Newcastle United were down if they had lost to Cardiff – Have a look at this
In the sweet aftermath of victory it is easy to forget just how horrific things would have looked if Newcastle United had lost on Saturday.
Beating Cardiff City wasn’t any kind of a bonus, it was simply a match that had to be won, or else it was surely game over for Rafa and his players.
The 3-0 win keeps Newcastle in the game and that was the best we could have hoped for.
The big bonus being how shocking Cardiff City looked, although they are now at least attempting to address that, with two strikers arriving these past few days, including new £18m club record signing Emiliano Sala.
Despite the three goals, Newcastle remain one of only three Premier League clubs to have scored less than 20 goals this season, Cardiff (19) and Huddersfield (13) the other two.
Going into Saturday, Newcastle had one win in their last nine Premier League matches, whilst Cardiff had one win in their last seven games (all competitions).
This is how the Premier League table now looks, with thankfully both Huddersfield and Fulham continuing to lose on Sunday:
If Newcastle had lost to Cardiff though, this is how the bottom of the table would have looked:
22 Crystal Palace
18 Newcastle United
Four points adrift and with Man City (Home) and Spurs & Wolves (both away) next…
Things could have looked pretty horrendous by the time Huddersfield came to St James Park on Saturday 23 February. You hope we might pick up something but every chance Newcastle could get zero points in these next three games, potentially could have been seven points or more adrift of safety with only 12 games remaining (before playing Huddersfield).
As it stands there is still absolutely no room for complacency, with still every chance Newcastle could pick up no points from the next three matches.
Whilst the Welsh club looked shocking on Saturday, it was no surprise, apart from fluking a win over Leicester, they had only picked up two points on their travels all season.
However, with 14 points at home, they have picked up more points with home advantage than any other team in that bottom seven.
Newcastle can’t just rely on those three clubs at the bottom to not pick up points.
As it stands, I would still think it a brilliant outcome if Newcastle are even just outside the relegation on goal difference by the time 23 February comes around.
With that Huddersfield match looking very much like another must win game, if Newcastle are to be safe this season.
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