The result we really wanted today came about, when Stoke City beat Hull City by 2-1, with Hull scoring in injury time. However, some other results didn’t exactly go our way.
But a big surprise today was that WBA won at home 3-1, against a wilting Wigan Athletic side, and are now level on points with Newcastle, so WBA are certainly not dead and buried yet.
Sunderland gained a good draw at Bolton 0-0, and so picked up a valuable point. The bottom of the table looks like this, after today’s games.
16 Sunderland 36 -17 36 17 Hull City 36 -24 34 18 Newcastle 35 -19 31 19 Middlesbrough 35 -26 31 20 WBA 36 -29 31
Newcastle can thank former Sunderland player Liam Lawrence for the winning goal for Stoke City, when he blasted home from fully 25 yards, with just 18 minutes remaining at the KC Stadium, to double his side’s advantage after Ricardo Fuller had put the Potters ahead on 41 minutes.
A great goal from a free kick by Andy Dawson in injury time wasn’t enough, and Stoke are now safe on 42 points, a tremendous piece of management by Tony Pulis.
After today’s games Newcastle United are joint bottom of the league, but a win on Monday night will take us 3 points clear of both Middlesbrough and WBA, and level on points with Hull City, but above them on goal difference.
So we’ll be clear of the drop zone for the first time for quite a while. Of course, almost the exact same thing can be said about Middlesbrough. However the Tees-side club have a worse goal difference by two on Hull right now, so a win by them would need to be by 3 goals to go above Hull after Minday’s game.
Goal difference could still save Newcastle this season.
That 3 points difference could be important, because we also have a better goal difference, so it would take 4 points for both Middlesbough and WBA to overake us – and they would need those in the last two games.
We’d just have to make sure we matched the points of Hull City in the last 2 games to stay up – but this all assumes we can win on Monday evening.
If we cannot beat Middlesbrough it’s sad to say this, but we’ll probably deserve to go down.
But with WBA winning and Sunderland getting a draw, we must win on Monday night and a draw will not be much good to either side.
Hull have again given us a break with another loss, but push comes to shove on Monday night for our players, because and if we cannot win then, we can forget it, as even the WBA club are coming back to life, and we supposedly have much better players (or so we are told).
Fulham beat Aston Villa 3-1 at Craven Cottage, the two teams we still have to meet after Middlesbrough.
Fulham are not as good a team away from home, but they will be difficult to beat nonetheless, but it looks like Aston Villa aren’t nearly as good as they were earlier in the season, and of course we go to Villa Park on the last day of the season, May 24th.
We could get something out of that game, if we need it – and maybe James Milner could score an own goal for us – he was always a good lad. 😀
But the results today will put us in great shape, if only we can win on Monday night.