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Player Ratings Poll versus Sunderland

Rate the lads after their 2-1 loss against local rivals, Sunderland.

Newcastle fans were in full throat. How did the players do?
Newcastle fans were in full throat. How did the players do?
Richard Sellers

Derby days are always full of emotion and drama, and Sunday was no different with Sunderland grabbing a late goal and all three points.

Newcastle got off to a disastrous start when Sunderland earned an early corner. Stephen Fletcher rose up above Paul Dummett and headed home the cross to stake out to a 1-0 lead at the four minute mark. Sunderland played ferociously on defense, often putting two or three men on the ball, forcing Newcastle into turnovers. Newcastle rarely got into the box and the only shots they managed were from distance and rarely threatened.

Sunderland's energy seemed to wane a bit later in the first half, as the Black Cats dropped off the ball more. Newcastle was able to gin a bit more of possession, but there was nothing doing in terms of threatening the goal. Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Gouffran were virtually non-existent in the opening 45.

Newcastle made their first change at half time, as Papiss Cisse came on for Moussa Sissoko, as Alan Pardew hoped to focus the attack. However, Newcastle's break through came from Mathieu Debuchy. The Frenchman made a backdoor run and received a nice ball from Ben Arfa and tapped it home to level the scores.

Newcastle had the better of the play in the second half, but it was Sunderland that grabbed their second goal late. Fabio Borini got away a fantastic strike to pull the Mackems ahead with five minutes to go. That would stand up to be the match winner.

How did the players do? Rate each one and we'll have a results post up later this week.

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