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REPORT – Sunderland AFC 5-0 Morecambe: The Black Cats move up to third after emphatic win



Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial instagram - Sunderland get their joint-biggest win of the season to move into third...

Sunderland climb to third in League One after demolishing relegation threatened Morecambe 5-0 at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening. 


Nathan Broadhead scored twice as Ross Steward, Alex Pritchard and Leon Dajaku were also on the scoresheet to help Johnson’s side to a comfortable victory, making it five league games unbeaten.

The Black Cats burst out of the blocks to score twice inside the opening 20 minutes, with wing-back Lynden Gooch claiming the assist on each occasion.

Gooch dribbled passed Morecambe full-back Ryan McLaughlin to deliver a decent cross from the left, as Stewart’s first-time shot beat the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.

Four minutes later, Gooch delivered another teasing cross which fell to the feet of Nathan Broadhead as the striker scored his first of the night. The Everton loanee gave himself space in the box and headed home from close range.

The home side missed a guilt-edged opportunity to make it three before the break as top scorer Ross Stewart prodded wide from his first-time shot.

In the closing stages of the first period, Morecambe were almost given a lifeline. Midfielder Aaron Wildig found himself unmarked as he diverted Alfie McCalmont’s cross wide after a rushed effort on goal.

Substitute Toumani Diagouraga went close for Morecambe in the opening stages of the second half but Sunderland put the game to bed with a third goal shortly before the hour mark – an impressive win to give the Wearsiders momentum heading into the condensed Christmas period.

Johnson’s side refused to sit back despite a comfortable lead.

Credit: @sunderlandafcofficial instagram

Alex Pritchard sweetly swept home from Dan Neil’s cutback as the hosts made it three. Nathan Broadhead netted his second twelve minutes later as his driven shot flew passed Letheran in the Morecambe net.

Nobody has more assists under their name in League One than Sunderland Midfielder Neil who was heavily involved yet again on Tuesday evening.

Sunderland added a fifth with three minutes remaining as Dajaku’s shot took a hefty deflection before finding the back of the net, putting the icing on the cake for the Black Cats.

Academy graduate Kimpioka helped engineer the fifth, before Dajaku’s deflected strike hit the back of the net.

It was their joint-biggest win of the season as Johnson’s side continue to climb the table in their hunt for promotion to the Championship.

The victory sees the Black Cats move within two points of Rotherham in top spot, with 6th placed Plymouth Argyle up next at the Stadium of Light on Saturday for a play-off place battle.

Table Toppers Rotherham face tenth placed Burton on Saturday knowing that anything less than a win may see them move from first position, with Sunderland breathing down their necks.

The performance combined with the emphatic result kept the Sunderland faithful warm in otherwise brutal winter conditions as yet another storm hit the region.

The only storm at the Stadium of Light was from the side in red and white who demolished the Shrimps to climb within two places of top spot in League One.


The win represents more than just three points for Sunderland who have found some much-needed momentum heading into the crucial festive period.

The result gives supporters hope that the club is on the right track once again with the real possibility of promotion come the end of the season.

Lee Johnson saw what his side have been missing in previous weeks as it all seemed to come together on the night.

Sunderland were clinical in front of goal, kept possession well, played with an increased tempo, and pressed Morecambe off the ball until it was back in their hands.

The Black Cats can’t be expected to play with that level of intensity in every game but at the Stadium of Light, Tuesday’s performance should be the benchmark as in previous years the Wearsiders have drawn far too many games on home soil.


Hoffmann (7), Wright (7), Flanagan (7), Doyle (7); Neil (8), Winchester (7), Dajaku (8), Gooch (9), Pritchard (9), Broadhead (8), Stewart (8)

Subs: Embleton (6), O’Brien (6), Mbunga-Kimpioka (7)


Sunderland manager Lee Johnson: 

“It was a tough game going into it, the pressure was on and we performed extremely well. They gave us a couple of warning signs in that first half, but we felt like we could exploit their backline with the quality we’ve got. They have got good forward players and a lot of energy in midfield, so they can cause you problems.

“We knew they’d penetrate at some point during the game, but generally I felt we had good control. Right from the start, you could feel the vibe. It was really positive from the start. We started well and it carried on from there.”

He added:

“It was such a cold night and obviously a few less fans than normal because of the weather. I’m really pleased for the fans that turned up, we gave them a five-star show.”

Morecambe Manager Stephen Robinson:

“We’ve a mountain to climb before the game has even started. We then passed the ball about, we looked pretty, we had chances, Jonah [Ayunga] has got to score, Aaron [Wildig] should score and we’ve a goal disallowed.

“Ultimately, if you’re going to defend like that at a stadium like this with good, good Championship players in the squad, then you’re going to get punished, and we got exactly what we deserved.”

He added:

“It could’ve been two all if we had taken our chances, I think that’s the difference in the levels in terms of the quality they have at the top end of the pitch, they get chances, they take them, we get chances, we don’t.”

Post-match thoughts? Who was your man-of-the-match? Can Sunderland reach top spot by Christmas? Will the Black Cats gain promotion to the Championship come May?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..


“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”


Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.


What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.


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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?




The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)



deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.


Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.


With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?


Toon are charging for Europe


If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.


Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 


In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.


Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed


Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 


Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.


Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.


Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 


On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.


Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.


Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 


With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?


So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?


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