The team-sheet Gus Poyet put out for his first derby in charge of Sunderland was a major talking point in the minutes before the game ... but did he get it spot on?
Mackems were left scratching their heads - Andrea Dossena being handed a debut and Ki Sung-Yueng being left on the bench.
The restoration of Carlos Cuellar at centre-half was as big a surprise as Jack Colback being handed a start in central midfield.
But the Uruguayan was quick to explain in the post-match press conference that there was method in what some perceived to be madness.
Gus Poyet: “I tried to go back to basics.
“I tried to put people in the positions they prefer – a left-back in a left-back position, a right-back in a right-back position, two natural centre halves, two natural central midfielders.
“I tried not to complicate things.
“Probably the biggest risk I took was putting two strikers up front but if you don’t take risks, you are not going to get out of the trouble we currently find ourselves in.
“Playing two up front put pressure on the central midfielders and the wide men to contribute.
“But Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback were outstanding in their contribution because they worked so hard.
“I took Lee off towards the end because he was tiring and I felt that we needed to hold on to the ball a little bit better but he had still played great.
“It was just that we had worked so hard in the first half it would have been impossible to maintain it.”
Poyet has a 3-0 head-to-head over Pardew as Newcastle United manager, obviously proving he knows a lot more about tactics than the Toon boss, because on all three occasions Newcastle were favourites to win.
Two FA Cup victories for Brighton, and that 2-1 win on Sunday must have Pardew wondering what he has to do to beat him.
THIS WEEK'S FIXTURES
Tuesday October 29League Cup19:45 Arsenal1 v Chelsea 19:45 Birmingham City v Stoke City 19:45 Burnley v West Ham United 19:45 Leicester City v Fulham 19:45 Man Utd v Norwich City
Wednesday October 30League Cup19:45 Newcastle United v Manchester City 19:45 Tottenham v Hull City
Saturday November 2Premier League12:45 Newcastle United v Chelsea 15:00 Fulham v Man Utd 15:00 Hull City v Sunderland 15.00 Manchester City v Norwich City 15:00 Stoke City v Southampton 15:00 West Brom v Crystal Palace 15:00 West Ham United v Aston Villa 17:30 Arsenal v Liverpool
Sunday November 3Premier League13:30 Everton v Tottenham 16:00 Cardiff City v Swansea CitySUNDERLAND 2 NEWCASTLE 1 SUNDERLAND: 20. Keiren Westwood 2. Phil Bardsley 77' 24. Carlos Cuellar 16. John O'Shea 3. Andrea Dossena 7. Sebastian Larsson 33. Lee Cattermole 70' 14. Jack Colback 11. Adam Johnson 69' 9. Steven Fletcher 17. Jozy Altidore Subs: 4. Ki Sung-Yueng 70' 8. Craig Gardner 12. Ondrej Celustka 77' 23. Emanuele Giaccherini 25. Vito Mannone 29. Valentin Roberge 31. Fabio Borini 69' NEWCASTLE: 1. Tim Krul 26. Mathieu Debuchy 6. Mike Williamson 36. Paul Dummett 3. Davide Santon 7. Moussa Sissoko 45' 24. Cheick Tiote 4. Yohan Cabaye 11. Yoan Gouffran 86' 10. Hatem Ben Arfa 14. Loic Remy 70' Subs: 8. Vurnon Anita 9. Papiss Cisse 45' 19. Massadio Haidara 21. Rob Elliot 23. Shola Ameobi 70' 25. Gabriel Obertan 28. Sammy Ameobi 86'
Personally I thought we were the better team, and sadly the difference that cost us the defeat was young Paul Dummett thrown in at the deep end.
Yes, the goal against Liverpool was a milestone for the kid, but as Alan Hansen pointed out on MOTD, he also cost us by being at fault for Liverpool's goal after that.
And he looked well out of his depth at the Stadium of Shite on Sunday.
He's a Geordie and he knows more than anyone what defeat to the Mackem brings ... and perhaps that was his problem ... he looked as though he was shitting himself.
Fabio Borini wrote himself into Wearside folklore as he came off the bench to fire the Mackems to a 2-1 derby victory, but we deserved better than that.
We were the better team, and perhaps Alan Pardew's substitutions cost us, but how can we call a manager who throws caution to the wind and goes for the win. We ALL wanted the win - sadly it back-fired in alarming fashion. Borini, signed on loan from Liverpool, struck with an 85th-minute piledriver to secure just a second home league win for the Black Cats over Newcastle since 1980 and a first in the league this season.
Mathieu Debuchy had dragged United back into the game with a 57th-minute equaliser, following Steven Fletcher's early goal after just five minutes.
But Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye finally starting to get to grips with the central midfield battle, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to score as time ran down.
It was a match Sunderland simply could not afford to lose - but every derby is a game NOBODY can afford to lose.
The absence of a recognised centre-half pairing - with neither Fabricio Coloccini or Steven Taylor fit and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa suspended - the onus was on left-back Dummett.
Poyet opted to pair Fletcher with summer signing Jozy Altidore and the pair caused Dummett and partner Mike Williamson all kinds of problems in a high-octane start by the home side.
They needed just five minutes to force their way in front, and the goal came straight from the training ground.
Adam Johnson played a corner short to Sebastian Larsson and then delivered the return pass to the far post for Fletcher to climb high above Dummett and head home.
Johnson repeatedly made ground down the left and delivered a series of telling crosses, Fletcher glancing a 14th-minute header wide from one of them three minutes before forcing Tim Krul into a save with a well-struck effort from distance.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew, who had started as he did against Liverpool last week with Hatem Ben Arfa at the pinnacle of 4-2-3-1 formation, was forced to abandon Plan A with his team simply not competing, and with Loic Remy moved into an advanced position and the former Marseille man dropping deeper, Newcastle were far more effective.
However, all their better attempts came from distance with Cabaye prompting Keiren Westwood to make his only real first-half save with a dipping 16th-minute free kick, but both he and Ben Arfa were significantly more wayward thereafter.
Perhaps the Magpies' most promising attack of the opening 45 minutes came eight minutes before the break when left-back Davide Santon picked out right-back Debuchy with an elegant pass and Larsson had to head his dangerous cross away with black and white shirts arriving in numbers.
Pardew opted for further change at the break, sending on striker Papiss Cisse for midfielder Moussa Sissoko, but the Magpies were able to create little during the opening exchanges of the second half despite enjoying a wealth of possession.
But they were back in it 12 minutes after the restart when Ben Arfa, who had been infuriatingly ineffective until that point, accepted Cabaye's pass and drove a low cross across the face of goal for Debuchy to convert at the far post.
Cabaye fired just wide after good work by Santon and Ben Arfa with 63 minutes gone with the visitors starting to turn the screw.
However, Borini almost made his name on Wearside within seconds of his arrival as a 69th-minute replacement for Johnson, blasting a shot through Krul, only to see the Dutchman gratefully grab the ball at the second attempt.
Davide Santon drilled a skidding effort just wide with 14 minutes remaining and derby specialist Shola Ameobi, on as a 70th-minute replacement for Remy, went just as close two minutes later.
But the decisive moment came at the other end five minutes from time when Borini ran on to Altidore's lay-off and smashed an unstoppable shot past Krul to win it.
Difficult to take ... but I don't think the defeat came because of lack of effort.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2013/14
SUNDERLAND 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Debuchy)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Dummett, Santon, Sissoko (45' Cisse), Tiote, Cabaye, Gouffran (86' Sammy Ameobi), Ben Arfa, Remy (70' Shola Ameobi).Subs: Anita, Haidara, Elliot, Obertan.
NEWCASTLE UTD 2 LIVERPOOL 2 (Cabaye, Dummett)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Cabaye (78' Sammy Ameobi), Tiote, Gouffran, Sissoko (45' Dummett), Remy, Ben Arfa (78' Anita).Subs: Cisse, Elliot, Obertan, Dummett.
CARDIFF CITY 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Remy 2)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye (86' Ben Arfa), Gouffran, Sissoko, Remy (71' Gutierrez), Cisse Subs: Anita, Yanga-Mbiwa, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
EVERTON 3 NEWCASTLE 2 (Cabaye, Remy)Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa (46' Williamson), Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Anita (69' Cisse), Ben Arfa (46' Cabaye), Sissoko, Gouffran, Remy Subs: Elliot, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 2 HULL CITY 3 (Remy 2)Krul, Debuchy (86' Tiote), Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye (62' Gouffran), Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Cisse (73' Marveaux), Remy Subs: Williamson, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
ASTON VILLA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ben Arfra, Gouffran)Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Anita (74' Tiote), Cabaye (88' Sammy Ameobi), Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Remy (63' Gouffran), Cisse Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, S Taylor, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 1 FULHAM 0 (Ben Arfa)Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita 65' (Cabaye), Marveaux 74' (Remy), Shola Ameobi 65' (Gouffran), Cisse Subs: Gosling, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 0Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux 66' (Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi, Cisse 72'Subs: Gosling, Bigirimana, Elliot, Vuckic, Dummett
MAN CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 0Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tiote, Gouffran 45+4' (Dummett), Ben Arfa 65' (Sammy Ameobi), Gutierrez 44' (Anita), Cisse Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan
NEWCASTLE 2 LEEDS UTD 0 (Cisse, Gouffran)Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Gouffran (90' Vuckic), Anita (80' Gosling), Tiote, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Cisse (71' Obertan).Subs: Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Bigirimana, Alnwick
MORECAMBE 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi)Elliot, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Good, Dummett, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux 88' (Sissoko), Vuckic 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi, Gouffran 71' (Ben Arfa)Subs: Santon, Anita, Alnwick, StreeteNewcastle United Fixtures Wednesday October 3019:45 League Cup - 4th RndNewcastle United v Manchester City Saturday November 212:45 Premier LeagueNewcastle United v Chelsea Sunday November 1012:00 Premier LeagueTottenham v Newcastle United
Source: Newcastle United Mad