Five Greatest Newcastle Goals Against Sunderland
There haven't been many derby goals for Newcastle fans to celebrate of late - in fact one has to go back as far as October 2013 for Mathieu Debuchy's equaliser at the Stadium of Light for the last time this fixture brought even a temporary cheer from the stands – but it wasn't always like that.
There was a time, not too very long ago, when Newcastle United used to dominate this fixture. Goals came in all shapes and sizes and from all manner of players, but come they did. Sometimes even three, four, or five at a time. Imagine that against any team under Pardew, never mind Sunderland.
Some of them though stick out more than others. Whether that's because they were brilliantly executed or just because they had such huge significance behind them is open to interpretation, but there's been some belters scored by the black and whites in this fixture over the years.
5. Shola Ameobi: Newcastle 5-1 Sunderland – October 2010
No list on the Tyne and Wear derby would be proper without the mention of Shola Ameobi. All of his seven goals in this fixture, none were more remarkable than his Matrix-esque midair pump-kick.
You see, Shola ins't the most graceful of centre-forwards, nor is he the most agile, so to see him flying sideways through the air with his eyes fixed on the ball was the sort of sight you're forgiven for not quite believing.
But that's precisely what he did in the historic 5-1 demolition of Sunderland in 2010. Andy Carroll's thunderous header clattered off the cross bar and bounced back into the centre of the box, Ameobi shrugged off the attention of Jordan Henderson, somehow got both feet off the ground, and generated the power required to beat the mass of bodies on the goal line.
4. Ryan Taylor: Sunderland 0-1 Newcastle – August 2011
There's no better example of how achievements in the derby can shape a player's career better than that of Ryan Taylor. A perennial figure in both the relegation and promotion season, Taylor barely mustered a kick for Newcastle on the team's return to the top flight, however the departure of Jose Enrique in the summer of 2011, pressed him into service in the unfamiliar role of left-back.
Starting with a steady display at home to Arsenal, Taylor acquitted himself well in the opening exchanges of the derby before a rash challenge from Lee Cattermole (I'm as shocked as you are), afforded him a free kick and a sight of goal.
With the goalkeeper setting up for either a cross or a near post effort, Taylor whipped the ball into the air and watched it sail perfectly into the far corner, his namesake Steven narrowly missing getting a touch on its way in. “Ryan Taylor, over the wall” they sang that day.
3. Emre Belözoğlu: Newcastle 3-2 Sunderland – October 2005
While we're on the subject of free kicks, it would be remiss to mention the contribution from Newcastle's Turkish (occasional) delight Belozoglu Emre, who settled things when the two teams met at St James' Park in October 2005. Apologies to Liam O'Brien here, but there's nothing I can say about his effort that hasn't been written many times before.
Having twice been pegged back by what one has to acknowledge were exceptional strikes, Newcastle found Sunderland increasingly hard to break down as the clock ticked down. Until a free kick opportunity, some 25 yards from goal gave them a chance to test Kelvin Davies. Both Shearer and Solano, who'd buried more than a few of these efforts in the past lined up to take it, but Newcastle's summer signing from Inter Milan somehow persuaded them that a left-foot was required for the task.
His effort started out centrally before curling wickedly to the right, moving away from the despairing leap of the goalkeeper and finding the net after clipping the inside of his post. One of the few moments in Greame Souness' time at the club that'll be remembered with any fondness.
2. Alan Shearer: Sunderland 1–4 Newcastle: April 2006
He might have left it to his colleagues that day, but Alan Shearer was no stranger to derby goals himself, so it's fitting that his last ever strike in a black and white shirt came against the club's greatest rivals.
Having already broken Jackie Milburn's record some weeks previously, Shearer found his Newcastle side trailing a soon-to-be relegated Sunderland at half time. Things all changed Michael Chopra, on as a substitute for Lee Clark, levelled with his first touch and the delirium had barely died down when Charles N'Zogbia was upended in the box. Up stepped Shearer and, as he would later admit, still haunted by the penalty miss to Sunderland in 2000, smashed the ball into the net.
An injury in this game would eventually end his career, but if he could have picked anyway to go - short of lifting something shiny for the club – this may well have been it.
1. Peter Beardsley: Newcastle 3-1 Sunderland – January 1st 1985
Finally we come to a personal favourite of mine, the third goal in Peter Beardsley's derby hattrick. Whilst not the best goal he's ever scored, or even the most important, it's a goal that sums him up completely as a player.
With both sides in the midst of a dreadful run, a patched up Newcastle side missing Roeder and Waddle went ahead with a finely placed effort from the edge of the box, before a scrappy contest on a muddy pitch swung back and forth.
After the interval, Sunderland were reduced to 10 men with Beardsley converting the resulting penalty. This only served to trigger a response from the visitors, missing guilt-edged chances before pulling one back with a wonderful chip. This merely moments after Beardsley had missed a second penalty. A man down they were, but the momentum was firmly with the visitors going into the final stages.
However Gary Megson of all people stole the ball on the edge of Sunderland's box and rolled it across to Beardsely, who found himself one on one with the goalkeeper. With all the pressure on his shoulders and the added weight of his penalty miss, he remained as calm as is humanly possible, waited for the goalie to move, and slotted it into the bottom corner. Sheer class. Game over.