Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3 match report: Salutes for Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland storm to historic win at St James' Park

The Black Cats, who arrived on Tyneside without a win in nine Barclays Premier League games, were simply too good for their hosts

At the end, in the heat of a victory that will live for generations, came the salute. Such was the concern it would come from a Newcastle supporter that an entire police operation centred around it.

Only one came, and it was from the man who has stood at the centre of a storm since his appointment two weeks ago. Paolo Di Canio raised his right arm, and at the end of it were three fingers, pointing triumphantly towards Sunderland's delirious followers, somewhere up in the sky.

Three fingers. One for each goal.

Three fingers. Three points. The magic numbers.

It was all magic for Di Canio yesterday.

The scoreline, the greatest victory for Sunderland on Tyneside for 34 years, ensures its place in history.

The celebration for the second goal will similarly pass through the ages.

It was the moment Di Canio announced his arrival as a Premier League manager in the way he intended. It was Jose Mourinho. It was the manager of Sunderland charging down the touchline at St James' Park, fists pumping, sliding, in his best suit, on his knees, arms still outstretched, shouting his thanks to the footballing gods. And to Adam Johnson.

Johnson himself had not been shy in his own, personal triumph. It was a wonderful, winger's goal, cutting in on to his left foot, curling a 20-yard shot beyond the outstretched right hand of Rob Elliot, the substitute Newcastle goalkeeper, who could do no better than the player he replaced, Tim Krul, in quelling the vibrancy of a city's great rivals.

Off came Johnson's shirt, swirled in the air as he too slid on his knees to a corner flag in the heart of Newcastle's supporters, acid on an open wound. But it was still Di Canio's goal. It was Di Canio's day. They all will be. His was the energy burst that Ellis Short sought when he made the biggest call he will ever make as owner of a football club, and sacked experience, and brought in fire.

It was Di Canio's day. It was Sunderland's day. They have waited 13 years for victory on Tyneside, but not in their wildest dreams, level on points with third-bottom Wigan in the Premier League table before a ball was kicked, did they expect to travel the 13 miles that separates these two warring cities and so systematically take their great rivals to pieces.

Johnson's was the second. Stéphane Sessègnon had scored the first, in the 27th minute. It came from a Newcastle mistake (and there were plenty of them) when Jonas Gutierrez wastefully surrendered possession on the halfway line. James McClean found Sessègnon, and after holding off Gutierrez, desperate in his bid to make amends for the error, he tucked a 20-yard shot, hit with precision, beyond Krul's right hand. The goal was deserved. Sunderland had dominated the first half but the strike gave belief. Newcastle were out-passed, out thought and out-fought.

Sunderland should have had a first-half penalty when Danny Graham clearly had his shirt tugged by Steven Taylor. They should have had a penalty in the second half when Graham's header struck the flailing arm of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (the first half call, involving the same players looked less certain).

That was the context in which to place a disallowed Papiss Cissé effort, that came when there was only one goal in the game, just past the hour mark. Sylvain Marveaux crossed, Moussa Sissoko flicked on and Cissé finished from close range. Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, celebrated. Relief, however, was brief. Replays showed there was not an offside moment, but a flag went up, and Newcastle's spirit went down.

Johnson's strike was excellent, cutting inside in the 74th minute, before crashing a shot out of the reach of Elliot. Out of reach. Most things were for Newcastle.

The questions are now for Pardew, and a dismal league campaign. Newcastle were awful. Losing to Sunderland at St James' Park is not something any Newcastle manager wants on their CV, just ask Ruud Gullit, who resigned after a loss in a storm 14 years ago.

Pardew looked dispirited in the immediate aftermath of defeat, as you would expect, but there was a gamble played this week, and he lost. Newcastle, with Cissé and Yohan Cabaye starting against Benfica on Thursday, were strong enough to weaken themselves for yesterday's fixture, but not strong enough to win the Europa League quarter-final.

There were still five fresh pairs of legs against Sunderland, but they did not show. The decision to play Gutierrez at left-back was a major mistake. Statistics showed Newcastle made two interceptions in the game. Sunderland managed 20. As Newcastle rocked, so Sunderland, so unlike the team Martin O'Neill said were not good enough, went for the throat. With seven minutes remaining, and the home side all over the place, Sessègnon passed to substitute David Vaughan, who crashed his shot into the top corner. Not since Gary Rowell scored a hat-trick on this ground have Sunderland enjoyed such superiority.

There were no redeeming features for Pardew. On top of everything, he must reckon for the rest of this season without his first-choice goalkeeper, Krul, who dislocated his shoulder in palming away a free-kick.

Two points now separate the two rivals. It must now be evens as to who finishes higher and that is a truly phenomenal turnaround in the space of seven days, from when Newcastle supporters embraced their manager into their hearts last week to where his lot was last night. He trooped down the tunnel with a clap to fans who were either not there or no longer interested.

Di Canio by contrast, led his delirious players in salute to their fans. As they departed, centre stage was his. He pointed across to those fans and then began banging his chest; another salute of victory. In the dressing room he would enter, moments later, blasted out the Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire".

Fire. Sunderland had it. Newcastle did not.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker