Nightmare becomes reality: Newcastle condemned to the drop as Hull escape
Newcastle's fate was finally sealed today as they were sent tumbling down to the Championship. Despite Hull's 1-0 defeat at home to a severely weakened Manchester United side, Newcastle were unable to capitalise as they went down 1-0 at Aston Villa. Read all the action as it happened on the day of drama It's all over: Kevin Nolan is distraught after Newcastle conceded Alan Shearer's men can have few complaints - they were dreadful for much of the season, and were easily second best at Villa Park. Damien Duff's own goal - his deflection from Gareth Barry's long-range drive deceiving goalkeeper Steve Harper in the first half - was enough to condemn the Geordies to the second tier of English football for the first time since 1993. The Toon army travelled to the Midlands in hope but their team again let the travelling support down with a poor display. And the result left Hull celebrating a survival by the skin of their teeth. Phil Brown's men were in the bottom three after Darron Gibson's finefirst-half strike at the KC Stadium - but Duff's clanger offered them apriceless reprieve. Sunderland also sealed their place in theBarclays Premier League next season despite a 3-2 defeat at home to Chelsea, although manager Ricky Sbragia announced his resignation after the final whistle. The Black Cats will now look for a high-profile boss after the Scot saved their season in the wake of Roy Keane's departure. Middlesbrough were given little hope before kick-off but they did themselves no favours by losing 2-1 at West Ham United. They will join Newcastle in the Championship next season and the North-East pair can now prepare for a match against Scunthorpe, who won promotion to the league after winning the League One play-off final against Millwall.
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