Police praised the majority of North East football fans after making just 20 arrests in connection with the Wear-Tyne derby day.
Seven of those came in pre-dawn raids on homes across Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham where officers seized smoke canisters and picked up 18, 19, 20, 26, 51, and two 57-year-olds on suspicion of conspiring to commit violent disorder and breaching football banning orders.
“The vast majority of fans were well behaved today and enjoyed the Wear-Tyne derby for the great occasion that it is,” chief superintendent Steve Neill said.
“The policing operation went well and I’d like to commend the professionalism of all those involved.
“This was very much a partnership operation and the degree of planning that went into this large scale operation ensured that genuine fans and families were able to enjoy the game in an atmosphere free of intimidation or violence.
“Twenty arrests out of crowd of that size is very low and I’m pleased that the vast majority of fans who attended were clearly there to enjoy the football and were not interested in causing trouble.
“I’d like to praise supporters from both clubs - they worked well with officers on the ground, were extremely patient and good natured and enjoyed the day in the best sprit. The holdback went very smoothly and supporters worked really well with police and stewards.
“Public safety is always our number one priority during any football match and the few people who chose to pose a threat to public safety were dealt with swiftly by police.”
After the match thousands of disappointed Magpies fans poured out of the pubs and clubs onto the streets of Newcastle City Centre, with an initially tense atmosphere threatening to boil over.
But as the evening progressed the mood changed, feeling more like a bank holiday Sunday, with many supporters staying in town and more putting their glad rags on and heading out in an attempt to drown their sorrows.
And instead of taking their anger out on each other, quite a few supporters took to the internet - including The Chronicle’s website and Facebook page - to vent their frustrations at the team’s failings. “Ben Arfa was poor today, Cisse was played out of position and we were beaten by a poor Sunderland team,” said Belfast-based NUFC fan William Rea. “And yet Pardew and Ashley believe we still didn’t need to strengthen in the summer.
“Its last season re-run time by the looks of it.”
“Pardew’s record against the Mackems is played six, won one, lost two, drawn three in an era when we have had the better team,” said Dave Gilbert. “If he is unable to motivate the team for these games - which surely was required following the 3-0 defeat - then there is something missing and he has to go.
“He cannot continue to live on the glory of the fifth position of two season’s ago as we have gone backwards since and this season looks no different to last.”
However others were slightly more philosophical, with Chris Gribbin from Amble calling for calm.
“Fair play to Sunderland, they obviously wanted it more than Newcastle,” he said. “We can’t win them all and there’s always next time.
“We know things are not right at mo at NUFC, but we’re still in the top flight so it’s not too bad.
“Agreed some players are just not good enough for the Premiership, but also some are but are and are just not wanting to earn their money.
“Though I think performance related pay would put a change to that.”