Brilliant save to keep out swerving long-range effort from Yohan Cabaye showed why Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon should be looking for a new club until he was caught out by Ryan Taylor
He grew up learning from the likes of Gary Neville while on the Old Trafford payroll and this steady performance at his preferred right-back spot showed that he has a sound big-match temperament but just needs to polish his game up now.
Steve Bruce once tipped the former Manchester United midfielder to play for England at left-back but a panicky performance saw him incur the wrath of the Sunderland boss
The great survivor. It's a surprise that he is still at Sunderland because he has been tipped to leave the club since Steve Bruce arrived two years ago and the amount of headers he won showed why he would not be missed.
After a starring role at Anfield, this was a disappointing show. Wasted possession on a regular basis and was booked for a rash challenge on Yohan Cabaye.
Forget Simon Mignolet and Tim Krul, the Swede was responsible for the save of the match when he illegally denied Joey Barton and should have been sent off but Howard Webb got his biggest decision wrong.
Steve Bruce reckons the livewire Benin striker could become a Sunderland legend but the pocket-rocket blew his hopes of cementing a place in Wearside folklore after being thwarted by Tim Krul's excellent first-half save.
The new Paul Scholes? The ginger-haired midfielder showed why Sunderland were happy to let Jordan Henderson leave because he more than held his own in the midfield trenches.
Ahmed El Mohamady
The Egyptian has not scored a goal in Sunderland colours and his lamentable efforts in the box showed why as he spurned a host of presentable chances.
At last he is showing welcome signs of maturing into the midfielder who showed so much while at Middlesbrough with a combative but steady performance, blighted only by a poor challenge on Joey Barton.
A constant menace to Newcastle, the Ghanaian went closest to breaking the deadlock when he the skimmed the top of the bar in first-half stoppage time.
The way the Dutch international is progressing Newcastle will be lucky to keep hold of him as he pulled off a couple of outstanding first-half saves to keep Sunderland at bay and kept his head while others lost theirs.
There was nothing spectacular from the former Sunderland defender but then again he hardly had to be at his best against poor opposition.
Toast of the Toon. The dead-ball specialist secured the bragging right for the travelling Toon Army with a sumptuous free-kick after the makeshift left-back looked distinctly ragged in the first half.
He's the sort of player that Sunderland fans love to hate because he always seems to raise his game when he takes on the local rivals and did the same again with an assured display and a string of timely blocks.
Superb. Cool, calm and collected, just the sort of captain that you need when local honour is at stake in such tense circumstances. Seems to be getting better and better. No wonder Valencia are keen on the Argentine.
After a promising debut against Arsenal last weekend, the Frenchman failed to turn up against Sunderland.
He does not offer enough of an attacking threat but there can be no complaining about his work ethic because it is second to none.
Not one of his better games but no one will be too bothered about his habit of surrendering possession thanks to the result and he even managed to avoid getting booked for the first time in ages.
Lucky to be on the pitch following a late and high lunge on Phil Bardsley, he improved and as well as being a creative influence he was only denied a goal by a brilliant Mignolet save.
Not one of his best games but he stuck to his task in central midfield and he would have been celebarting a goal had it not been for Larsson's save.
His six goals in 10 games against the local enemy mean he is usually the scourge of Sunderland and this time there were no goals but he valiantly fought for scraps as a lone striker and stuck to his task even though he received little support.
- 20 K. Westwood
- 40 L. Laing
- 19 T. Bramble
- 15 D. Vaughan
Came on in place of Richardson as Sunderland chased a point in the 71st minute but the goal-scoring midfielder was not given enough time to change the course of game.
The stage was set for him to become an instant hero when he was sent on for the ineffective Elmohamady in the 71st minute but hardly saw the ball.
Last throw of the dice. Bruce's third and final sub came on in the 82nd minute for Larsson but struggled to make an impact as Newcastle eased towards victory.
- 1 S. Harper
An 85th minute arrival as Alan Pardew shored up his defence to cope with late bombardment.
A rare apperance for injury-plagued midfielder as an 85th minute sub for Obertan but this victory should raise his spirits following a difficult couple of years even though he should have put the result beyond doubt but spurned a late chance.
- 22 S. Marveaux
- 11 P. Løvenkrands
- 19 D. Ba
- 20 L. Best