Newcastle United vs. Sunderland: 5 Things We Learned

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2014

Newcastle United vs. Sunderland: 5 Things We Learned

0 of 5

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Newcastle entertained Sunderland at St James' Park, and the away fans went home happy following a 3-0 win.

    The victory enabled Sunderland to do the league double over their north-east neighbours for the first time since 1967.

    It was a notable performance and the following slides show what we learned from the game.

Fabio Borini Loves Playing Against Newcastle

1 of 5

    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    The striker is making a name for himself on loan from Liverpool, and he added to his hero status among the Sunderland fans with the opener at St James’ Park.

    Last term, Borini netted during Liverpool’s 6-0 romp over Newcastle, and in this campaign he scored the winner as Sunderland ran out 2-1 victors over the Magpies in October.

    He was handed the chance to add to his tally on 19 minutes after Phil Bardsley had been felled in the box.

    There were no signs of nerves as he stepped up to the ball with a broad smile on his face, and he promptly slammed the penalty beyond Tim Krul.

Adam Johnson Is on Fire

2 of 5

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    The winger has six goals in his last five games, with the latest coming against the Magpies.

    It certainly wasn’t the prettiest goal he will ever score, a toe poke from five yards out, but he was in the right place at the right time.

    He can also take heart from the excellent flick he played in that preceded Phil Bardsley winning the penalty for Sunderland’s opening goal, while late in the second half Johnson struck a post with a fine strike. 

    There are calls for him to make the England squad for the World Cup. Was Roy Hodgson watching?

Jozy Altidore Is a Handful

3 of 5

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Jozy Altidore has a World Cup place to secure with United States and on this evidence he will be on the plane to Brazil.

    The powerful forward was a thorn in the side of the Newcastle defence all afternoon.

    He won the flick that set Jack Colback away in the lead up to Sunderland’s opening goal.

    What he also did extremely well was hold the ball up, as time and again the likes of Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor were unable to get to grips with the play.

Life After Cabaye Will Be Tough for Newcastle

4 of 5

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Yohan Cabaye made his Paris Saint-Germain debut on Friday night, and on the evidence of this display he will be sorely missed by Newcastle.

    Vurnon Anita was deployed alongside Cheick Tiote, but the Dutchman is not in the same class as Cabaye.

    Anita clumsily gave away the penalty that set Sunderland on their way to three points, while he offered little by way of a threat going forward.

    It could be a long final few months for the Magpies on this evidence.

Santon's Set Pieces Are Not Up to Much

5 of 5

    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    With Cabaye a distant memory, Davide Santon took it upon himself to take on the set-piece duties.

    On the evidence gleaned from this match, he won’t have that role for long.

    Early on he wasted a decent free-kick by attempting to beat Vito Mannone at his near post when the better option would have been to go across the keeper to the far post.

    He followed it up with a truly awful couple of corners, which frustrated his team-mates and the crowd.