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Sunday, 24 February, 2002, 14:55 GMT
Newcastle edge out Sunderland
Newcastle's Nicos Dabizas
Dabizas lost his marker to give Newcastle the lead
Sunderland 0-1 Newcastle
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Newcastle climbed back to second in the Premiership with a hard-fought win over North East rivals Sunderland.

Nicos Dabizas was the away fans' hero as the defender lost his marker to head a vital goal mid-way through the second half and give his side all three points.

Not many teams come here and win and we've done it - it was a big victory for us, a big three points
Newcastle manager Bobby Robson

But Newcastle will be thanking their keeper Shay Given who made three breathtaking saves to ensure the Tynesiders kept up the pressure on leaders Man Utd.

Sunderland were denied twice moments before half-time.

First, a familiar Sunderland move gave Kevin Phillips a golden chance to break the deadlock.

Niall Quinn headed on a long ball but the England striker was denied by an excellent point-blank stop.

And Given was called into action again when alert midfielder Claudio Reyna caught the Newcastle defence on the hop and took a quick free-kick to put Kevin Kilbane through on goal.

Newcastle's Craig Bellamy
Bellamy had a goal ruled out for offside

But the Newcastle goalkeeper boosted his reputation as one of the finest shot-stoppers in the Premiership by pushing a fierce shot round his left-hand post.

Earlier, Newcastle, whose midfield linked up well, thought they had taken the lead when Craig Bellamy had the ball in the net.

However his finish after a neat one-two between Aaron Hughes and 19-year-old debutant Jermaine Jenas was ruled out for offside.

Sunderland emerged for the second half without Quinn, whose troublesome back meant Cameroon international Patrick Mboma made his debut for the Wearsiders.

The added danger of Mboma's power and movement gave Sunderland a much-needed edge up front.

We had the best chances in the game but Shay (Given) was magnificent today
Sunderland manager Peter Reid

He found Phillips running into space down the right, but skewed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

But as Sunderland rued missed chances, Newcastle took the initiative.

Mboma was in the thick of the action again as he conceded a free kick and then was caught ball-watching as Dabizas sneaked in to head the winner.

But Sunderland still fashioned chances and Given again saved his side with a flying save from a stinging long-range shot by Phillips.

But it was to be the last opportunity for the home side and Newcastle held on, to send the away fans into delirium and give manager Bobby Robson his first victory in a Tyne-Wear derby.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Haas, Gray, Bjorklund, Craddock, McAteer, Schwarz (Butler 70), Reyna, Kilbane, Quinn (Mboma 46), Phillips.
Subs Not Used: Macho, Williams, McCartney.
Booked: McAteer, Mboma, Kilbane.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes, Distin, Dabizas, O'Brien, Solano, Speed, Robert (Ameobi 90), Jenas, Shearer, Bellamy.
Subs Not Used: Elliott, Acuna, Harper, Lua-Lua.
Booked: Bellamy.

Att: 48,290

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

BBC Sport's John Murray
"Newcastle had that little bit more"
Newcastle manager Bobby Robson
"I am delighted that we won today"
Sunderland boss Peter Reid
"Newcastle are an excellent side"
See also:

24 Feb 02 |  Football
Dabizas decides derby
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