Things are not looking good for the fans in North East of England with both Sunderland and Newcastle getting drawn towards the relegation zone. Both teams were involved in a cliched 6-pointer clash, which neither team were prepared to lose.
For 82 minutes, Sunderland had the upper hand and were headed for their 7th straight Derby win over Newcastle. But then, up stepped the leaping 6 ft 3 in figure of Aleksandar Mitrovic and headed home the equalizer for Newcastle.
The goal may prove to be the catalyst for Newcastle’s revival or was it just a flash in the pan for Rafa Benitez’s side? As for Sunderland, this was the third game in a row where they managed to turn three points in to one. If they cannot win games like these, they will soon be playing Championship football for sure.
The draw did Newcastle a favor as it has kept the gap between them and Sunderland to just 1 point which could have been stretched to 4, had The Black Cats held on to their lead for seven more minutes.
The draw felt more like defeats for both the Northern rivals because of Norwich’s 1-0 win over West Brom. Alex Neil’s side did themselves a great favor with a win as it has taken them 2 points clear of the drop zone.
Benitez vs Big Sam for the relegation battle
With Aston Villa all but relegated Sunderland, Newcastle and Norwich are the favorites to fill the remaining two relegation spots this season. Unless something dramatic happens in coming 8 weeks, one team from the North East of English football is certain to go down, if not both.
At present, Newcastle United seem too good to go down given Rafa Benitez’s arrival and the obvious match winners in their team. However, we have seen in the past how teams worthy of staying up have gone down as well.
Much like the title race and top-4 fight, Premier League will see their best ever relegation scrap in recent seasons. We could have to wait until the very last minute to find who gets relegated and who manages to avoid the drop.
Seeing how the teams are placed right now, our team has decided to back Sunderland and Norwich to go down and Newcastle to still play in Premier League next season, but only by a matter of 1 or 2 points, or even via goal difference.
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