London: Newcastle United had a day to savour on Sunday as they chalked up their biggest home win over local rivals Sunderland for more than half a century when they thrashed the 10-man Wearsiders 5-1 in the Premier League.
Captain Kevin Nolan led the way with a hat-trick as Newcastle matched the four-goal margin of their 6-2 victory in 1956.
Although Sunderland had Titus Bramble sent off after 53 minutes for a professional foul they were already 3-0 down in a one-sided encounter.
The result was all the more surprising in that it came after Newcastle had lost two and drawn one of their previous four home league games this season while Sunderland had lost only one league game this season.
It also came at the end of a week when Newcastle manager Chris Hughton had been subjected to media speculation that his job was on the line forcing the club to issue a statement of support.
Nolan put Newcastle two up with goals after 26 and 34 minutes while Shola Ameobi's penalty made it 3-0 at the break.
Ameobi added his second after 70 minutes after barnstorming striker Andy Carroll's header came back off the bar and Nolan nodded in the fifth five minutes later.
Darren Bent got Sunderland's goal in the dying minutes.
"It's fantastic, we got lucky with a couple of goals but we worked so hard today," Nolan told Sky Sports.
"That hat-trick will live with me forever."
Hughton said: "We knew how big a game it was and you can see what it means to the fans.
"It was a fantastic team performance with some outstanding individual performances. We had that quality in front of goal today."
"It's been a tough week, but a very, very good day."
The day's other derby in the Midlands between Aston Villa and Birmingham was of a very different order as the two teams fought out a dull goalless draw.
Later on Sunday Liverpool visit Bolton Wanderers.
First Published: Monday, November 01, 2010, 00:07