Three teams below Newcastle United all played this afternoon – and they all lost.
Captain Owen – cheer up Michael – they all lost
But Middlesbrough continue to pick up points, however, and were just 5 minutes away from doing the double over Arsenal, before Kolo Toure equalized for the Gunners with a header after 85 minutes.
Sunderland went down 1-0 at home against Chelsea, with a 10th minute goal by captain John Terry that was enough to secure the win for the London side. It was Terry’s first goal for the club since August 2006, but Chelsea missed several good chances in the first half.
They were almost made to pay for the error of their ways as Sunderland mounted a terrific comeback, but in the end they were unlucky not to capture at least a point. Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had to make fine saves from Andy Reid and Grant Leadbitter on either side of the break. But impressive striker Kenwyne Jones should have earned Sunderland a point with 15 minutes remaining, only to head straight at the Italian goalkeeper, with the goal wide open.
Reading gave Liverpool a battle at Anfield, and even went ahead through Marek Matejovskyw after just 5 minutes. But Argentinian Javier Mascherano pulled one back for the Reds after 19 minutes.
The Liverpool winner was scored in the second half by …………. Fernando Torres – who else? . 😀
Reading continued to show tremendous spirit following their two successive wins, and they gave Liverpool all they could handle. Reading threw everything forward in the last 5 minutes and were almost rewarded with a penalty when Gerrard charged down a Kitson shot in added time.
But appeals for a penalty were turned down, and Liverpool hung on to win the game and secure 4th place above rivals Everton. It was a much better showing by Reading today, than Newcastle’s weak capitulation last Saturday.
Both Sunderland and Reading are showing great courage and Sunderland were warmly applauded off the field by their 44,679 fans at the Stadium of Light, after their valiant efforts. The manager Roy Keane, although disappointed with the result, refused to criticize his players for their effort and guts.
Note that both these teams have to come to St. James’ Park in the run-in to the season. We should remember that neither of these teams will wave the white flag.
Bottom placed Derby County were beaten 1-0 at home by the Red Devils, but Manchester had to wait until the 76th minutes for Ronaldo to make sure of all three points. Derby were outclassed in the first half but just hung on, and as the second half progressed they grew in confidence and their play also improved.
Paul Jewell is doing a good job of getting his team fighting for everything – and this is obvious preparation for Derby for next season. They would hope to come straight back up from the Championship.
Middlesbrough almost did the double over Arsenal at the Emirates this afternoon, and it took an equalizing goal after 85 minutes from Toure to prevent this. Middlesbrough had gone ahead with a goal after 25 minutes by former Arsenal player Jeremie Aliadiere.
Arsenal had all the possession but couldn’t get another goal for the win. They pass far too much inside the penalty area – they need a player like Shearer who gets the ball and just bangs it in the net. Scoring goals should be really simple.
That’s now 4 draws in a row for the London team in the Premier league, and Arsenal are now second with the same number of points, 67, as the Red Devils. But Manchester United had a better goal difference and also a game in hand. Chelsea are lurking just 3 points behind Arsenal and have a game in hand.
Here’s the standings after todays games.
Pos Team Games Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points 12 Middlesb. 30 7 10 13 27 44 -17 31 13 Wigan 29 7 7 15 26 42 -16 28 14 Reading 30 8 4 18 35 57 -22 28 15 Newcastle 29 7 7 15 30 56 -26 28 16 Sunderland 30 7 6 17 26 48 -22 27 17 Birmingham 29 6 8 15 33 45 -12 26 18 Bolton 28 6 7 15 28 42 -14 25 19 Fulham 29 3 11 15 26 49 -23 20 20 Derby 30 1 7 22 14 64 -50 10
If Newcastle can beat Birmingham on Monday night they will jump from 15th place to 13th, and get to 31 points – level with Middlebrough. Newcastle have a much worse goal difference however. We need some big wins to get that goal difference improved.
But a good day for Newcastle United today, on the relegation watch..
Comments very welcome.