Sunderland strikes late for thrilling derby win over Newcastle United
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Adam Johnson scored a 90th-minute winner as Sunderland beat Newcastle 1-0 in the Premier League on Sunday for an unprecedented fourth straight victory in the north-east derby.
The winger finished off a length-of-the-field counterattack with a volley inside the near post, scoring at St. James' Park for the third season in a row to settle a low-quality and typically feisty derby.
"They must hate me here," said Johnson, who earlier squandered one of a series of great chances created by Sunderland in an open match.
Less than a minute before the former Manchester City winger struck, Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon produced the save of the game to tip over a rising shot from Moussa Sissoko. Ayoze Perez was also denied twice by Pantilimon as Newcastle came back strongly after being dominated for the first hour.
Since ending Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 win on Dec. 6, Newcastle has lost three straight games to end the team's revival and the pressure is back on manager Alan Pardew.
Sunderland climbed four points clear of the relegation zone and has lost just twice since its 8-0 hammering by Southampton on Oct. 8 — and those defeats were against Arsenal and Manchester City.
Connor Wickham headed wide and was thwarted twice by Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick while strike partner Steven Fletcher volleyed against the crossbar in a first half dominated by Sunderland.
"We seem to rise to the occasion here," Johnson said.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has won all three derbies he has been involved in.