There was plenty riding on Sunday's clash between two North East rivals, with both clubs sweating on their Premier League status.
In the end, it was the Black Cats who collected the spoils and offered their survival bid a welcome shot in the arm.
For Pardew and Newcastle, on the back of a week which has seen them crash out of Europe and suffer a third defeat in four in the league, it is back to drawing board.
The Magpies boss told Sky Sports: "It looked like a team that had worked all week on the opposition and were fresh, and the other team looked tired - that was our team.
"We were tired and lost our shape a little bit at times and were off the cuff. We were just tired in the mind and in the body. A game like that, you can't be. It took its toll on us this week.
"With that in mind, we still should have played better. The linesman has made a crucial decision at 1-0, which could take the game somewhere else. Unfortunately for us, he has called it offside when it's not. They have then, from two breakaways, smashed it in the top corner.
"It's a very ugly day for us and from the staff and from my players, I apologise to our fans."