Newcastle United Back In Champions League After 20 Years In Goa-less Draw With Leicester
The Premier League action continued on Monday as Newcastle and Leicester played out a 0-0 draw leading to significant results at both ends of the table.
The hosts hit the ground running at St. James’ Park while the visitors soaked up the pressure with a five-man backline that remained formidable during the first 45 minutes.
Newcastle’s recently awarded Player of the Season Kieran Trippier tried to lead the Magpies forward and combine with his attacking team-mates, but nothing cracked the resolute Foxes.
The closest chances arrived just before the break when Callum Wilson’s header was cleared off the line before Miguel Almirón hit the woodwork and Alexander Isak skied the follow-up.
Looking at the statistics, Leicester had zero shots and only 17% possession of the ball but managed to hold on against the hosts as they stayed true to their defensive game plan.
Dean Smith introduced James Maddison and Harvey Barnes off the bench after the restart but they couldn’t produce any late magic for the visitors.
Meanwhile, Eddie Howe will be puzzled about how his side didn’t find the back of the net.
Isak’s long-range bullet called goalkeeper Daniel Iversen into action, but the worst miss of the night arrived through Bruno Guimarães as the Brazilian missed his back-post header from point-blank range.
Their hard work was almost undone in the dying moments, though, as Nick Pope made a clutch diving save on Timothy Castagne’s volley. It was their first effort on target (92nd minute).
The result will be too shaky for Newastle’s liking, given their dominance over 90 minutes, but the point means the Magpies successfully qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2003.
Leicester, meanwhile, also picked up a clutch point in their hope to avoid relegation and sit 18th, two points off safety heading into the final day of the season.