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Newcastle United would have been in relegation zone if hadn’t beaten Manchester City – Reality check

12 months ago

That 2-1 win over Manchester City seven days ago was as welcome as it was unexpected.

A night where pretty much everything went right, apart from conceding after only 24 seconds, although even that may┬áhave ironically ended up playing a key part in Newcastle’s win.

The early goal making Manchester City complacent with it being a match which everybody, especially Newcastle fans, thought they would easily win anyway.

A lot of boxes needed to be ticked for Newcastle United to have any chance of winning and we had pretty much a full house.

As well as Man City not being at their best, Newcastle did get every last drop out of the players they had available,defending as well as we know they can, getting a bit of luck, Rafa showing a willingness for his team to commit players forward where possible, then putting away the two shots NUFC had on target.

The three points are obviously an unexpected bonus but maybe they will prove to have been a necessity when it comes to the final count at the end of the season, in terms of who stays up or goes down.

The signing of Miguel Almiron paired with the win over Manchester City less than 48 hours later, has papered over a lot of cracks.

The reality is that if Man City had gone on to win last Tuesday, Newcastle would now be in the bottom three.

This is how the Premier League table now looks with 13 matches to go:

Anybody who thinks Newcastle are automatically safe is a fool.

I saw one local journalist comment after Cardiff beat Bournemouth 2-0 on Saturday, that Newcastle fans would have been amazed at that result based on how Cardiff played at St James Park.

That is just gross stupidity because even a cursory glance would tell you that if Cardiff are to stay up, it depends on their home form surely.

Cardiff’s last nine home matches have seen five wins, one draw and three defeats, with two of those losses being to Spurs and Man Utd.

Before Newcastle face Wolves away in a very difficult game on Monday, these games will be played:

Fulham v Man Utd

Crystal Palace v West Ham

Southampton v Cardiff

Brighton v Burnley

Huddersfield v Arsenal

Thankfully Newcastle can’t drop into the bottom three with Southampton playing Cardiff but if the Welsh club pull off a shock win, just as they did for their sole away success at Leicester, Rafa’s team will be outside the bottom three on goal difference.

I know that on paper there are easier fixtures ahead but I can’t say for sure that Newcastle have a better team than any of the clubs we still have to play, with the exception of Huddersfield. Although even they could prove difficult in the next home match, with nothing now to lose they could well just go for it and if they somehow get a lead, Newcastle’s lack of goal threat would be tested.

Newcastle SHOULD stay up but if there is any Manchester City style complacency creeping in it could be a killer.


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