Sunderland 0-3 Newcastle: Magpies into FA Cup fourth round and ...

6 Jan 2024
FA Cup

Alexander Isak's brace saw Newcastle comfortably reach the third round of the FA Cup at the expense of Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.

After a pulsating first half-hour where the home side competed on equal terms, Sunderland defender Daniel Ballard diverted Joelinton's cross into his own net.

A minute after the restart the game was effectively over when Almiron robbed Pierre Ekwah on the edge of the Sunderland box and squared for Isak to score.

Alex Pritchard looked on a one-man mission to get Sunderland back into the game and saw a dipping effort clip the bar and force Martin Dubravka into a good stop.

Gloss was put on the scoreline when Isak netted his second from the spot a minute from time, after Ballard brought down Anthony Gordon in the penalty area.

Talking Point - Absence of VAR gives special element to FA Cup games

Obviously the biggest factors in this being an absorbing game to watch were the local derby element and the FA Cup allowing more away fans - and to be fair the way players bought into this rivalry whether players born in the area or far away.

However, in the first half there were moments which though relatively straight-forward, felt glorious when used to games being drawn out by long interruptions through VAR checks. Isak went down in the area under a challenge from Ballard. Was it a penalty? Probably just. Though both were pulling each other's jersey, Ballard wanted to bring him down, but maybe Isak could have stayed on his feet. This nuance could have led to a five-minute delay.

Here, after a few raised arms in protest the game just got underway. Similarly, there were some crunching tackles in the first half and, players did not stay down hoping decisions might force VAR to have a look at the decision.

For one thing this, and the extra away fans, gives the FA Cup a special element it spent many years trying to create.

Player of the Match - Bruno Guimaeres (Newcastle United)

He is a player who is likely to move onto a bigger club unless Newcastle can bridge the gap in the short term. PSG and Barcelona have already made their intentions clear regarding him. He will always be thought of so fondly in the north east.

Not only was he such a key figure in them returning to UEFA Champions League football last year, but he shows the passion of the Newcastle fans. His play was pretty exemplary on Saturday but the moment the Toon fans will remember is him celebrating with them as they roared his tackle after he chased down Pierre Ekwah.

Player Ratings

Sunderland: Patterson 6; Hume 6, Ballard 6, O'Nien 7, Alese 5; Ekwah 6, Neil 6; Pritchard 7, Bellingham 6, Clarke 6; Rusyn 6.

Newcastle: Dubravka 7; Trippier 7, Schar 6, Botman 6, Burn 6; Longstaff 6, Guimaraes 8*, Joelinton 7; Almrion 7, Isak 6, Gordon 7.

Subs: Miley 6, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Livramento.

Match Highlights

35' GOAL FOR NEWCASTLE! It's an own goal. Joelinton with a fantastic cross from the left wing, Isak was waiting to tap it in and Ballard, trying to clear in front of him, sticks a leg out and it flies off his shin and into his own net.

46' GOAL FOR NEWCASTLE! The worst possible start for Sunderland. Ekwah turns after receiving the ball from the goalkeeper and is robbed by Almiron who squares to Isak gifting him an open goal.

59' OFF THE BAR! A great run from Pritchard receiving the ball in the centre circle and racing towards goal before hitting a dipping effort from 25 yards which clipped the top of the bar.

68' WHAT A GREAT BLOCK FROM O'NIEN! Almiron's shot was destined for the top corner but the defender flung his body in the way and blocked it with his head.

75' VERY GOOD STOP FROM DUBRAVKA! Once more it was Pritchard with the dangerous effort he dribbled to the edge of the box before hitting a low swerving effort with the outside of his right foot which the Magpies keeper just managed to paw to safety.

80' SO CLOSE FROM GORDON! Sunderland give the ball away on the edge of their own box and the ball was fed to Gordon whose effort from a narrow angle was always curling just wide.

89' PENALTY FOR NEWCASTLE! Gordon races into the area and draws Ballard into a poor challenge pushing the winger over in the area.

90' GOAL FOR NEWCASTLE! Isak sends Patterson the wrong way.

Key Stats

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