Newcastle United took a significant step towards securing Champions League qualification with a commanding 4-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at St James’ Park.
Callum Wilson played a pivotal role in the triumph, scoring a late goal and assisting Bruno Guimaraes. The win propelled Newcastle to third place in the Premier League standings, placing them within touching distance of European football’s elite competition.
Kieran Trippier showcased his dead-ball expertise, delivering crosses that led to a Deniz Undav own-goal and a Dan Burn header, securing a comfortable 2-0 lead for the Magpies at halftime.
Brighton, however, showed resilience and managed to pull a goal back early in the second half through Undav. With hopes of an equalizer, the Seagulls pushed forward, leaving spaces in their defense. Newcastle capitalized on the counter-attack, with Wilson finding the back of the net in the dying minutes of the game. Not content with just a goal, Wilson turned provider, setting up Guimaraes to seal the victory at 4-1.
Manager Eddie Howe expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, particularly in the first half. He acknowledged missed opportunities but emphasized the need to focus on upcoming fixtures, starting with the match against Leicester City.
While Newcastle is tantalizingly close to securing Champions League football, Howe urged caution, recognizing that the task is still far from complete.
Newcastle’s victory has also heightened their prospects of a top-four finish, with the added possibility of not needing to play another match if Liverpool fails to win against Aston Villa. Brighton, despite the defeat, remains in contention for a spot in the Europa League next season. Manager Roberto De Zerbi made several changes to the lineup, aiming to maintain squad freshness following their impressive win over Arsenal.
The match saw Newcastle continue their early dominance, as Undav inadvertently headed the ball into his own net from a Trippier corner. In first-half stoppage time, Burn rose above the Brighton defense to score a headed goal from a Trippier free-kick, further solidifying Newcastle’s advantage.
The Magpies could have secured a more comfortable victory, but Jason Steele’s remarkable save denied Miguel Almiron from close range early in the second half. Undav then provided a glimmer of hope for Brighton with a swift response, capitalizing on Billy Gilmour’s through-ball.
Nevertheless, it was Newcastle who had the final say, with Wilson’s goal in the 89th minute and his subsequent assist for Guimaraes in stoppage time.
The result sent waves of jubilation through the Newcastle faithful, as their team moves closer to a coveted Champions League spot.