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Opinion

Not often they come along for Newcastle fans but Palace complete perfect day of results

3 years ago
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Perfect days don’t come along very often for Newcastle fans but yesterday was one of them.

Everything is relative and when you are battling relegation then winning a six pointer against one of your rivals, it is a massive three points when now there is only eight games remaining.

Just because the opposition was ‘only’ Southampton, doesn’t diminish the result/achievement, as compared to more stellar days when Newcastle fans were watching a better team and had (immediate) aspirations of success.

It was just short of 21 years ago when I think the vast majority of Newcastle fans of my era had their most perfect day (so far…).

Dalglish had taken over halfway through the season after Kevin Keegan resigned, and a run of only two defeats (though there had been seven draws) in 16 games under the new boss had given Newcastle an outside chance of getting second place and Champions League football.

The second last game of the season had seen Newcastle draw 0-0 at Old Trafford against a Man Utd team who would lift the title.

Newcastle then doing their bit on the final day, hammering Forest 5-0 at St James Park. Amazingly, considering his selections/tactics later on, Dalglish that day played a front three of Shearer, Ferdinand and Asprilla (my head is spinning just at the thought of it!).

Newcastle were 4-0 up after 36 minutes with all three scoring (Sir Les got two), Robbie Elliott adding a fifth late on.

However, in the days before texts, wi-fi and smartphones, everybody stayed in the ground waiting to hear how other clubs had got on. Newcastle needed a number of other results to go their way to get second.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool failed, each result (with dramatic spacing) greeted with massive cheers, Newcastle finishing second and qualifying for the Champions League (first season that second placed teams would qualify), NUFC second on goal difference, on the same points total as both Liverpool and Arsenal.

There was then even more icing/cherries to go on the cake, as results at the bottom were read out, confirmation that both Sunderland and Middlesbrough had been relegated, having gone into the last day with a chance of staying up.

It was some party in Newcastle that night!

Back to reality under Mike Ashley…

Rafa Benitez is doing a cracking job and yesterday was just as equally impressing as that 5-0 thrashing of Forest in May 1997, in its own way.

Every other result went our way as well.

Huddersfield and Swansea played out a goalless draw so a point goes missing.

West Brom have now surely had it, taking the lead and the better team in the first half, happily they ended up thrashed 4-1 by Leicester at home.

West Ham spectacularly crashed after also being the better team in the first half, fans on the pitch as well, they think it’s all over? It may well be soon the way they are going under David Moyes.

Whilst none of us want to see Sam Allardyce win any game, if possible, Brighton are still more likely to be involved in the final relegation picture so a positive they lost 2-0 at Goodison.

Then finally, Crystal Palace lost 2-1 at Chelsea in the late match, ensuring Newcastle’s gap to the bottom three is now five points.

Well I say finally, Sunderland managed to lose their game at QPR 1-0 and have their goalkeeper sent off in a quite ridiculous way. The result ensures they remain rock bottom with nine games left, plus other teams have crept further up the table.

Now to have a perfect weekend, we need Watford and Bournemouth to round things off today, then Stoke on Monday (all weekend results and fixtures below)

Man Utd 2 Liverpool 1

Everton 2 Brighton 0

Huddersfield 0 Swansea 0

Newcastle 3 Southampton 0

West Brom 1 Leicester 4

West Ham 0 Burnley 3

Chelsea 2 Crystal Palace 1

Sunday

Arsenal v Watford 1.30pm

Bournemouth v Tottenham 4pm

Monday

Stoke v Man City 8pm

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Southampton 0

Goals:

Newcastle: Kenedy 2, 29, Ritchie 57

Possession was Southampton 63% Newcastle 37%

Total shots were  Southampton 6 Newcastle 7

Shots on target were Southampton 2 Newcastle 5

Corners were  Southampton 6 Newcastle 2

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 83), Kenedy (Atsu 78), Gayle (Joselu 69)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy

Crowd: 52,246 (Southampton 1,600)

(Alan Shearer raves about loan signing and Newcastle’s win but admits to mixed emotions. Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the three goal win HERE)

(Mauricio Pellegrino couldn’t believe what he was watching – His reaction HERE)

(Read the match ratings for all NUFC players after the 3-0 win HERE)
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