Newcastle United have been handed a huge boost ahead of today’s clash with Birmingham City, as Huddersfield suffered a shock 4-0 defeat away to relegation threatened Bristol City last night.
In the Friday night game live on Sky Sports, promotion chasing Huddersfield had the chance to move within 3 points behind Newcastle and Brighton.
Given Huddersfield are top of the form table, it’s fair to say I was not banking on them slipping up against a side starting the night 3rd bottom in the Championship. I couldn’t have been more wrong, as Bristol City, against all odds, romped to a stunning 4-0 win.
Huddersfield’s defeat now means Newcastle and Brighton both have the chance to extend their lead over 3rd place to 9 points this weekend. While last night’s result creates a huge incentive for Newcastle to get the job done today at struggling Birmingham City, last night’s shock result should also serve as a warning that nothing is a given in this league.
Brighton face a tough test of their own today, taking on Leeds United in the 5.30pm kick off at Elland Road.
Back to last night – Bristol City were outstanding, first minute to last and fully deserved the win. Granted, it was a rare off night for Huddersfield, who’ve been brilliant of late, but a timely one none the less from a Newcastle perspective. It must also be recognised that Bristol City’s performance not only did Newcastle a big favour but more importantly for them, saw them climb out of the relegation zone.
Huddersfield, as expected, had 62% possession but saw several attacks fizzle out. In contrast, Bristol City’s break aways packed a punch as Huddersfield, who were weakened by a nasty looking head injury to Jonathan Hogg, looked to be easily exposed defensively.
Lee Tomlin opened the scoring following a defensive mix up, followed by Tammy Abraham’s smart finish on the stroke of half-time. Aden Flint’s clever flick made it 3-0 with ten to play, then it was David Cotterill’s turn to get it on the goals, who converted from the spot.
Last night’s result is no doubt a boost to Newcastle’s automatic promotion hopes, however only increases the need for us to grasp the chance handed to us.
Let’s hope Newcastle are back at it today and get the win required to move us 9 points clear of Huddersfield in third and one step closer to an immediate return to the Premier League.