After a 21-year drought, Newcastle United has officially returned to the Champions League to play in the 2023-24 season.
On Monday, May 22, the Magpies took on Leicester City, who were battling to stay afloat in the Premier League, with both squads leaving with a point a piece in a 0-0 draw.
Heading into Monday’s game, both sides had plenty to play for, and both clubs showed that.
From start to finish Leicester City and Newcastle United took turns taking punches at one another on the offensive side of things, but even when attacks looked like they were going to end with a goal, none of them did.
Both defenses were spectacular as goalkeepers Nick Pope and Danny Ward recorded clean sheets.
The only difference between the two sides was volume as Newcastle had 23 shot attempts compared to Leicester’s one. Three of the Magpies’ shots went off the woodwork as Leicester just would not break and allow a goal through.
They also dominated the possession battle, out-possessing Leicester 78-22%.
Although they were unable to find a goal, the final result was good enough for the home team to make a long-awaited, 21-year, return to Europe’s elite competition next season, the Champions League.
One player that returned in time to help the Magpies secure the Champions League birth was midfielder Sean Longstaff, who went down just a few games ago against Everton. It was unknown whether or not he would play again before the season ended, but he worked to get himself back in condition to play against Leicester.
“I can’t put it into words, to be honest,” said Longstaff. “If you told us two years ago this was going to happen, we wouldn’t have believed you.”
Just six years ago during the 2016-2017 season, the Magpies were in the EFL Championship, a step below the Premier League, and fought their way back to the top of the English league pyramid.
With just one game left in the season, the Magpies sit four points ahead of Liverpool in fifth place, while being just one point ahead of fourth-placed Manchester United, who are right on their tail.
Unfortunately for Leicester City, they still are within the relegation zone in 18th place.
They will look to take on West Ham United at their home pitch on the last day of the Premier League season. Leicester may be able to find a win considering the Hammers have no worry about being relegated, and are just preparing for a Europa League final in the near future.
Nonetheless, both teams will be battling to make sure they finish the season on a good note.
Want your voice heard? Join the Newcastle Toons team!
Unlike Leicester, the Magpies are in a perfect spot to finish the season and will take on Premier League powerhouse Chelsea on Sunday, May 28 at 4:30 p.m.