Put a fork in it, my friends. Sunderland are on the verge of a first win, and Fletcher has capped it with a brilliant volley following a fine cross from Younes Kaboul of all people. Take a bow both of you.
Terrible play from Fletcher here. It's two and two, and he has Defoe running on ahead of him but the Scot's through ball is terrible. Sunderland getting much more space as Newcastle take gambles. They don't have much choice.
OFF THE BAR! This is a stunning effort from Johnson as he cuts inside Vurnon Anita before crashing a fine curling shot against the bar. Unlucky, but Sunderland have had quite a bit of luck this afternoon, haven't they?
SAVE! Pantilimon really has been excellent today, and he's pulled off another fine save here to keep out Wijnaldum. Still, Newcastle doing enough to suggest that it could be a nervy last 20 minutes for the hosts.
The Black Cats take a big, big, big step toward a SIXTH straight win over Newcastle as Billy Jones taps home from point-blank range after Defoe's acrobatic volley found its way through a sea of bodies.
Sunderland need a second goal. They've done absolutely nothing in this second half to suggest that one is coming. Newcastle are the better side believe it or not and if anybody's going to score the second goal, it's the 10-man Magpies.
SAVE! What a huge moment in this match. The ball breaks for Mitrovic, who makes a mug of Yedlin to go one-on-one with Pantilimon, but the big Romainian pulls off a fine save. Could that prove key in about 40 minutes? Very, very possible.
Astonishing scenes at the Stadium of Light as Adam Johnson strokes Sunderland into a 1-0 half-time lead, but that isn't the most dramatic part. Captain Fabricio Coloccini is sent off for shouldering Steven Fletcher out of the way and, honestly, it looked harsh. It was shoulder to shoulder. In any case, Johnson converted the penalty and Newcastle, who dominated that 45 minutes, are a goal down. Incredible.
Right, we've reached the half-hour mark and the home fans will be a little disappointed it has to be said. Their team has been second best and thensome. They can barely get out of their own half. Newcastle are pressing really quite well, but can they keep it up for another hour?
CHANCE! It's a brilliant scoop ball from Janmaat to find Jack Colback, whose first-time volley is saved by Pantilimon at the near post. Newcastle are completely dominant, but as long as it's 0-0, Sunderland are in it.
Sissoko is getting so much joy down Sunderland's left-hand side and it's something Allardyce simply must address because the Frenchman is certainly not the type of player who you want with free reign. He will punish you.
Sunderland coming back into it a little more. Lens plays in a cross here but it's too deep and Johnson can't direct his header back into the mixer. It was a nothing opportunity, but it's certainly progress and the Black Cats will be pleased. Still, Newcastle in control overall.
SHOT! Man of the moment Wijnaldum, who scored four last weekend, looks to fire United into the lead, but his weak left-footed effort after a one-two with Mitrovic is comfortably saved by Pantilimon. Seventeen minutes in but Sunderland yet to arrive.
BOOKING: So poor from Tiote. One minute after getting away with a yellow card, the Ivorian goes in late on Jermaine Lens and referee Bobby Madley simply has no choice. That's his second card of the season - and he's played two games. Actually, he's only played 55 minutes of football this season.
Superb tackle from Lee Cattermole, and it had to be as Moussa Sissoko stretched those long legs of his, rode a weak challenge from Kaboul as he looked primed to smash home, but the diminutive Sunderland midfielder got back in the nick of time.
This one could also have legs. After all, the 21-year-old was sent off in two Belgian derbies between former club Anderlecht and Club Brugge, with one of the red cards being for a headbutt! He makes Diego Costa look like Niall Noran.
PREDICTION! Right, 20 minutes from kickoff so it's time to get a pre-match prediction horrendously wrong. And, actually, I fancy Big Sam to pick up his and Sunderland's first victory of the season this afternoon. Let's go, say, 2-1 Sunderland. The visitors' 6-2 win over Norwich will prove a false dawn of sorts, I think. There's plenty of work for Newcastle to do still - and this match will remind them of that.
The first of this five-match winning streak came in April, 2013. It was an event which saw two lunatics make headlines for good and bad reasons. First, then-Sunderland boss and borderline insane Paolo Di Canio masterminded a 3-0 win at St James' Park - the Black Cats' first away win at Newcastle since 2000. After the match, a Newcastle fan, a little peeved over the result, punched a horse - a police horse, which had a policeman on it. He went to jail, while Di Canio is banning ketchup somewhere. Probably.
DID YOU KNOW? Sunderland have won the last five meetings? Yes, you did, because we've already mentioned, but did you know that no team has ever won six on the bounce? Like, ever. Can the Black Cats manage to make history this afternoon? We'll know in, like, two-and-a-half hours.
On to our Geordie friends now and Mr McClaren sticks to a winning formula by naming an identical side from the one which obliterated Norwich last time out. Ayoze Perez and the fiery Aleksandar Mitrovic continue in attack, with last week's four-goal hero Georginio Wijnaldum continuing on the left, while Moussa Sissoko, who bagged himself a hat-trick of assists last week, on the right. In midfield, you'll find Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote, while Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini and Paul Dummett line up in defence ahead of Rob Elliot.
Starting with our hosts, Big Sam makes three changes from the 1-0 defeat by West Brom last time around. Firstly, Seb Larsson drops to the bench for Adam Johnson, while Ola Toivonen and Jermaine Lens also return for Jordi Gomez, who drops to the bench, and the injured Fabio Borini. Steven Fletcher is preferred to Jermain Defoe once again.
By virtue of the fact that newly-appointed Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce used to manage Newcastle, and did not do particularly well at St James', it's fair to say that Big Sam can expect quite a few explicit-laden songs commemorated to him this morning. Just a few. Incidentally, Allardyce will become the only man to have managed both in a derby.
But it's not too late to turn this around. Of course it's not. Newcastle, as we mentioned, already look like turning around their early-season horror show after thumping the Canaries last time out - although it must be noted that the visitors' defence were about as shocking as that scene in Home Alone 2. Sunderland, on the other hand, have won the last FIVE North-East meetings - and there's a very new, but very familiar face in the dugout as they look to make it six of the best.
This is always a massive game. It is. Whether it's a top versus bottom fixture, or a battle between a couple of bog-average, mid-table outfits. But it's arguably bigger this time around by virtue of the fact that both sides have been truly pony so far. Sunderland, who are yet to win a game, sit BOTTOM of the Premier League. Newcastle, who opened their account with a 6-2 demolition of Norwich City last week, are three points above them in 18th. If you listen closely you can hear the noise of Peter Beagrie and Don Goodman analysing their Championship games next season.
As far as rivalries in English football go, they just don't come more hostile than this. Arsenal - Spurs? A North London pillow fight. Liverpool - Everton? Softer than Cliff Richard throwing a roll of Charmin at Sooty. United - City? More friendly than a game of pool with your best mate. This is on another level. Why it's only Sunderland versus Newcastle United in the first Wear-Tyne derby of the season! Palestinians and Israelites are like two peas in a pod compared to these North-East foes. There's genuine hatred here and we'll be bringing you every kick at the Stadium of the Light - kick of the ball and any other type of kick. Let's go.
ID:254078: cacheID:254078:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:28941: