FABRICIO Coloccini savoured his first derby win as captain – then dedicated it to Newcastle United’s joyous fans.
Coloccini was again outstanding in defence as Alan Pardew’s side claimed a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The game was settled by Ryan Taylor’s stunning second-half free kick, the goal a rare bit of quality in an at times ill-tempered fixture which saw Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley dismissed.
And Coloccini, handed the captain’s armband this season after the departure of Kevin Nolan, ran to the away end with his team-mates at the final whistle to throw his shirt into the crowd.
The result followed last season’s 5-1 home success over Steve Bruce’s side, and a 1-1 draw on Wearside.
Coloccini acknowledged there was no getting away from the importance of the fixture on Tyneside in the days leading up to Newcastle’s visit to the Stadium of Light.
“All week when we were went out, all the people said ‘come on, we have to win’,” Coloccini told SportMail.
“That’s good – we took the three points, and celebrated with them.
“The game and the crowd was special. The three points were a present for the fans.
“It was good – last year we won at St James’s Park, and drew here, and now we have won again.
“I’m very happy. For us, it was important to get confidence as well, and it was important for the fans.”
SEE Tuesday’s Mail for full story