After Newcastle had threatened to win this game substitute Matt Derbyshire broke Newcastle hearts when he scored the only goal of the game on 90 minutes to send Newcastle tumbling to yet another defeat and into the relegation quagmire.
But Newcastle had many chances to score in this game and they can blame their own missed chances for not getting more out of this game. The main culprit today, of all people, was captain Michael Owen, who had three great chances to score but didn’t take any of his gilt edged chances.
The first chance came after 35 minutes when Michael rounded Brad Fridel but could only shoot wide from a narrow angle. Then Friedel denied Owen again when he turned the striker’s close range header over the bar 10 minutes into the second half. Then just 5 minutes later and Owen was through on goal but Friedel diverted his low effort around the post.
When you don’t take chances like that you don’t win games, and Newcastle are now well and truly in a fight for their survival in England’s top division.
It looked ominous for Newcastle when after 88 minutes Santa Cruz had a wonderful chance for Blackburn but Harper made a fantastic save. But it looks as if Newcastle didnâ€™t heed that warning and finally Matt Derbyshire secured all 3 points for the Rovers.
Unfortunately teams below Newcastle won their games as Birmingham thrashed Tottenham at home by 4-1 and Reading beat Middlesbrough at the Riverside with a goal in injury time by James Harper.
Sunderland also gained on Newcastle be securing a 0-0 draw at Derby, so Newcastle are really in the relegation wars now after this terrible defeat. With this defeat we’ve gone from 6 points above the drop zone to just 3 points above 3rd bottom side, Reading.
Here is the latest league table with Middlebrough also in a fight for their survival.
Pos Team Games Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD Pts 12 Middlesbrough 28 7 8 13 25 42 -17 29 13 Newcastle 28 7 7 14 30 53 -23 28 14 Sunderland 28 7 6 15 26 46 -20 27 15 Birmingham 28 6 8 14 31 41 -10 26 16 Wigan 27 7 5 15 26 42 -16 26 17 Bolton 27 6 7 14 27 39 -12 25 18 Reading 28 7 4 17 32 55 -23 25 19 Fulham 28 3 10 15 25 48 -23 19 20 Derby 28 1 7 20 13 57 -44 10
The next game is Liverpool at Anfield, and the Newcastle hierarchy must now be getting very nervous about the status of the club in the Premier league for next season.
Who would have thought we’d be in this position last August?
In our last 11 league games we’ve lost 8 and drawn just 3, the worst run we’ve ever had in the Premier league.
If we can’t get out of this freefall we’ll be relegated, and the management will not have to at least plan for that event, because it’s getting more and more real with every successive defeat we have.