LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) Sunderland drew 1-1 with Newcastle United in an evenly fought northeast derby at the Stadium of Light in the first of only three Premier League matches being played today.
Derby County were kicking off against West Ham United at 2030IST while Liverpool face Fulham at 2345IST with the rest of the fixtures being played tomorrow and Monday.
Sunderland, without a league win in their last six games and without a home win over Newcastle since April 1980, went ahead after 52 minutes when Danny Higginbotham scored his first goal for the club with a well-taken header.
Newcastle equalised 13 minutes later when James Milner's cross-cum-shot went in off the far post.
Sunderland had the better chances in a typically lively derby and former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra went close to scoring against his old club but saw his 82nd minute header bounce back off the bar.
Newcastle stay in 10th position with 18 points from 12 matches while Sunderland remain 15th with 10 points from 13.
REUTERS AB HT2132