Taylor derby hero in Toon triumph
Ryan Taylor became Newcastle's latest derby hero after firing the Magpies to a 1-0 victory at Sunderland with a superb free-kick.
The former Wigan full-back curled his 62nd-minute effort over keeper Simon Mignolet to win a hard-fought encounter which the Black Cats dominated for long periods.
Alan Pardew's men, who were denied at the death at the Stadium of Light last season by Asamoah Gyan's last-gasp equaliser, might have won more comfortably had they been awarded a clear first-half penalty.
Joey Barton spent the opening weekend of the season in the headlines for the wrong reasons, and he found himself in the thick of the action once again within 14 minutes of a pulsating derby
Having weathered an early storm which saw them pinned deep inside their own half for long periods, the Magpies won a left-wing corner which Yohan Cabaye delivered to the far post.
Shola Ameobi, who went into the game with six derby goals to his name, met the ball with a firm header which Barton helped on towards the top corner.
But as he prepared to celebrate, Sebastian Larsson threw out an arm and blocked the ball, sparking a mass protest from the men in black and white.
Referee Howard Webb consulted his assistant, but then awarded only a corner, much to the horror of the visitors and the relief of their counterparts in red and white.
Newcastle took the lead after Jonas Gutierrez had been tripped by Lee Cattermole.
Ryan Taylor curled the resulting free-kick high over the stranded Mignolet and into the top corner to spark delirious celebrations on and off the pitch.