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Violence mars Sunderland's win over Newcastle

Violence mars Sunderland's win over Newcastle

Police arrested 29 football fans on Saturday after crowd trouble marred Sunderland's first home victory over northeast rival Newcastle in 28 years.
Sunderland manager Roy Keane said his fans at the Stadium of Light _ hundreds of whom came on the field at the end of the game _ deserved the opportunity to celebrate the 2-1 Premier League victory despite clashes with Newcastle fans in and around the ground.
"You have got to enjoy (the win) _ it has been a hell of a long time," Keane told reporters. "If you think I am going to sit here and criticize Sunderland supporters, then you are wrong,"
There were violent scenes during the match when Sunderland fans hurled bottles and coins at Joey Barton as the Newcastle midfielder prepared to return to action after serving a six-match ban.
Barton, who featured in the last six minutes, angered fans in his response by kissing Newcastle's club badge.
As Barton was warming up on the touchline, police had to intervene to protect the player who was sanctioned by England's Football Association for attacking former teammate Ousmane Dabo at Manchester City's training ground in 2007.
"It's not Joey Barton's fault, is it?" interim Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear said. "He has been in the thick of everything this week.
"Every mass murder that has gone on in this country, his name has been associated with."
Police said it was fortunate there were no serious injuries.
"There were 29 people arrested for a variety of offenses particularly going onto the playing area," Northumbria police said. "There were a number of potential clashes between groups of fans. These were quickly brought under control by police but it took firm and effective action.
"It is difficult to comprehend the mentality of this. It is only through good fortune that nobody was seriously hurt."
Police officers on horseback were attacked with fireworks outside the ground and one horse sustained minor burns.
Kieran Richardson clinched Sunderland's victory with a 75th-minute free kick.
Keane's side had gone ahead in the 20th through Djibril Cisse, but the lead only lasted 10 minutes as Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi headed home.
As the club faces potential repercussions for the trouble, Keane appealed for leniency from football's governing body.
"Hopefully the FA will go easy on us," Keane said. "Supporters have to enjoy it, it's been a long while since they've had something to really celebrate and they have to enjoy these things.
"If they've overstepped the mark we will do something about it."
Sunderland last beat Newcastle at home _ at the old Roker Park ground _ in April 1980.


Updated : 2020-11-30 01:37 GMT+08:00