Sunderland star's 'gracious' response to what Newcastle United did after win

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Newcastle United claimed their first win over Sunderland in 12 years.

Sunderland defender Luke O'Nien played down suggestions that Newcastle United's post-match celebrations at the Stadium of Light were disrespectful.

In the first meeting between the two clubs in almost eight years, the Magpies claimed their first Tyne-Wear derby victory since August 2011 following Alexander Isak's brace and an own goal by Dan Ballard.

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At full-time, the Newcastle players and staff went over to celebrate in front of the 6,000 travelling Geordies before assistant manager Jason Tindall organised for a team photo to be taken.

Sunderland defender Luke O'Nien. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Sunderland defender Luke O'Nien. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sunderland defender Luke O'Nien. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Asked about United's celebrations on the pitch, O'Nien replied: "I think it had glimpses of when we lost to Charlton in the play-off final. I remember watching them celebrating and I was like 'right that’s going to be us in the years to come'. Fast forward a few years and we did and we lived that. 

"You have to be gracious in defeat and say Newcastle were the better team. We are disappointed with the way we conceded the goals because it felt like it came from our mistakes. You take in the atmosphere. The atmosphere at the start of the game is one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I want to make sure we have many more of those days to come."

The question was also put to Sunderland boss Michael Beale. Asked if he thought the celebrations were disrespectful, Beale said: "It shows the game meant a hell of a lot to them. It showed they needed a result. When you lose a game I can't complain about the way the other team celebrates because that'd be a headline grabber and not the right thing to do today."

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Meanwhile, on the result as a whole, O'Nien added: "It's really difficult to process because it’s quite fresh just after the game. Emotions are still a little bit scattered and I’m still trying to process them all. It’s disappointing that we didn’t come away with the win and we didn’t do that.

"It’s a difficult one to take because there are high expectations from everybody. There was the hope before the game which we all kind of lived and to not match that up with the win or the performance was difficult to take."

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