Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3
Alan Pardew was left alone to face a furious backlash as Newcastle succumbed to another humbling derby defeat by Sunderland.
Fans incensed by the club’s decision to sell Yohan Cabaye and not replace him vented their anger on the 52-year-old, with owner Mike Ashley and director of football Joe Kinnear nowhere to be seen as the Black Cats cruised to a second successive 3-0 victory at St James’ Park.
Sunderland’s third derby victory on the trot – for the first time since 1923 - was secured by first-half goals from Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson, who struck for the seventh time in as many games, and Jack Colback’s late strike, and it was no more than the visitors deserved.
Fabio Borini celebrates his goal
Where Newcastle were porous at the back and an ineffective in front of goal, with ring-rusty loan signing Luuk de Jong ponderous after his half-time introduction, the Black Cats were solid in their own half and clinical in the other.
It had not been a good week for Pardew, who went into the game with the repercussions of the Cabaye saga still echoing on Tyneside, leading scorer Loic Remy suspended after a senseless clash with Norwich’s Bradley Johnson and Yoan Gouffran and Papiss Cisse joining Fabricio Coloccini on the injured list.
But it was to get far, far worse long before he headed back into the dressing room with the boos of a furious home crowd ringing in his ears.
Newcastle were utterly shambolic before the break as Sunderland took the game to their hosts after the early skirmishes.
Lone striker Jozy Altidore, who was made to look pedestrian by non-league Kidderminster in the FA Cup last Saturday, terrorised Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor.
And with Borini and Johnson running riot out wide and Ki Sung-yueng dominant in front of quietly impressive debutant Liam Bridcutt in the middle, the visitors were a constant threat.
It might have been very different for the home side had full-back Mathieu Debuchy blasted a second-minute shot inside the post rather than past it, but things started to turn sour shortly afterwards.
An unmarked Marcos Alonso flashed a fifth-minute header over Tim Krul’s crossbar and Borini only just failed to connect with Johnson’s long ball three minutes later.
But the Black Cats went ahead with 19 minutes gone when Phil Bardsley went down under Vurnon Anita’s clumsy challenge inside the box and referee Phil Dowd immediately pointed to the spot.
Borini smashed the ball high to Krul’s right and was promptly booked for his delirious celebration, and worse was to follow for both Krul and Newcastle.
Only four more minutes had elapsed when the Dutchman had to claw Jack Colback’s deflected shot away, but Johnson was on hand to tap home with the keeper berating full-back Davide Santon afterwards.
The Magpies were bereft creatively without Cabaye’s influence and with Sunderland denying Hatem Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi time and space to run at them, lone striker Shola Ameobi was seeing little of the game.
His only real contribution during the opening 45 minutes was an aimless header and two equally wayward shots, but he was not alone with both Santon, handed the responsibility for set-pieces in the post-Cabaye era, and Moussa Sissoko wasting promising opportunities.
Pardew made his move at the break when he handed De Jong a debut in place of Sammy Ameobi, and the newcomer forced a 52nd-minute save from Vito Mannone after Sissoko, Anita and Ben Arfa had linked well.
The Magpies had a better look about them as the second half unfolded, with Sissoko running at Sunderland and Ben Arfa seeing more of the ball.
But with Bardsley and Johnson doubling up when the latter was in possession, he was struggling to make an impact.
Cheick Tiote had a tame side-footed effort from distance comfortably saved by Mannone, but Colback came close to making it 3-0 with a 61st-minute effort which went just wide after Altidore’s shot had been deflected into his path.
But the home side were starting to find a momentum and Mannone had to pull off a fine save to keep Tiote’s 64th-minute effort out of his top corner, and Shola Ameobi sent a towering header wide from the resulting corner.
A Newcastle fan invades the pitch
However, Sunderland continued to threaten and Johnson was unfortunate to see his shot come back off the foot of the post with Krul beaten seconds later.
Ameobi might have done better after being played in over the top by Krul with 72 minutes gone, but Mannone blocked his toe-poke and Borini cleared his header from the corner which followed off the line.
Altidore should have killed the game off when he found himself in on Krul seconds later and failed to round the keeper, but Colback was not so wasteful 10 minutes from time to wrap up the win.