However, Ba's mistake in the closing stages ensured that the spoils were shared.
Sports Mole looks back over the 90 minutes to determine if the result was a fair one.
On target 6
On target 7
Was the result fair?
In terms of possession and domination, particularly during the second half, Sunderland deserved something from the encounter. However, a draw is harsh on a Newcastle side that played extremely well prior to losing Tiote. They even had chances to score a second before Sunderland drew level.
It's doubtful that Martin O'Neill will be too complimentary about his team's performance. They started slowly and failed to make the most of their man advantage. Nevertheless, they kept plugging away and finally grabbed a fortunate leveller late in the encounter.
Before they went down to 10 men Newcastle were dominating match. As expected they had less possession when they were a man light, but they still performed astutely and with great discipline.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Fabricio Coloccini: The Argentine returned to the Newcastle starting lineup following a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring problem and it was like he had never been away. He kept the recently free-scoring Steven Fletcher quiet and it is no coincidence that Sunderland equalised after he had been replaced because of cramp.
It's harsh on Ba because he didn't know a lot about it but his own goal is hard to ignore. John O'Shea's flick-on was easily going wide, only for the unfortunate Ba to send the ball into his own net via his face.
Derby encounters are never easy ones to officiate but Martin Atkinson did his job extremely well. He was left with little choice but to send off Tiote for his challenge on Fletcher and quite rightly waved away a couple of penalty appeals.
Sunderland: Next up for O'Neill's side is a trip to Stoke City's Britannia Stadium - a ground where they do not have the best of records in recent seasons.
Newcastle: After a trip to Bruges in the Europa League on Thursday night, the Magpies will play host to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday afternoon.