Following a scoreless draw at Leicester City, Newcastle United qualified for the Champions League. Leicester went above Leeds United on goal difference, but Newcastle restored their position among Europe’s elite with Howe and smart business.
On Monday, a scoreless draw against Leicester City at St. James’ Park ensured that Newcastle United would finish in the top four of the Premier League standings. This result ensured that the Magpies would qualify for the Champions League, something the club had not participated in for the previous 20 years.
It was not exactly the wonderful home sign-off that the supporters were anticipating since Newcastle controlled from beginning to end without really striking the back of the goal, but they did not really care as the dream of playing in the Champions League came true.
To tell you the truth, I have no idea how to describe it. “If you had told us this was going to happen two years ago, we wouldn’t have believed you,” midfielder Sean Longstaff said in an interview with Sky Sports. You may see footage of our 1-0 victory against Juventus at this venue on older DVDs of the Champions League. I can’t express how excited I am to be a part of this.
Newcastle had 23 goal efforts, compared to Leicester’s one, and were denied by the woodwork three times as the visitors dug deep for a point that kept their survival chances just about still alive ahead of the last round of games on Sunday. Leicester had one goal attempt. Newcastle had 23. Leicester had one.
Newcastle United, managed by Eddie Howe, are now in third place with 70 points and one game left to play. This puts them four points ahead of Liverpool, who are currently in fifth place and also have one game left to play. Manchester United is currently in fourth position with 69 points and has two games remaining.
After Howe and his team had finished celebrating on the field at St. James’ Park, Howe was questioned about the goals that had been set back in August.
“Certainly wasn’t [top four],” the former Bournemouth manager said in an interview with Sky Sports. “You must never lose hope, never stop believing, and never stop dreaming. However, we did not believe that we were prepared for it.
“After fighting against relegation in the previous season, it was truly a question of whether we could improve as a team and cement our position so that we would not flirt with relegation as we did in the previous season. “I can’t praise [the players] enough for that mentality, their attitude, and what they’ve given me and the club.”
However, in order to stay in 18th position, Leicester has to win on Sunday against West Ham United and hope that 17th-placed Everton loses to Bournemouth. Leicester moved up a spot to be above Leeds United based on goal difference.
Strangely, after doing nothing except defending their penalty area for the whole of the match, Leicester suddenly looked threatening in the five minutes of stoppage time and might have grabbed a victory if not for an outstanding save by Nick Pope from Timothy Castagne.
The St. James’ Park faithful, who could barely believe the speed with which their club has been changed since it was purchased by a group headed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in October 2021, responded with tremendous roars as the final whistle blew. They could hardly comprehend the speed with which their club had been transformed.
After 14 years playing in the Premier League, Newcastle were winless and ranked 19th in the standings. They were also on the verge of being relegated during Mike Ashley’s tenure as owner of the controversial Sports Direct. However, with the hiring of Howe and some savvy business dealings in the transfer market, Newcastle have reclaimed their place among Europe’s elite clubs.
Kieran Trippier, a fullback for Newcastle who was one of the first players to join with the club following the takeover, stated that the news “means everything.” “When I first arrived, I decided to take a chance, but I have always been confident in the choices I’ve made.” The club has gone through a difficult time, but now we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor.