Newcastle thrash Brighton to almost secure a historic Champions League berth 

Newcastle on verge of Champions League football next season after cruising past Brighton

(Football news) Newcastle United claimed a very important 4-1 home victory over Brighton to take a massive step towards a top-four finish in the Premier League. An own goal by Deniz Undav and a Dan Burn header before half time put Newcastle in cruise control. But Brighton, who are seeking to qualify for Europe for the first time in their club history, pulled a goal back through Undav, which was his 4th in his 5th start.

Fans were pretty nervous around St James’ Park as Newcastle squandered golden chances and Brighton looked very dangerous as an equaliser was coming but late goals by Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimaraes helped enlighten the mood inside the stadium. While a top-four finish is still not guaranteed they now just need one win from their last two games to be sure. Eddie Howe’s team are on 69 points while Manchester United are on 66 points with three games still to play as Liverpool have 65 points but only two games remaining

Victory against Leicester City at home on Monday will guarantee Newcastle Champions League football for the first time in almost 20 years. Newcastle had only picked up one point from their last two games, and on the other hand Brighton were fresh from a brilliant 3-0 win against Arsenal. For Newcastle this was one of the most tricky matches remaining for the hosts. But they dominated from the get go and took the lead in the 22nd minute when Kieran Trippier’s corner skimmed off the head of Undav and unfortunately went into his own net.

Newcastle’s second goal came from former Brighton defender Dan Burn who rose highest to power in another inch perfect delivery from Trippier in the first-half stoppage time. In the second half, Brighton came out with a renewed vigour as Billy Gilmour split the Newcastle’s defence with a pass to Undav who calmly slotted it past Nick Pope.

It was looking like the match was heading towards a dramatic ending but Wilson made sure that Newcastle were getting all 3 points as he took his league goal tally for the season to 18 in the last minute after Almiron set him. Wilson turned provider this time as Guimaraes scored from close-range in stoppage time. Brighton have to win at least two games from their last three games to ensure they will play in Europe next season but one of those matches is against treble chasing Manchester City.

“We were outstanding tonight,” Howe told Sky Sports. “That first period was us at our best. I thought we were relentless. It is very difficult to maintain that for the full game. The crowd helped get us over the line. The third goal was crucial. It would be incredible if we could (qualify for the Champions League). This is the Premier League and we take nothing for granted. We know how good Leicester are, they are fighting at the other end of the table.”

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