Shola Ameobi snatched a late equaliser to rescue a point for Newcastle in a bad-tempered derby against Sunderland, who had two players sent off. Nicklas Bendtner’s penalty, after Mike Williamson needlessly fouled Michael Turner, put the Black Cats ahead.
Demba Ba missed a late United penalty before Ameobi’s injury-time leveller.
The visitors had Stephane Sessegnon dismissed for elbowing Cheick Tiote while Lee Cattermole was given a straight red after the final whistle.
Cattermole’s dismissal, for foul and abusive language, capped a stormy Tyne-Wear derby, in which tempers boiled over at frequent intervals.
Sunderland have now had four players sent off in their last four Premier League games against Newcastle – Phil Bardsley in August’s 1-0 home defeat and Titus Bramble in the 5-1 thrashing in October 2010 .
Black Cats skipper Cattermole was fortunate not to join the list of shame as early as the opening minute after an ugly tackle on Newcastle’s Ivory Coast midfielder Tiote, a challenge that set the tone for another bruising encounter between the north-east neighbours.
Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye was also cautioned for hacking down Bardsley in a frantic opening, in which chances were at a premium and referee Mike Dean had his work cut out.
James McLean, fresh from making his senior Republic of Ireland debut in midweek, only added to the simmering tensions with a yellow-card challenge on Danny Simpson, whose angry reaction also earned a caution.
It was all extremely unsavoury and the game was crying out for cool heads from both sides, yet too few players were willing to oblige.
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