Newcastle United 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: Magpies เพิ่มความหวัง Champions League ด้วยการชนะ
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe says he will talk about the Champions League “for fun” if his side secure qualification – but not before.
Howe’s team moved one win away from qualifying for Europe’s leading club competition with a deserved Premier League victory against Brighton and Hove Albion.
“The Champions League is so close, but so far away as well. We will enjoy tonight but we are focused on our next match,” said Howe, who has been reluctant to discuss his side’s top-four chances.
“We were just pleased with the performance, to beat a side of their quality. We are not looking too far ahead.
“When it’s done, I’ll talk about it for fun if you want.”
Newcastle took the lead when Brighton forward Deniz Undav flicked Kieran Trippier’s corner into his own net, before the Magpies skipper picked out Dan Burn from a free-kick to head in the second.
Miguel Almiron was denied a third for Newcastle at the start of the second half by Brighton keeper Jason Steele’s smart stop and, just 45 seconds later, Undav slotted in at the right end to give the visitors hope.
Suddenly, after being in complete control for 50 minutes, Newcastle had to dig in.
But the home team managed the game professionally and eased any lingering tension through Callum Wilson’s composed late finish.
The mood turned even more celebratory when Bruno Guimaraes emphatically converted Wilson’s pass in injury time.
The win puts Newcastle on the cusp of a return to the Champions League for the first time since they were knocked out at the qualifying stage in 2003-04.
Eddie Howe’s side, who consolidated third position in the table, know one win in their final two games will secure a top-four finish.
The Magpies are three points clear of fourth-placed Manchester United, who have played a game fewer, and four ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool, who also have two games left.
Brighton remain sixth and qualifying for the Europa League – which would be their first taste of European competition – remains in their own hands with three matches left.
Newcastle on verge of getting Champions League party started
While the Saudi-backed consortium which bought Newcastle in late 2021 brought optimism and excitement about the club’s future, few expected a team in a relegation battle at the time of the takeover to be contending for Champions League qualification this season.
Howe said before Brighton’s visit that he would have “snapped the hand off” someone offering him the prospect of a top-four finish at the start of the season.
What was then a fanciful thought is now so close to becoming a reality.
Newcastle’s rapid improvement has been down to Howe’s management and astute signings, with strong home form providing the bedrock of their success.
The Magpies had only lost two league games at St James’ Park this season before Thursday’s crucial fixture, and knew victory against the Seagulls and another home win against Leicester on Monday would seal their place among Europe’s elite next season.
Howe’s team started positively, playing with energy and purpose, and fully deserved their 2-0 half-time lead.
The atmosphere among the home fans turned slightly tenser when Brighton halved the deficit, but the noise increased to thunderous levels again after the two late goals removed any lingering doubts.
Party time had arrived. The beaming smiles from the faces in the stands, matched by those on the Newcastle players at the full-time, was an indication the city is confident of welcoming Europe’s elite again next season.
Uncharacteristically sloppy Brighton still have Europe in sight
Like Newcastle, Brighton have also enjoyed a spectacular season which has seen them exceed fans’ expectations as they challenge for European qualification.
Fears of the Seagulls’ progress stalling when head coach Graham Potter left for Chelsea in September have proven unfounded.
Roberto de Zerbi has built on the platform created by his predecessor, instilling a vibrant attacking style which has taken Brighton to the brink of the highest top-flight finish in their 121-year history.
Victory at Newcastle would have ensured they would finish higher than last season’s ninth place, but achieving that notable landmark remains on hold after a poor first half proved costly.
Uncharacteristic sloppiness when playing out from the back invited Newcastle pressure and, although De Zerbi’s side improved after the break, they never seriously threatened an equaliser.
Brighton were without some key players through injury, and rested others including Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, in what was their seventh match in 26 days.
“We are not in the best condition to play so many games in a row. I think we deserved to lose the game,” said De Zerbi, whose team play their final three games in the space of seven days.
Despite this defeat, Brighton know they remain well placed to secure European qualification.
A home game against already-relegated Southampton on Sunday offers an opportunity to move closer to achieving that goal.
“It was a tough night and the first half killed us,” said Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk.
“We’ve got three games left and we’ve got to move on. We need six points to secure European football and it’s up to us to guarantee history for this club.”
Player of the match
Squad number2Player nameTrippier
Squad number9Player nameWilson
Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
Squad number33Player nameBurn
Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães
Squad number4Player nameBotman
Squad number14Player nameIsak
Squad number5Player nameSchär
Squad number22Player namePope
Squad number28Player nameWillock
Squad number32Player nameAnderson
Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin
Squad number13Player nameTargett
Squad number19Player nameManquillo
Squad number8Player nameGordon
Brighton & Hove Albion
Squad number27Player nameGilmour
Squad number23Player nameSteele
Squad number5Player nameDunk
Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
Squad number21Player nameUndav
Squad number20Player nameEnciso
Squad number28Player nameFerguson
Squad number22Player nameMitoma
Squad number30Player nameEstupiñán
Squad number25Player nameCaicedo
Squad number42Player nameOffiah
Squad number13Player nameGroß
Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
Squad number29Player namevan Hecke
Squad number40Player nameBuonanotte
Squad number51Player namePeupion
- 2TrippierSubstituted forManquilloat 90+5′minutes
- 5SchärBooked at 45mins
- 28WillockSubstituted forAndersonat 61′minutes
- 39Bruno GuimarãesBooked at 30mins
- 7JoelintonSubstituted forTargettat 90+5′minutes
- 24AlmirónSubstituted forSaint-Maximinat 90+4′minutes
- 14IsakSubstituted forGordonat 90+4′minutes
- 29van HeckeBooked at 80mins
- 13GroßBooked at 57minsSubstituted forOffiahat 69′minutes
- 27GilmourSubstituted forMac Allisterat 56′minutesBooked at 64mins
- 40BuonanotteSubstituted forEncisoat 56′minutes
- 21UndavBooked at 45minsSubstituted forPeupionat 85′minutes
- 18WelbeckSubstituted forFergusonat 56′minutes
- 10Mac Allister
- Robert Jones
Match ends, Newcastle United 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.
Attempt missed. Julio Enciso (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Evan Ferguson.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Javier Manquillo replaces Kieran Trippier.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Matt Targett replaces Joelinton.
Foul by Julio Enciso (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Allan Saint-Maximin replaces Miguel Almirón.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Anthony Gordon replaces Alexander Isak.
Jan Paul van Hecke (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joelinton (Newcastle United).
Goal! Newcastle United 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Callum Wilson.
Goal! Newcastle United 3, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Miguel Almirón with a through ball following a fast break.
Attempt blocked. Moisés Caicedo (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Mac Allister.
Attempt blocked. Cameron Peupion (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pervis Estupiñán with a cross.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Kieran Trippier.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Cameron Peupion replaces Deniz Undav.
Pervis Estupiñán (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United).
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