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Philippe Coutinho runs at the Arsenal back four and is tripped up by Per Mertesacker right on the edge of the box. Steven Gerrard scoops the resulting free kick over the wall and just over the crossbar.
Arsenal conceded at this point in this fixture last season. Still goalless. IMPROVEMENT.
Arsenal conceded at this point against Stoke in their last away game. Still goalless. IMPROVEMENT.
It's Alexis Sanchez versus the team he COULD have joined. It's Liverpool. It's Arsenal. It's the biggest game of the weekend. Away we go!
Raheem Sterling to the club's official website: "It was possibly one of the best games I've been involved in. It's always great to play against Arsenal and to beat them in such good fashion, playing really good football at times. It showed the heights we were at last season."
Righteo. Before attention fully switches to Anfield, one final look - courtesy of our buddies at Opta - at the action from St James' Park...
- Sunderland are unbeaten in their last six Barclays Premier League games against Newcastle United (W4 D2), winning the last four
- Adam Johnson has scored three goals and provided one assist in his last four PL appearances vs Newcastle United
- Lee Cattermole has been shown more yellow cards than any other PL player this season (8). It was also his 70th yellow card in the PL – level with Dennis Wise, Mark Hughes and Jamie Carragher
While Mario Balotelli sits this one out due to an FA suspension, fellow £16 million man Danny Welbeck starts after becoming a key player for Arsenal since his summer switch from Manchester United. The Balotelli v Welbeck debate is no more - there’s only one winner...
How Wenger’s £16m gamble paid off
82% - Costel Pantilimon has the best saves to shots ratio of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Custodian.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 21, 2014
A big win for Sunderland that moves them up from 16th to 14th in the table and four points above the relegation zone. Newcastle stay ninth but will be leapfrogged by Liverpool if the Reds beat Arsenal.
He tells Sky Sports: “Don't know what to say really, they must hate me but I am delighted and to keep a clean sheet means a lot. It’s is a personal favourite of mine here, a great ground and we always seem to rise to the occasion. I took my time and set myself and it went in.”
More from Graeme Bailey: "Alan Pardew and Newcastle United just cannot shake off their Sunderland hoodoo as they lose a fourth successive derby clash. Adam Johnson’s late, classic, counter-attacking strike won the day for the visitors as he struck for a third derby in a row."
Adam Johnson in midweek: “It’s better when you win away. Afterwards, you realise you’ve done it, the music is turned up and you’ve won the game. You get on the bus and you can see everybody there [at Newcastle] is fuming. That’s the best part. It just makes it a better feeling winning in front of their fans.”
Graeme Bailey reports: “A late strike from Adam Johnson gave Sunderland yet another win at St James' Park over arch-rivals Newcastle United. With the game looking destined for a goalless draw, Johnson led a late counter attack and finished off the move to break Newcastle hearts as he struck for a third successive Tyne-Wear derby clash.”
4 - Adam Johnson has had a hand in four goals in his last four PL apps versus Newcastle United (three goals, one assist). Influence.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 21, 2014
Sebastian Larsson, who so nearly made it 2-0 moments ago but only found the side-netting after rounding the goalkeeper, is replaced by Jack Rodwell.
Five minutes for Newcastle to find an equaliser!
GOAL: Late drama! 15:13 GMT... WORDS, consider yourselves EATEN. Totally against the run of play, Sunderland break on the counter. ADAM JOHNSON leads the charge and receives the ball back around 12 yards from goal to smash home what should be the winner!
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