Newcastle United defeat Manchester United and climb third

Premier League

In their first big final in 24 years, Eddie Howe’s team lost 2-0 to United at Wembley five weeks ago. Yet, Newcastle might forego a trophy for a lucrative Champions League spot, and goals from Willock and Wilson in the second half at a boisterous Saint James’ Park brought them closer to that aim. After their first victory over United since 2019 and third straight league victory, Newcastle moved ahead of their fourth-place rivals on goal differential.

As the fight to finish in the top four and earn a spot in the Champions League for the following season heats up, they are one point clear of fifth-place Tottenham, who go to Everton on Monday. Newcastle hasn’t finished ahead of United in 46 years, but the Magpies now have a unique opportunity to repeat that achievement thanks to Howe’s shrewd management and the financial support of their Saudi owners.

United has all three of their league games without a victory; they were destroyed 7-0 at Liverpool and then held to a scoreless draw by bottom-feeding Southampton prior to this defeat on Tyneside.

The beginning of a new golden era for United was supposed to be their first major prize in six years, but instead they have gone three league games without scoring for the first time since February 2020.

It was a depressing start to a hectic schedule of nine games in April for Erik ten Hag’s team, who are vying to finish in the top four and advance to the FA Cup final and semifinals of the Europa League. After missing England’s most recent Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Italy and Ukraine owing to a toe injury, Marcus Rashford started for United. Rashford, meanwhile, had a rare dud in the midst of a stellar individual campaign, and United were impotent as a result.

Alexander Isak’s header from Jacob Murphy’s cross was deflected away by David De Gea, who then stopped Willock’s close-range shot after it rebounded to keep United level. The pressure from the Magpies paid off in the 65th minute when Willock glanced in from almost on the goal line after Bruno Guimaraes flicked a cross to the far post and Allan Saint-Maximin headed back towards him. After 88 minutes, Wilson put the outcome beyond question with a precise close-range header off a free kick from Kieran Trippier.

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