- Newcastle United hosted relegation-threatened Leicester City in a Premier League clash on Monday night
- In their battle to avoid getting relegated to the Championship, Leicester desperately needed a win
- A goal-less draw ensured Newcastle will play in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League
Nick Pope’s crucial save in stoppage time ensured that Newcastle United secured their place in the UEFA Champions League, denying Leicester a much-needed victory to survive in the Premier League.
Despite Newcastle’s dominance and several close chances, including efforts from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron hitting the woodwork, the match ended in a goalless draw. However, the single point was enough for Newcastle to secure their spot in European football’s elite competition after a 20-year absence.
In contrast, Leicester, who are still two points away from safety, will head into their final match against West Ham knowing that their fate is not entirely in their hands.
Newcastle, led by manager Eddie Howe, received praise from the crowd of 52,152 as they celebrated clinching Champions League football for only the third time in the club’s history. This achievement came well ahead of the timeline set by the club’s owners since their takeover in October 2021.
Although the game proved to be frustrating at times, with midfielder Bruno Guimaraes fortunate to receive only a yellow card for a challenge on Boubakary Soumare, the bigger picture prevailed.
As Joelinton was unable to start after participating in the warm-up, Newcastle made a late lineup change and replaced him with Elliot Anderson.
However, any concerns about the reshuffle disrupting the team were dispelled as Newcastle took control of the game amidst a joyous atmosphere at St James’ Park. They dominated possession but initially struggled to find a decisive final pass.
Almiron, displaying his energetic style, fired over the bar after cutting inside from the right, and Anderson tested goalkeeper Daniel Iversen with a curling attempt. Although Newcastle repeatedly pushed forward, they lacked the necessary precision to convert their pressure into goals.
Leicester attempted long passes to Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho, but Newcastle’s Fabian Schar and Sven Botman provided resilient resistance.
Wilson came close to scoring his 19th goal of the season just before halftime, hitting the post with a shot and seeing Wilfred Ndidi clear his follow-up header off the line. Almiron also struck the woodwork, with Isak failing to convert the rebound.
In stoppage time, Wilson headed over from a Kieran Trippier corner after Iversen misjudged the flight of the ball, ending the half without a goal.
Leicester made a substitution at halftime, bringing on James Maddison for Iheanacho, but Newcastle continued to dominate the match. Isak and Almiron posed threats from the flanks, but Leicester’s defence held resolutely.
Iversen made an excellent save to deny Isak’s snapshot in the 59th minute and blocked Sean Longstaff’s effort with his foot in the 76th minute. However, it was Leicester who almost snatched victory at the end when Pope made his first save of the game, denying Castagne’s volley in stoppage time.