Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hailed a "magnificent effort" from his players as they claimed a 1-1 draw at Sunderland, despite playing for more than an hour in the Tyne-Wear derby with 10 men.
The visitors went ahead after three minutes through Yohan Cabaye, but they were on the back foot when Cheick Tiote was sent off after 25 minutes.
The Magpies nearly held out, though, only for Demba Ba's own goal four minutes from time to earn Sunderland a point at the Stadium of Light.
Pardew told Sky Sports: "It was a magnificent effort. We said to the players before the game how important it was to the fans, we've now shown how important it is to us.
"Playing an hour with 10 men, if we could have just seen it out it would have been one of the greatest victories ever here. But it's a great point and I'm very proud of my players."
The Newcastle boss admitted the sending-off "changed the game", with Ivory Coast midfielder Tiote punished for an over-the-ball tackle.
Pardew added: "At first I didn't think it was that bad, but looking back at it again we can't have any complaints. But what a response from the rest of the group."
Sunderland defender John O'Shea claimed the hosts deserved a point.
"I think so," he added. "Newcastle have a good shape about them, work hard on their shape with two banks of four and the big men up front, so it was difficult, but we managed to get the goal.
"It was a great game to be involved in, both (sets of) players wanted to win so much, It was vital not to lose the game."
Sebastian Larsson admitted he was starting to lose hope before the late leveller.
"When we had that much possession for so long we were starting to doubt it maybe, but luckily we managed to get the equaliser.
"It would have been devastating to lose that game, all that possession and not to get a goal would have been harsh."