English professional soccer’s Newcastle United has secured a place in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the first time in 20 years.
The Magpies played relegation-threatened Leicester City to a goalless draw at home on Sunday (Nov. 23). With 70 points, Newcastle has secured at least fourth place in the Premier League, four points ahead of fifth-place Liverpool (66 points) with one game remaining.
Newcastle, led by Eddie Howe, could only muster a point despite a dominant performance that saw them enjoy 78% possession on the day and hit the post three times. However, it was enough to secure a return to the UCL next season.
It was a dramatic turnaround for Newcastle, who last missed out on Europe’s elite club competition in the 2002-03 season under legendary manager Bobby Robson (who died in 2009).
In his first season in charge, Howe proved his leadership credentials with a top-four league finish and a Carabao Cup final appearance. 스포츠토토 Financially enriched by a £350 million takeover by Saudi Arabian capital 18 months ago, Newcastle’s recruitment coupled with Howe’s leadership has seen them quickly become a force to be reckoned with, disrupting the old Big Six order.
Newcastle hosts Chelsea in the final game of the season. The gap to fourth-place Manchester United, who have played one game less, is one point.
Meanwhile, Leicester, who have a lot on their plate, have failed to escape the relegation zone. With one game to go, they sit in 18th place, two points behind 17th-place Everton (33 points). Leicester welcomes West Ham to their backyard for a fateful final game. West Ham will be hoping to turn their focus to the Europa League final. However, even with a win, they cannot avoid relegation to the Championship if Everton beat Bournemouth at Goodison Park to stay in the Premier League.