Win propelled Newcastle to third place in the Premier League table, leaving them on the cusp of Champions League qualification
Newcastle power past Brighton to boost Champions League hopes. Twitter/premierleague
Newcastle United took a significant step towards Champions League qualification with a resounding 4-1 victory over Brighton at St James' Park.
Kieran Trippier's dead-ball expertise proved instrumental as his crosses resulted in an own-goal by Deniz Undav and a headed goal from Dan Burn, giving the Magpies a comfortable 2-0 lead at halftime. However, Undav managed to pull one back for Brighton early in the second half.
Despite Brighton's attempts to find an equaliser, Newcastle remained resolute, and their efforts paid off when Callum Wilson sealed the victory with a late counter-attack goal. In the dying moments of the match, Wilson turned provider, setting up Bruno Guimaraes to make it 4-1.
The win propelled Newcastle to third place in the Premier League table, leaving them on the cusp of Champions League qualification. With just one win required from their remaining two matches against Leicester and Chelsea, the Magpies were within touching distance of securing a coveted spot among Europe's elite. Furthermore, their path to a top-four finish could be paved if Liverpool faltered against Aston Villa.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe expressed his satisfaction with his team's performance, particularly their strong display in the first half. Although they missed some scoring opportunities, he commended his players for their efforts. Howe, however, emphasized the importance of maintaining focus and not getting carried away with the prospect of Champions League football.
The Magpies fielded the same starting lineup as their previous match against Leeds, while Brighton made four changes from their triumphant outing against Arsenal. The northeast side capitalized on their early dominance when Undav inadvertently nodded a header into his own net from Trippier's impressive inswinging corner.
Just before halftime, Burn extended Newcastle's lead with a well-timed header from another Trippier set-piece.
Newcastle had a chance to put the result beyond doubt early in the second half, but Jason Steele produced a superb save to deny Miguel Almiron. Undeterred, Brighton swiftly responded as Undav latched onto Billy Gilmour's through-ball and beat England goalkeeper Nick Pope. Nonetheless, Wilson's clinical finish in the 89th minute and his subsequent assist for Bruno in stoppage time sealed an emphatic victory for the home side.
The triumph kept Newcastle's Champions League dreams alive, while Brighton remained in the race for Europa League qualification despite the loss.
The Magpies now turn their attention to their crucial upcoming clash with Leicester, fully aware that they cannot afford to be complacent as they strive to achieve their season's objective.