to remove his left testicle before undergoing chemotherapy, tweeted: “I am proud to  be back. Good game and  really happy.”

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