Mini disaster for Newcastle United after incredible result at Brighton
The worst possible news for Newcastle United after what happened at Brighton last night.
To end the Premier League’s weekend fixtures, Brighton were hosting Crystal Palace with a Monday 8pm kick-off.
A game and result that could end up being pivotal when looked back on at the end of the season.
The match ended Brighton 1 Crystal Palace 2 and this is how the Premier League table looks on Tuesday morning:
If you knew absolutely nothing about football and this season’s relegation struggle in particular, you might look at this updated table and think that the Palace victory was good for Newcastle United and their chances of survival.
The result leaving Brighton deep in relegation trouble on only 26 points, just one more point than Steve Bruce’s NUFC team.
However, if you scrape below the surface, the very opposite is the case, in my opinion anyway.
Brighton went into this match in great form, unbeaten in their last six Premier League matches, only conceding one goal in those games, picking up twelve points from the half dozen matches with results including wins over Liverpool, Tottenham and Leeds.
In contrast, Crystal Palace were the one club looking like they were capable of a dramatic collapse for the rest of the season that could see them help Newcastle United out. Newcastle with only two wins from their last 14 PL matches, Palace recently winning at St James Park but otherwise only winning two of their last 13 PL games.
In a season when it is looking increasingly likely that you won’t need a lot of points to survive, Palace increasingly looking like Newcastle, as teams that could be stuck on 20 something points for some time to come.
Instead, if you look at the table above, Palace are suddenly on 32 points and looking all but safe, if they find a win and a couple of draws, or even a small handful of draws in their final 13 matches.
Crystal Palace one of the few teams as well playing football as poor and as limited as Newcastle’s this season, especially these past two and a half months.
The facts of the match last night, sum up exactly why as Newcastle fans we wanted Brighton to win and Palace to lose, or at worst, a draw, with a point going missing.
Brighton played excellent football and Palace were woeful. The Seagulls had 75% possession and the corner count was 13 v 0 in their favour.
In terms of shots it was 25 v 3 in Brighton’s favour and incredibly, Crystal Palace only touched the ball twice in the Brighton penalty area and scored with both touches, incredible.
Yes Brighton don’t have any quality strikers which contributes to results like last night but you are daft if you don’t recognise they play great football AND are going to stay up this season. They are a far better team this season than Sheffield United, West Brom, Fulham, Newcastle, Burnley and Palace.
This weekend’s fixtures could all too quickly show how bad last night’s result was for Newcastle fans.
Southampton are away at Leeds tonight and could edge a point or more further away from Newcastle, the Saints already on 30 points.
Then at the weekend the matches at the bottom are:
West Brom v Brighton
Newcastle United v Wolves
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Tottenham v Burnley
Sheffield United v Liverpool
Everton v Southampton
Those first three matches look really ominous now.
I can totally see Brighton getting back on the winning trail against a poor West Brom (1 win in last 16 games).
After eight PL matches without a win, Wolves have suddenly burst back into form and in their last four games have beaten Leeds, Southampton and Arsenal, plus drew with Leicester. A very tough game for Newcastle and the bookies make Wolves big favourites at 11/10 against 14/5 for NUFC.
Then you have a really poor Palace team who after fluking that win against Brighton will think they are almost at safety, up against a Fulham side that have lost only 3 of their last 14 PL matches (conceding only 11 goals) and if Newcastle did lose on Saturday night, couldn’t have any more motivation when they go to Palace on Sunday, knowing a win would take them out of the relegation zone at the expense of NUFC.
This is how the bookies (Betfair) see the relegation odds after Palace’s win last night and the other weekend results: 1/50 Sheffield United, 1/40 West Brom, 5/6 Fulham, 7/5 Newcastle, 8/1 Burnley, 11/1 Brighton, 30/1 Palace, 90/1 Southampton.
As you can see, the bookies see Palace well out of it and at 11/1 believe that Brighton, despite only a point above Newcastle, will also be ok. They very much see it as a straight fight between Fulham and Newcastle for the last relegation spot with a small chance of Burnley staying in amongst it.
The big reality for Newcastle now, is that Steve Bruce can no longer just rely on other clubs failing as well as Newcastle United. As he says, it is all about the accumulation of points and where you end up at the end of the season, Newcastle are now coming under full pressure and the question is whether they can cope with it.
Having conceded two or more goals in nine of their last eleven games AND without Callum Wilson for the foreseeable, can they concede less and score more than has been the case in the last 14 PL matches, with only 12 scored and 27 conceded?
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