Sunderland have missed out on automatic promotion after losing their game in hand against Fleetwood Town.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton – who is the manager of Fleetwood – ironically put the nail in the coffin for Sunderland’s automatic promotion hopes.
The Black Cats cannot finish in the top two now and must try to win promotion via the play-offs in League One.
Sunderland led at Fleetwood thanks to Lee Cattermole’s goal. But late strikes from Paddy Madden and Ashley Eastham reversed the score.
This would have meant a lot to Barton, whose Fleetwood side are sitting in mid-table, after his time with Newcastle.
The 36-year-old spent four years at St James’ Park after moving from Manchester City. He racked up 84 appearances in black and white and earned promotion in 2010.
But now, he has played his part in denying Newcastle’s bitter rivals Sunderland their own automatic promotion in 2019.
Jack Ross’ men will now have to navigate their way through the lottery of the League One play-offs to head back to the Championship.
Here are some tweets from Newcastle fans celebrating Barton’s impact last night.
Joey Barton doing what he does best, legend
— Ben Seaward (@seaward_ben) April 30, 2019
Barton for MBE
— Captain Geordie (@philgeordie1) April 30, 2019
— Woodgrove (@woodgrove30) April 30, 2019
Joey Barton will always have a special place in my heart #nufc
— Shane Kearley #IfRafaGoesWeGo (@srkearley) April 30, 2019
— SpeedyDeAndre🇺🇸 (@speedy_andre) April 30, 2019
Joey Barton sealed the Mackems’ worst finish in history. Blimey. #NUFC
— Allied 3iscuit (@P3rown) April 30, 2019