Newcastle United made light work of north-east rivals Sunderland as Alexander Isak’s double secured a 3-0 win and a place in the FA Cup fourth round at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Second-tier Sunderland might have fancied their chances with Newcastle on a run of five defeats in their last six Premier League games but were no match for Eddie Howe’s side.
Sean Longstaff had already wasted two good opportunities as the visitors dominated by the time Dan Ballard turned Joelinton’s cross into his own goal in the 35th minute.
Sweden striker Izak then capitalised on a defensive error by Pierre Ekwah immediately after the break to put Eddie Howe’s side in charge.
The first meeting of the clubs since 2016 never really lived up to the hype and, while Sunderland did improve, Izak’s late penalty after a foul on Anthony Gordon by Ballard sent the away fans into party mode.
“It feels great to win,” Howe, whose side’s season has stalled of late, told ITV. “I never worried about the draw I always thought it was a great draw — as long as we won it.
“We handled the occasion well, were brave with the ball and were very composed. We didn’t let the crowd take over and we handled everything really well in the first half.”
In the day’s other early ties, sixth-tier Maidstone United, the lowest-ranked club left in the competition, beat third-tier Stevenage 1-0 to reach the fourth round for the first time — Sam Corne scoring the only goal from the penalty spot.
Championship leaders Leicester City, FA Cup winners in 2021, won 3-2 at Millwall while Ipswich Town, who are also targeting a Premier League return, won 3-1 at Wimbledon.
Coventry City thrashed Oxford United 6-2 to reach the fourth round for the first time in five years.
Later on Saturday Middlesbrough welcome Premiere League high-flyers Aston Villa while Chelsea are at home to Preston North End. Arsenal host Liverpool on Sunday.