Sunderland 3 Newcastle 0: The SIX things we learned as the Black Cats became record breakers

Adam Johnson scores from the penalty spot
Adam Johnson scores from the penalty spot

Sunderland secured their first Premier League win of the season in some style, putting three past rivals and fellow strugglers Newcastle United.

But what did we learn from the sixth successive win over their fierce rivals?

Double injury blow helped Sunderland:

Newcastle United dominated the opening half at the Stadium of Light, with Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum causing the Sunderland defence no end of problems.

Then, with 35 minutes on the clock, Sunderland were dealt a blow with captain John O'Shea and Ola Toivonen having to go off injured. But in reality, it worked wonders for the Black Cats.

It meant Sunderland switched to a 4-4-2 formation, with Jermain Defoe partnering Steven Fletcher up front and they looked far more comfortable as a result. Toivonen had struggled too, so his withdrawal was no great loss.

Derby debutants struggled:

The North East derby is not a place for the faint-hearted and Sunderland's derby debutants struggled in the opening stages of the game. Ola Toivonen, in particular, looked well off the pace. Jeremain Lens wasn't his usual self but he did grow into the game. Yann M'Vila struggled to impose himself too alongside Lee Cattermole in the first half.

But as soon as Adam Johnson's penalty hit the net, Sunderland grew in stature with M'Vila coming to the fore.

Johnson, the Magpie Slayer

What can you say? When his team need him to step up to the proverbial derby plate, he always manages to do just that.

His penalty against Newcastle was his FOURTH goal in six games against the Mags, some record. And he almost had two but his long-range effort smashed off the crossbar.

His celebration wasn't bad either, running the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Newcastle fans.

Pantilimon proves his worth

The giant Romanian stopper was criticised in some quarters for the defeat at West Brom in Sam Allardyce's first game in charge last weekend. But he was in fine form against Newcastle, denying Coloccini, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic and keeping his side in the game.

Despite the win, Sunderland MUST improve:

On paper, a 3-0 win looks a very comfortable day's work. But Sunderland - the final 10 minutes aside - were far from comfortable. Newcastle dominated the first half and should have been ahead at the break. Even when Sunderland were 2-0 up, Newcastle still looked dangerous. Sam Allardyce was under no illusions afterwards, he knows they must improve.

And finally, record breakers!!!

Six wins on the trot against Newcastle United. That is a fine record and no other side in the history of this fixture has ever managed it. This current crop of Sunderland players have struggled this season but this morale-boosting win will do them the world of good. Now they just need to build on it...