Alan Shearer raves about Sunderland's Jan Kirchhoff's performance against Newcastle United

Sunderland and Newcastle United played out a 1-1 draw at St. James' Park yesterday.

Alan Shearer has told BBC Match of the Day 2, which was broadcast on 20th March, that Sunderland’s Jan Kirchhoff was ‘absolutely brilliant’ in the Tyne-Wear derby.

Kirchhoff was stationed in defensive midfield by Sam Allardyce at St. James’ Park, and he put in a magnificent performance.

The January signing looked like the most composed midfielder on the pitch, and he did not allow the intense atmosphere to affect his performance.

Kirchhoff was calm in possession, and also disciplined positionally, and Shearer admitted that Newcastle simply could not find a way past the German.

“Kirchhoff was brilliant for an hour,” Shearer said. “Newcastle couldn’t get through him. He was all over the park. For the majority of the time Newcastle tried to go through the middle of Sunderland, but they came into a wall. And that wall was Kirchhoff. Every time he was there.

“He was just constant the whole game. He was just absolutely superb. He was brilliant.”

Kirchhoff had a inauspicious debut for Sunderland, when he came on in a heavy defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, but his performances since have been superb.

The rangy 25-year-old has thrived in a defensive midfield role, and he has quickly become a key part of Allardyce’s starting line-up at the Stadium of Light.

Despite Kirchhoff’s excellence yesterday, though, he was unable to help Sunderland to a win in the derby.

The Black Cats had taken the lead when Jermain Defoe fired them in-front during the first half, but a late header from Aleksandar Mitrovic meant the points were shared.

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