"It's Only A Flesh Wound": An Immediate Reaction to Newcastle 1, Sunderland 1

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Sunderland forward Nicklas Bendtner (r) is challenged by Davide Santon during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James' Park on March 4, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A contentious match is always a reasonable expectation when Newcastle and Sunderland get together, but this one was especially so. Lee Cattermole had earned himself a yellow card within 28 seconds (one that might have been a red had it happened later in the match), one of just 9 cautions handed out by referee Mike Dean. He also had occasion to give a red to Stephane Sessegnon and award 2 penalties, one which Nicklas Bendtner coolly converted, and one by Demba Ba that Simon Mignolet blocked. That looked for all the world like it would be the difference before noted mackem assassin Shola Ameobi converted in stoppage time.

A day that looked like it would be the darkest days was all of sudden not so bad after all. I feel a strange and certain sense of empathy for the SMBs, who so earnestly celebrated their own equalizer at the Stadium of Light last Spring. A defeat at the hands of your rival is never easy to swallow, so while a draw feels a bit like kissing your sister, in this case I'll take it 10 times out of 10. Three points would have been grand, especially when you consider that a win would have put Newcastle level on points with Chelsea. Still, one gets the feeling that Shola's goal might have just pulled the team out of the nosedive they've been in of late. The Magpies will need all the momentum they can muster heading into the Emirates next week.

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