This week felt like a defining one for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United.
While we faced an out of sorts Everton at St James’ Park, Watford were at West Ham and Burnley took on a very beatable Man Utd at Turf Moor.
Not only did we win – a result that saw us better Burnley’s draw and Watford’s defeat against the Hammers – we were handed more good news last night.
Norwich threw away a one goal lead to draw with Palace, which feels like a costly slip up given they face Liverpool and Man City next, and Aston Villa were run ragged by Leeds in a gruelling encounter that could leave them a little worse for wear ahead of Sunday’s trip to St James’ Park.
Not only were Coutinho and Buendia forced off with knocks, starting centre-back Ezri Konsa was sent off – meaning he’ll be suspended for the trip to Tyneside.
They performed well in patches and will still be very tough to beat this weekend, but they looked very poor defensively and were carved open by Bielsa’s side on several occasions.
As for Leeds, them failing to beat a 10-man Villa also keeps them in and around the relegation zone, while the same could be said about Palace – who would only be four points ahead of us if we won our game in hand.
In other news, Brentford lost yet again last night. Yes, it was at Man City, but the result means we are just five points behind the Bees – which no longer feels like a huge gap when we have two games in hand on Thomas Frank’s side.
Southampton won at Spurs last night, meaning they look as good as safe, however their upturn in form tells me they’ll beat Norwich in a few weeks time after the Canaries’ clashes with Man City and Liverpool.
So, all in all, it’s been a very good 24 hours for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United.
Let’s hope Kieran Trippier is fit enough so start on Sunday and a few of those Villa players who picked up knocks last night are not!