BLACKBURN ROVERS 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED 2

Newcastle United's Ryan Taylor scores as his shot takes a deflection off Blackburn Rovers' Scott Dann for an own goal.
Newcastle United's Ryan Taylor scores as his shot takes a deflection off Blackburn Rovers' Scott Dann for an own goal.

ONE team was fighting for a European place – and the other battling the threat of relegation.

And it wasn’t always apparent which was which.

Newcastle United were far from their best against Blackburn Rovers last night.

Yet they left Ewood Park fifth in the Premier League and just three points off the Champions League places.

It’s a funny old game and didn’t the visiting fans know it.

It wasn’t always comfortable – Blackburn were dominant for long spells – and if United do return to Europe, then Alan Pardew’s players could well look back on this game as one of the defining moments of the campaign.

As an attacking force, little was seen of Newcastle.

But they were dogged and determined in defence and they scrapped their way to a hugely-significant result.

Read Miles Starforth’s full match report, plus photos and reactions to all the North East’s football action, in today’s Sportmail.