Newcastle manager Alan Pardew blamed Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole for sparking an 'ugly'
Tyne-Wear derby which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon saw red for striking Cheik Tiote and Cattermole was dismissed after the final whistle.
Referee Mike Dean sent off Cattermole, booked for a first-mintue challenge on Tiote, for foul and abusive language.
"In the first half Sunderland came here to upset us and Cattermole set the scene, it was ugly," said Pardew.
In a bad-tempered derby, eight players were booked by Dean.
Newcastle's Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Tiote were all cautioned along with Sunderland's Craig Gardner, James McLean and Cattermole.
Cattermole red foolish - O'Neill
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill admitted that Sessegnon and Cattermole deserved to be dismissed but said Tiote was 'lucky to still be on the field' at the end.
"I have gone in to see the referee and you can't be abusing the referee and therefore it has to be merited," said O'Neill.
"There were plenty of mitigating circumstances though. Tiote is a fine player but he was very lucky still to be on the field."
As for Sessegnon's dismissal, he added: "It's a sending-off offence and it hands the initiative to the opposition."
Meanwhile, Pardew was full of praise for Shola Ameobi, who scored a late equaliser to cancel out Nicklas Bendtner's earlier effort from the penalty spot.
"It will feel like defeat for Martin O'Neill. Honours even which might defuse some of the tension which has been present all week. A fine game."
He said: "The goalscorer says everything about Newcastle United. He is a legend to me.
"Luckily we got to half-time and got into our players about calming down and playing the game.
"We put them under pressure and sometimes people crack. And when Sessegnon was sent off it was all us."
O'Neill was frustrated by conceding a late equaliser but delighted with his side's effort.
"I am very proud of the team and very disappointed to have dropped the points so late in the game," he added.
"We played brilliantly first half and deserved to be in front. But it is difficult to win a game with 10 men. We defended resolutely and it was a terrific effort."