Football

Newcastle win Championship crown, Blackburn relegated

Day of mixed fortunes for two former EPL favourites

NEWCASTLE UNITED BARNSLEY
3 0
(Ayoze Perez 23, Chancel Mbemba 59, Dwight Gayle 90)  

It was a day of mixed emotions for Alan Shearer yesterday.

There was reason to celebrate when Newcastle United, one of his former teams, secured the English Championship crown after some late drama.

But there was also cause for anguish when another of his former sides, Blackburn Rovers, were relegated to the English League One - on goal difference.

In the process, Rovers became the first EPL champions to drop to the the third tier of English football.

Newcastle had started the day one point behind leaders Brighton.

That looked set to stay with Brighton 1-0 up at Aston Villa, despite Newcastle also leading against Barnsley.

However, Villa's Jack Grealish equalised through a long-range effort in the 89th minute to peg Brighton back, allowing the Magpies, who beat Barnsley 3-0, to leapfrog to the top.

At the other end of the table, Blackburn who travelled to Brentford, were hoping that both relegation rivals Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City did not win.

However, that did not happen.

Shearer tweeted: "Devastated for @rovers and for the fans. The owners deserve it."

Chris Sutton, who partnered Shearer up front during Blackburn's EPL-winning season in 1994/95, also directed his frustration at the club's owners - Indian poultry firm Venkys.

Sutton tweeted: "Sad day for Blackburn Rovers... The Venkys have let the club down... Lots of talk in the early days to no talk in recent times! Disgraceful."

Blackburn at least left with a 3-1 win over Brentford but that was scant consolation as they contemplate League One and third-tier football for the first time since 1980.

Blackburn midfielder Jason Lowe told Sky Sports: "It is a really disappointing day because we gave it absolutely everything.

"We knew if we won today we still didn't know what it would mean."

Things had looked extremely rosy for Blackburn early on as they stormed into a 2-0 lead - Scottish international midfielder Charlie Mulgrew's goal, a delightful free-kick, the pick of the two.

However, by the time Craig Conway converted a late penalty to make it 3-1, the game was up as Forest and Birmingham were winning.

Forest's hero was Congolese striker Britt Assombalonga, who set them on their way with a first-half penalty - shortly after a superb save by their goalkeeper Jordan Smith had kept the scores level.

Assombalonga added his second and the hosts' third with an excellent solo effort in the second half.

That had Forest manager Mark Warburton, who took the job after an acrimonious departure from Scottish giants Rangers earlier this season, charging down the touchline fist pumping in celebration.

Birmingham, under veteran manager Harry Redknapp, scraped the win they needed, thanks to a first-half goal by Che Adams in front of Bristol City's biggest crowd for 37 years of more than 25,000. - WIRE SERVICES


OTHER RESULTS

  • Aston Villa 1 Brighton 1
  • Brentford 1 !Blackburn 3
  • Bristol City 0 Birmingham 1
  • Burton 2 Reading 4
  • Huddersfield 0 Cardiff 3
  • Norwich 4 QPR 0
  • Nottingham Forest 3 Ipswich 0
  • Rotherham 1 Derby 1
  • Sheffield Wednesday 1 Fulham 2
  • Wigan 1 Leeds 1
  • Wolves 1 Preston 0
eplBLACKBURN ROVERSnewcastle united