Sunderland took bragging rights – but Newcastle will still finish higher this season

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As I wrote in last week’s blog, Sunday’s result came as no surprise to any Newcastle United fan as once again history repeated itself.

The one fixture that Sunderland base their season on was yet again another victory for those of a red and white persuasion, but did they have a helping hand in this one?

Captain Fabricio Coloccini was shown a red card just before the half-time whistle for apparently stopping Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher from having a clear goalscoring opportunity, despite the ball being just inches away from Rob Elliot’s grasp.

It was a decision which has neutral footballing fans scratching their heads.

Granted, the penalty decision could have gone either way, but the spotlight is once again on a match official, this time it referee Bobby Madley as he seemed to crumble under the pressure of the home fans by sending off captain Coloccini just 30 seconds after denying Newcastle a free shot from the spot as Lee Cattermole brought down Georginio Wijnaldum in a similar challenge.

Newcastle went on to dominate the game but failed to find the back of the net time after time despite having more than enough chances to win the game.

The 3-0 scoreline certainly doesn’t give United the credit they deserve in this fixture but it was always going to be an uphill battle when going down to 10 men.

However, once again the bragging rights remain on Wearside for the sixth consecutive derby game.

Now Newcastle have decided to appeal Coloccini’s red card and hopes remain high on Tyneside that the captain will be available for the arrival of Mark Hughes’ Stoke City at the weekend at St James’s Park which is now surely a must-win game.

These derby defeats don’t seem to anger me anymore, especially after the performance on Sunday from both Newcastle and the referee for different reasons.

I still believe that come the end of the season Newcastle will be in a far more appealing position than the derby winners – again.

@GallowgateShots.com is a South Tyneside-based NUFC fan site