Sat 6 Jan 2024, 16:07 by Ash Harrison

Sunderland (A) player ratings: It was men against boys at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland (A) player ratings: It was men against boys at the Stadium of Light
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
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Newcastle United swept to a thoroughly convincing 3-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon to earn a first Tyne-Wear Derby win since 2011.

The hosts were as meek an opponent as we could have hoped to face in this season's FA Cup Third Round, failing to build up a head of steam at any point in the 'contest'.

For Newcastle's part, this was as professional a performance as we could have wished for, with our players pressuring the opposition into mistakes time and time again.

Of the starting XI, only Sean Longstaff was below par, with the likes of Fabian Schär, Miguel Almirón, and Alexander Isak excellent on a brilliant afternoon for the Magpies.

Here's our full rundown of player ratings and a potentially surprising POTM award.

This was a near-perfect derby performance from the lads

Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
We dominated the contest from start to finish and were full value for a 3-0 win

Martin Dúbravka – 8

Although he was only called into action on a couple of occasions, he made one particularly brilliant save with his trailing leg from a deflected Ekwah effort. The other stop from Pitchard was still decent but more routine and his distribution was the best it's been since his return.

Kieran Trippier (c) – 8

He was only exposed against Clarke on a few occasions after the game was already 2-0, but he handled the winger well. The home side were so poor he was able to spend the vast majority of his time on the attack, though his delivery wasn't quite on point.

Fabian Schär – 9

This was an absolute stroll in the park for Fab, who seemed to enjoy having Joelinton to aim for down our left again. His passing was excellent, he showed superb composure on the rare occasions he was tested, and he marshalled the rest of his colleagues throughout.

Sven Botman – 8

He still doesn't look quite right to us when he's put under pressure defensively, but every other element of Botman's game was quality here. He gives us an extra dimension in possession with his ability to pick a pass and he takes a lot of pressure off Burn at times.

Dan Burn – 7

The big man definitely enjoyed his first taste of playing in a Tyne-Wear Derby, but he was again one of our weaker performers. He played his part in the clean sheet, no doubt about it, but he has so many sloppy moments in possession for such an experienced head.

Sean Longstaff – 5

If he's not off balance and falling over, he's leaning back when shooting and putting the ball into the upper tier of stadiums around the country. He was poor here all-round, winning just 1/7 duels and having the lowest pass completion percentage of our midfielders.

Bruno Guimarães – 8

He was taking the proverbial out of the Mackems towards the end but hadn't been brilliant before the game was won, with his long passing and through passing again missing the mark too often. He still does as much good as bad, though, and ran the show from deep.

Joelinton – 8

If he hadn't been forced off as soon as it went 2-0, we do not doubt that the scoreline would have been even more convincing than it was. He just had too much pace and power for his child-like opponents and did particularly superbly to force the opening (own) goal.

Miguel Almirón – 9 ⭐️

Miggy was the personification of being 'up for it' from the first whistle, winning an incredible seven of the eight tackles we made as a team in the opening period. He did brilliantly for the second goal to rob Alese and assist Isak, too, and really deserved a goal for his efforts.

Alexander Isak – 9

Although not much of a factor in the contest from open play when having just 26 touches, he came up with another two goals to etch his name into derby folklore. He's already one of the best strikers to wear the black and white and there's plenty more to come from him.

Anthony Gordon – 8

Hume will be having nightmares about Gordon tonight, we're sure, who ran the home right-back ragged throughout. He's not at his sharpest at the moment, either, but still won the penalty for the third and caused Sunderland no end of issues with his directness.

There wasn't much on the bench, but it didn't matter a jot

Stu Forster/Getty Images
Isak proved himself to be the man for the big occasion once again, he's ice cold

Lewis Miley – 6

He seemed to find it difficult to get up to the pace of the game and was uncharacteristically sloppy at times, but Sunderland were so insipid it didn't make much difference.

Jamaal Lascelles – 6

It's been a return to bench duty for Lascelles after his injury and with Botman back. Still, he got a little bit of pitch time as a consolation and was able to enjoy a first derby win.

Tino Livramento – 6

Tino only had time for one touch but he completed the one pass he needed to make. Could probably count himself unlucky to be on the bench after Burn's Anfield showing.

Paul Dummett – 6

What a pleasure it was to see a smiling Dummett getting a runout at the Dark Place with the contest already won. He got four touches and completed all three of his passes.

Matt Ritchie – 6

He managed to get a good bit of pointing in during this very brief cameo, but the game was done and dusted by the time he arrived. He's a glorified cheerleader at this point.

Next up for the Magpies is Manchester City at home

Peter Powell/EPA
If we perform like we did against City last season we'll be in with a chance

It certainly doesn't get any easier for Howe and the players, with the Citizens due at Gallowgate on Saturday for a 5.30 p.m. GMT kick-off that will be shown live on TNT Sports.

It's not like Pep Guardiola's side are in fantastic form themselves, though, and we'd expect the atmosphere at St. James' to be bouncing after this stroll on Wearside.

Howay the lads!

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