IN the end, class told. Newcastle United ran out 3-0 winners over Sunderland in the first Wear-Tyne derby for almost eight years, and fully deserved their success at the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle dominated proceedings throughout on Wearside, opening the scoring at the end of the first half when Dan Ballard diverted Joelinton’s cross into his own net.

Alexander Isak added two more goals in front of the Magpies’ jubilant travelling support in the second half, slotting home after an error from Pierre Ekwah before also scoring from the penalty spot in the final minute.

Sunderland’s run of nine unbeaten derby matches is over, with Michael Beale’s side never really threatening to lay a glove on their Premier League opponents.

The commitment and character of the Black Cats’ young side was not in question, but when it came to quality, they were found wanting.

The atmosphere at kick-off was spinetingling, with Sunderland’s fans holding up cards and banners that spread around three sides of the stadium and the visiting Newcastle supporters twirling the scarves that had been handed out to them as they waited to board the coaches taking them to Wearside.

The early stages of the game was understandably cagey, although Sunderland’s intent was clear from the challenges from Alex Pritchard and Trai Hume that flew in during the opening five minutes. On opposition territory, Newcastle were not going to be allowed to have things all their own way.

They were able to dominate possession though, and as the game progressed, so the prevailing pattern became clear. Newcastle had the lion’s share of the ball – their first-half possession stats stood at 72 per cent – but were going to have to be patient to break down Sunderland’s well-drilled defence.

Sean Longstaff was the likeliest scorer in the opening half-hour, but the Magpies midfielder glanced an early header straight at Anthony Patterson, who was able to save, and wasted a much better opportunity when he blazed over from just inside the area after the ball was cleared into his path.

That opening came when Anthony Gordon got beyond Trai Hume for the first time, racing on to a through ball from Dan Burn, and Sunderland’s vulnerability down their right-hand side was to prove their undoing when the deadlock was broken just a minute later.

This is time it was Joelinton breaking beyond Hume, with his fellow Brazilian, Bruno Guimaraes, having supplied the pass, and when he whipped a low ball across the face of goal, Ballard found himself having to deal with the danger before Isak tapped in.

The Sunderland centre-half stretched out a leg to reach the ball, but only succeeded in firing it past a helpless Patterson.

The goal was greeted rapturously by the 6,000 fans in a packed-out away end, and the travelling contingent almost had a second goal to celebrate on the stroke of half-time.

Guimaraes picked out Miguel Almiron with a floated pass to the back post, but while the Paraguayan angled his body to hook in a first-time volley, the ball flew a couple of inches wide of the far post.

Sunderland needed to regroup at half-time and get themselves back into the game in the second half, but their task became significantly harder just 30 seconds after the break.

Ekwah made an ill-advised attempt to play out from the back, and was robbed of possession inside his own area by Almiron. The South American squared the ball to Isak, who calmly slotted home a first-time finish.

That was the cue for Joelinton to depart, with the Brazilian having suffered a knock in the closing stages of the first half, and while Ekwah tested Martin Dubravka with a deflected strike from outside the area, a two-goal deficit felt like too big a mountain for Sunderland to climb.

So it proved, although Dan Neil, who was Sunderland’s best player by a distance, set up Alex Pritchard for a 59th-minute strike that whistled just over the crossbar.

Luke O’Nien got himself in the way of an effort from Almiron that might well have resulted in a third Newcastle goal after Ballard made a mess of trying to deal with a cross from Guimaraes, and Gordon came close with a shot that flashed past the far post as Sunderland conceded possession in their own defensive third yet again.

The Magpies were not content with their two-goal margin though, and a third goal finally arrived in the final minute.

Having skipped away from O’Nien, Gordon was brought down by Ballard as he broke into the box, and Isak stepped up to roll home his second goal of the game from the penalty spot.