BENITEZ’S BOYS IN TROUBLE? THINK AGAIN
IF THREE defeats in as many games had given Newcastle’s rivals hope, this was a result – and performance – that mercilessly crushed such delusions underfoot.
Yes, Birmingham were the architects of their own downfall. Where Blackburn went man-toman and attacked every first touch in snatching a shock 1-0 win at St James’ Park, the Blues sat deep and tried to frustrate.
Had their full-backs been faster or engine room fitter, it might have stood a chance. But in giving players like Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Mo Diame – finally turning up in a black and white shirt – space to operate, they effectively surrendered.
Nevertheless, very few sides dominate Rowett’s Blues. In racking up 20 shots and 62 per cent possession, Newcastle did that and more.
This was as one-sided a contest as you will see in any division and a powerful statement of intent from a team who will undoubtedly be crowned champions.