Newcastle top Brighton, on precipice of Champions League
Newcastle United beat Brighton 4-1 on Thursday at St. James’ Park to move to the precipice of qualification for the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League.
A Denis Undav own goal and Dan Burn header, both off set pieces, put the hosts in front only for Undav to bring the Seagulls back into it.
But Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimaraes scored late in the game to make the scoreboard look more uneven than the game.
The third-place Magpies move to 69 points, three more than fourth-place Manchester United, who has a match-in-hand, and four clear of fifth-place Liverpool.
Brighton stays sixth with 58 points and has three matches to firm up its place in the Europa League.
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Newcastle vs Brighton player ratings: Stars of the Show
St. James’ Park erupts as Europe beckons
Newcastle United is going back to Europe. We’ve known that for some time.
But the Champions League? Already?!
Eddie Howe’s men bounced back from a surprising draw at Leeds to take a two-goal lead, and the home stadium was electric until Denis Undav brought Brighton back within a goal.
And just when it looked like Brighton had seized control and was readying an equalizer, the Magpies showed that magical burst we’ve seen so many times as they conjured two more goals to turn the affair back into a party.
Who knows if Newcastle will have the depth to compete in the group stage next season, but the fact that the Magpies are (in all likelihood) back in the Champions League this soon after their big-money takeover is almost unfathomable.
Brighton hosts Southampton on Sunday.
Newcastle’s off until Monday, May 22, when it’ll host Leicester City.
Denis Undav own goal video: Corner leads to Magpies opener
Dan Burn goal video: Set piece service makes it 2-0
Denis Undav goal video: Seagulls break the line
Callum Wilson goal video
Bruno Guimaraes goal video
How to watch Newcastle vs Brighton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2:30pm ET, ThursdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Newcastle has been getting plenty of production from Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak. The former has scored 10 of his 17 Premier League goals since the calendar turned to April.
Brighton has a long injury list but Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo are healthy and ready to produce for at least a few more matches in a Seagulls shirt. Pascal Gross is having an excellent season and big forward Denis Undav has made his presence felt over the past few games.
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
Newcastle doesn’t get Sean Longstaff back while Ryan Fraser, Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles, and Emil Krafth are all out.
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
The Seagulls don’t get Joel Veltman back but Julio Enciso is available off the bench, and their list of confirmed absences is long: Jakub Moder, Adam Webster, Jeremy Sarmiento, Tariq Lamptey, Solly March, and Adam Lallana are all missing.