We're not going to pretend to be a blog about the Premier League, but since Newcastle was left out of the festivities today, I thought we'd take a look at the results and what they mean for the Magpies. Is it safe to say that the Toon is now safe? Follow the jump for some brief commentary on each result.
Aston Villa 2, West Ham United 1
Let's start with the obvious: By winning today with a stoppage time goal, the Villans leapfrogged Newcastle into 9th place, albeit with one more game played, perhaps proving that they are too good to go down. This hurts, of course, because our boys lost to them last week in what was ultimately a winnable game. On the flip side, West Ham has to be feeling the blow of losing a point at the last minute. I've had them pegged for relegation since the beginning of the season, and there's no reason to change that prediction now. That's good, by the way. We need more teams that seem destined for the drop.
Chelsea 3, West Bromwich Albion 1
Predictable, but nice because it keeps the revitalized WBA squad under Roy Hodgson from breaking the tie with Newcastle in the table. Any result at Manchester United, however unlikely, will put them in the rearview. At this point, I am unconcerned with Chelsea.
Birmingham City 2, Sunderland 0
Sunderland failed to make the most of their chances and once again fail to push ahead of the Toon. The mackems have had woeful form of late, so much so that many are wandering if Steve Bruce is headed for the sack. Birmingham moves closer to safety and actually moves ahead of the Unwashed based on goal differential.
Everton 2, Blackburn Rovers 0
Everton moves closer to Europe in a case of "what might have been" for the Magpies, as the two teams were neck and neck when the Toffees beat Newcastle on March 5. Meanwhile, the Rovers miss a chance to move toward safety. While it would be nice to catch the European challengers, that remains a pipe dream, so this result is obviously good as it keeps just one more team stuck at the bottom of the table.
Wigan Athletic 3, Blackpool 1
Fellow promotees Blackpool have enamored many in their quest for safety, but they've finally fallen into the drop zone on the back of this performance, and to be honest it's likely that they'll stay there. Meanwhile, Wigan jumps from 20 to 17. A draw would have been the ideal result, but this is next best as neither team pulls away from the pack.
The relegation picture is starting to shape up as 5 teams have now lagged behind the peloton. There are now 7 teams, including Newcastle, within two points of each other, but one would think that a terrible collapse coupled with some incredible runs from the bottom 5 would be the only thing that would drag one of the 7 back into the drop zone. A good day for Newcastle.
UPDATE: It appears that the table on our sidebar hasn't been updated yet, so here's the latest version: