Gyan rescues point for Black Cats
Record signing Asamoah Gyan spared Sunderland's blushes with an injury-time equaliser to deny Newcastle a derby double as the two sides recorded a 1-1 draw.
The Ghana international bundled home from close range four minutes into stoppage time just when it looked as though the Magpies had claimed victory at the Stadium of Light.
Kevin Nolan's 10th goal of the season with 52 minutes gone looked to have handed Newcastle the Wear-Tyne bragging rights as Newcastle enjoyed the better of the game, but had to make do with a point.
Newcastle left the Stadium of Light bemoaning the loss of two points which were firmly within their grasp for all but a few seconds of a tense encounter despite the absence of Andy Carroll, Cheik Tiote and Steven Taylor, three of the club's most impressive performers this season.
They dominated the game after Nolan's strike, his 10th of the season - the first time he has reached double figures in the Barclays Premier League - and headed off on the short trip back to Tyneside kicking themselves.
Shola Ameobi got up above Anton Ferdinand to meet Joey Barton's corner and head down for Nolan to back-heel audaciously past Craig Gordon from point-blank range.
But with the clock having ticked into the fourth minute of injury time, Gyan almost involuntarily nudged the ball over the line after keeper Steve Harper could only parry Phil Bardsley's shot to snatch a point his side barely deserved.
In the long run a return of four points from a possible six against their arch-rivals will be more than satisfactory, but a face-saving draw will do little to quell the disappointment for the bulk of a crowd of 47,864.
It was all too much for one home fan who was arrested on the pitch after making his way over to Harper and their were ugly scenes after the final whistle.