Miles Starforth's derby verdict: Aleksandar Mitrovic goal could prove to be priceless for Newcastle

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic

Can one goal change a season?

Maybe, just maybe, a header from Aleksandar Mitrovic, which cancelled out Jermain Defoe's first-half opener, could do just that.

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe

Had he not met Georginio Wijnaldum's 83rd-minute cross, surely it would have been all but over for Newcastle United.

As it is, this afternoon's 1-1 draw against Sunderland suits 17th-placed Norwich City, the club's next opponents.

But the header could prove to be a pivotal moment in second-bottom Newcastle's season.

United, as it stands, still have Norwich and Sunderland within reach. They also have a game in hand, albeit one against Manchester City.

The 154th derby was contested by two poor teams. And Newcastle were the poorer of the two.

They lacked ideas and inspiration for much of the game, and Sunderland played more like the home team.

But it's a start, and Rafa Benitez now has two weeks to prepare United for their visit to Carrow Road.

If Newcastle can beat Norwich, and that's a big "if", they'll be back in with a chance.

Mitrovic, and his £14million price tag, has been questions this season, but should the club stay up then he'll have more than paid back that fee with that one strike.