Shearer's Mackem Farewell!
SUNDERLAND 1 NEWCASTLE UTD 4
SUNDERLAND: Davis, Hoyte, Caldwell, Danny Collins, McCartney,Lawrence, Whitehead, Miller, Daryl Murphy (Arca 64),Stead (Kyle 68), Brown.
Subs Not Used: Joe Murphy, Breen, Leadbitter.
NEWCASTLE: Given, Carr, Bramble, Moore, Babayaro, Solano, Faye,Clark (Chopra 59), N'Zogbia (Boumsong 88), Dyer,Shearer (Luque 71).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Ramage.
Newcastle staged a stunning second-half fightback to maintain their charge for Europe by slamming the Barclays Premiership door firmly shut behind arch-rivals Sunderland.
Four second-half goals handed the Magpies a third win on the trot at the Stadium of Light and a fourth successive league win as Glenn Roeder got the better of the caretaker bosses.
It was an outcome which looked unlikely at half-time when they trudged off the pitch trailing to Justin Hoyte's 32nd-minute strike having been completely out-played by Kevin Ball's men.
But substitute Michael Chopra levelled within 13 seconds of his arrival as a 59th-minute replacement for Lee Clark, and Alan Shearer thumped home a penalty two minutes later to put the visitors ahead.
Charles N'Zogbia's 66th-minute strike sealed the points, and Albert Luque's 88th-minute fourth simply added to the misery on Wearside as the Black Cats' wait for a home win over their neighbours continued.
The game represented Sunderland's last chance to salvage any pride from a disastrous season, and a crowd of 40,032 turned up to witness it, the bulk of them hoping against hope that Shearer's last-ever visit to the Stadium of Light would end in disappointment.
Their task could not be under-estimated: they had not won a home derby in 10 attempts stretching back 26 years, and with the Magpies having won their last three league games on the trot to rekindle hopes of European qualification, they knew a first league win on their own ground would take a major performance.
However, after excellent displays in their last two completed games - they were trailing 1-0 to Fulham last weekend when the match was abandoned - to secure creditable away draws at Everton and Manchester United, they ran out confident of finally giving their home supporters something to celebrate.
That confidence proved well founded as Ball's players excelled themselves before the break while Newcastle were woefully short of their best form.
The Black Cats dominated the opening 45 minutes with Liam Lawrence, Dean Whitehead, Tommy Miller and Daryl Murphy holding sway in midfield as former Sunderland man Clark and Amady Faye struggled to stem the tide.
Shearer and makeshift strike partner Kieron Dyer saw too little of the ball to do anything about it, and although Titus Bramble and Craig Moore initially did well to keep the home side at bay, the Magpies were found wanting when it mattered most after 32 minutes.
Jon Stead, confidence renewed after finally opening his Sunderland account, eased his way past Bramble wide on the left to cross for Whitehead at the near post, and when he turned the ball across goal, Hoyte slammed home from close range.
Nolberto Solano curled a 44th-minute free-kick into Kelvin Davis' arms a minute before the break, but apart from wayward efforts from Shearer and Celestine Babayaro, the keeper was a virtual spectator.
The visitors came out for the second half in more positive fashion, Stephen Carr and Charles N'Zogbia both getting into good positions to cross within the opening three minutes of the half, although neither was able to find a team-mate.
Moore needed to be at his best to finally dispossess Stead after he twisted and turned his way into the box after 51 minutes, but with the visitors now making a push of sorts, their hosts were having to defend a little deeper.
However, it took a timely intervention by Moore to halt an enterprising 51st-minute run by Stead with the striker hurdling challenges with ease to work his way into the box.
Newcastle's woes would have increased on 55 minutes had Stead's cross towards Chris Brown been a couple of feet lower, although N'Zogbia wasted Shearer's hold-up play seconds later when he screwed a shot horribly high and wide.
However, the game turned on its head within seven incident-packed minutes when Chopra equalised from close range after the home defence made a mess of clearing Bramble's long ball.
But worse was to follow two minutes later when N'Zogbia was hauled back by Hoyte inside the box and referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot.
Shearer, having converted penalties against both Tottenham and Wigan in the last fortnight or so, blasted his effort beyond Davis' dive to claim his first ever goal for the club at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland's dejection was visible, and it increased with 66 minutes gone when N'Zogbia worked his way into the box and slid a left-foot shot past Davis and inside the far post.
Shearer's afternoon ended prematurely with 19 minutes remaining when he limped off to be replaced by Albert Luque, with Ball already having sent on Kevin Kyle and Julio Arca for Stead and Murphy.
Arca's service from the right gave the home side hope with Chris Brown heading wide from a 76th-minute cross, but although the battled manfully to the whistle, the damage had been done and Luque's first goal for the club completed the rout.