Newcastle United made no mistake in the battle for a Champions League ticket in the home game against Brighton & Hove Albion. The stone rich Magpies won 4-1 and remain ahead of Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United in third place in the Premier League.
Newcastle had been warned; Brighton won 0-3 at Arsenal last weekend, which until recently seemed to be on its way to the first league title in twenty years. In Newcastle, the team, without the injured Joël Veltman but surprisingly with Jan Paul van Hecke in the starting line-up, was not involved.
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After an own goal from Deniz Undav had put the home side 1-0 up midway through the first half, defender Dan Burn made it 2-0 in stoppage time of the first half. Undaz made up for his mistake after the break by quickly scoring the 2-1, but Brighton would not come any closer. Late goals from Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimarães propelled Newcastle even further to a resounding 4-1 victory.
Because of the victory, Newcastle can practically smell the Champions League. With two games to play, manager Eddie Howe’s side has now collected 69 points. That is three more than Manchester United, which still has a match in credit but has a much smaller goal difference: +35 to +10. Number five Liverpool is four points behind.