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Sunderland’s Irish midfielder James McClean (left) vies with Newcastle United’s James Perch during an English Premier League match at the Stadium of Light, in Sunderland, yesterday.
SUNDERLAND, United Kingdom: Sunderland rescued a 1-1 draw against 10-man Newcastle yesterday as Demba Ba’s late own goal cost his team a victory over their bitter rivals in the Tyne-Wear derby.
Martin O’Neill’s team had laboured in vain to break down the Newcastle defence despite having the numerical advantage following Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote’s 25th-minute dismissal.
Newcastle, who had taken the lead through Yohan Cabaye’s early strike, were hanging on for three points at the Stadium of Light until Senegal striker Ba diverted John O’Shea’s header into his own net with just four minutes remaining.
Ba’s own goal ensured the fourth 1-1 draw in the last six meetings between these two old enemies, but Sunderland, who have beaten Newcastle just once in their last 16 clashes, are still waiting for their first win over the Magpies since 2008.
Despite the late equaliser, Pardew was delighted with Newcastle’s spirit and said: “It was a magnificent effort. We said to the players before the game how important it was to the fans, we’ve now shown how important it is to us.
“Playing an hour with 10 men, if we could have just seen it out it would have been one of the greatest victories ever here. But it’s a great point and I’m very proud of my players.”
Sunderland defender O’Shea added: “Newcastle work hard on their shape with two banks of four and the big men up front, so it was difficult, but we managed to get the goal.
Meanwhile, Everton held on for a 1-1 draw at QPR despite Steven Pienaar’s second half dismissal at Loftus Road. South African midfielder Pienaar was sent off for a second booking in the 61st minute, but struggling QPR were unable to take advantage as Everton cemented their position in the Premier League’s top four.
David Moyes’ side had earlier recovered from Junior Hoilett’s early strike to equalise when a Sylvain Distin header deflected in off QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar’s back for an own goal. Everton are now one point clear of fifth placed Tottenham after their fifth league game without defeat, while QPR, still without a league win this season, remain bottom of the table.