Newcastle boss Alan Pardew and Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill found themselves embroiled in a war of words after a tempestuous derby came to a dramatic conclusion.
From the moment referee Mike Riley booked Black Cats skipper Lee Cattermole for a wild challenge on Cheick Tiote with just 40 seconds gone he was a central character, and he left the field to be greeted by accusations that he had received a visit from the Newcastle coaching staff at half-time.
Asked about the straight red card Cattermole received for confronting Dean after the final whistle, O'Neill said: "Possibly in mitigation we had heard that some of their staff had visited the referee's changing room at half-time. Of course, we are not party to what was said, but Lee's mitigating circumstance was that he felt a lot of decisions had gone Newcastle's way in the second half."
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