Newcastle dropped two places to 15th place after yesterday’s results, as both Bolton and Portsmouth overtook Newcastle on points.
Here are the results from yesterday of the teams we are struggling in the rather large relegation zone this season:
Bolton 2 West Ham 1
Middlesbrough 0 Wigan 0
Stoke 2 Portsmouth 2
Manchester United 2 Blackburn 1
Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0
Bolton were 2 goals up against a good West Ham team yesterday within 11 minutes and they hung on to take all 3 points. Newcastle meet Bolton next Sunday, and it looks like Bolton may be a team in form.
Middlesbrough and Wigan shared the points which is probably a decent result for Newcastle and Boro have now gone 14 games without a win and will need to buck up quickly if they are to avoid the drop. They have just 23 points from 26 games, and are 4 points behind Newcastle.
It looked like Stoke were going to get one of their rare wins, but an own goal in injury time from Shawcross gave Portsmouth a point. Again this was probably a decent result for Newcastle but Portsmouth are now one point above Newcastle and Stoke 2 points behind the Magpies.
Blackburn were unlucky not to get something out of theur game at Old Trafford and United were lucky to get all 3 points. They conceded a league goal for the first time in 15 games when Roque Santa Cruz scored a good goal to level things at 1-1 after 23 minutes , but then a tremendous free kick from Ronaldo after an hour gave United all 3 points, but it seems that Sam Allardyce is starting to make a difference at Ewood Park.
Arsenal looked lack-luster again, against a decent looking Sunderland side, who look much better defensively under Ricky Sbragia, and they deserved their point. It augers well for Newcastle when Arsenal visit Newcastle on 21st March.
There will be a little more pressure on Newcastle to pick up 3 points today, and in the other game affecting relegation we probably would like to see a draw between Fulham and WBA. Fulham are only 3 points above Newcastle and are again being drawn into the relegation zone as the season progresses.
In fact right now Newcastle are 5 points off bottom place, and 6 points off 8th place, things are that tight at the bottom of the league.
And one good thing is that our goal difference of -9 is one of the better ones, so this could be worth an extra point to us if things get tight near the end of the season.
A win today could see us move back up to 13th position, and 7 points above the drop zone with Blackburn currently in 18th position on 23 points.