Newcastle United 0 Leicester City 0 – Magpies to the Champions League

A place in the top four is assured with one game remaining and although the Magpies were unable to confirm their qualification in the proper manner last night, they were frustrated with a Leicester City side still in the bottom three is rooted and nobody has Tyneside complained at the final whistle.

The Newcastle players took a well-deserved lap of honor to celebrate the final home game of a truly remarkable season, with the club’s supporters serenading Eddie Howe and his side as they roared about the pitch.

There have been so many false forebodings on Tyneside since Sir Bobby Robson last guided the Magpies to the Champions League, but this feels like the start of something very special. The hope is that the club will continue to grow and develop under the Saudi-backed ownership group and the battle for the top four of the Premier League will quickly become the norm.

Leicester is a salutary reminder of how quickly things can change, of course, so seasons like the one that ends at Stamford Bridge on Sunday are to be cherished. Whatever happens over the next few years, this will have been the campaign where Newcastle’s rebirth really took root.

Last night’s game will not feature too much in the highlights of the season as the Magpies’ patient playmaking game tends to falter in the face of Leicester’s spirited defence. Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron hit the woodwork for two minutes late in the first half and Daniel Iverson made a superb save from Alexander Isak in the second half but Newcastle’s attempts to force a breakthrough were thwarted. Since a point was good enough to guarantee a place in the top four, it didn’t really matter.

An evening that ended in celebration got off to a somewhat unfavorable start when Joelinton hobbled through the tunnel during the pre-game warm-up. The Brazilian was obviously struggling with the blow he suffered in last week’s win over Brighton and forced a last-minute change of squad that resulted in Elliot Anderson being promoted to the starting XI.

That was unfortunate for the Magpies but within the first ten minutes things could easily have gotten worse when their other Brazilian midfielder, Bruno Guimaraes, committed an offense that could easily have earned him a red card.

Guimaraes mis-missed his attack on Boubakary Soumare and his studs caught the Leicester midfielder’s knee. Referee Andre Marriner deemed the offense merely worthy of a yellow card, with a VAR review consistent with the on-field decision. An enraged John Terry led the protests on the Leicester bench and considering Guimaraes was sent off for a similar offense in the Carabao Cup semi-final win over Southampton it seemed like Newcastle were lucky not to be down to ten men piece to be reduced very early stage of the process.

They were already able to dominate first-half possession with a full cast on the field, although they initially struggled to gain a large lead against the tightly packed Leicester defence.

By dropping playmakers James Maddison and Harvey Barnes to switch to a five-man defence, Dean Smith had made his intentions clear ahead of the game and the visitors set about frustrating Newcastle by going into the Going deep and filling in their defensive thirds.

Almiron flicked an early shot from the edge of the box over the bar and Anderson blasted a 20-yard shot into the arms of goalkeeper Iverson, but the home side struggled to restore the free attacking football that had ripped them apart in Brighton in a four-four days earlier.

At least until the last five minutes of the first half. As half-time approached, they created two good chances; twice they hit the post.

Wilson had the first opportunity after Dan Burn kept alive a deep cross at the back post. Turning to Burn’s knockdown, Wilson fired from close range against the left post. The rebound flew invitingly into his run, but his subsequent header was deflected off the line.

Two minutes later, it was Miguel Almiron who hit the post after Sean Longstaff deflected the ball into his run. Almiron’s first shot bounced off the woodwork, Isak firing the rebound over the bar.

If one of the two opportunities had been used, the picture of the second half would have changed completely. While Leicester manager Dean Smith brought on Maddison at half-time to give his side at least some attacking power, the second period followed an identical pattern to the first, with Newcastle utterly dominating possession while the opposition pushed up on the edge of their 18 yards – penalty area.

It took something special to pierce the Foxes’ defense and it was almost there just before the hour mark when Isak drove the ball in after Almiron rolled a square ball across the area of ​​the 18-yard penalty area. The Swede’s shot seemed to go into the top corner, but Iverson parried the ball brilliantly and deflected it over the bar.

The Leicester goal led an increasingly charming life, with the ball somehow staying out again in the 71st minute. Kieran Trippier’s corner was fired from the head of Leicester defender Wout Faes but while Guimaraes seemed certain of scoring from about a yard, his proximity to the post meant he couldn’t connect his header properly and the ball flew over Face of the goal area before being hacked away.—magpies-champions-league/?ref=rss Newcastle United 0 Leicester City 0 – Magpies to the Champions League

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