Newcastle 1-1 Brighton: Sean Longstaff earns point as Toon lose ground on fifth-placed Tottenham

by 24britishtvMay 11, 2024, 6 p.m. 19
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Newcastle stumbled in their bid to qualify for Europe as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton in their final home game of the season.

Eddie Howe's side moved three points above seventh-placed Chelsea, who face Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening live on Sky Sports, but lost ground on Tottenham in fifth after their 2-1 win over Burnley moved them six points clear of Newcastle.

It could have been worse for the hosts after Brighton defender Joel Veltman punished them for a sluggish start, out-muscling Elliot Anderson to turn home from close range at a corner.
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However, Sean Longstaff equalised deep into added time of the first half at the end of a well-worked move yet it was not enough to inspire a turnaround in the second period despite a late rally which saw an Anthony Gordon goal ruled out for offside.

Newcastle struggled for the fluency that had helped them win five of their previous seven league games and fell behind when Pascal Gross' corner was met by Danny Welbeck and stabbed in by Veltman.

It took 34 minutes for Newcastle to force Bart Verbruggen into a significant save, parrying Dan Burn's close-range header at a corner before left-back Lewis Hall fired over and Brighton goalscorer Veltman was substituted due to injury.

The hosts started to ramp up the pressure after two off-target efforts from the lively Brighton forward Julio Enciso with Verbruggen denying Alexander Isak.

But there was little he could do about the equaliser which came after Gordon waited for Anderson to arrive on the overlap inside the area with his pullback converted by Longstaff.

Verbruggen had to claw the ball from underneath his crossbar in the second half after substitute Tariq Lamptey's interception looped towards the top corner of his own goal.

Howe sent on Joelinton, Harvey Barnes and Miguel Almiron for Longstaff, Murphy and a disappointed Isak with 22 minutes remaining, but it was Gordon who thought he had won it five minutes.

He tapped in after Almiron had squared the ball for a simple tap in although the substitute was offside from Barnes' through pass.

Howe: Race for Europe will go to the wire

"The performance was good. I have no issues with our general play. Disappointed with the goal we conceded because Brighton are a tough team to play against and the game became a lot harder from that moment. Credit to the players, though, for how they kept going.

"I was very pleased with our goal, I thought that might give us the momentum needed to go and win the game but it just didn't happen."

On Isak being substituted and Callum Wilson absence: "Alex wasn't feeling very well yesterday. I took the decision to look after him with a three-game week in mind. You could see he wasn't at full tilt today. Callum also had a little bit of illness, feeling not great in his body so hopefully we'll have him back."

On final two matches: "Two huge games. The Manchester United game is set up perfectly, that will be massive for us. We'll give everything we can to try and get a positive result. Brentford will take care of itself on the last day. As we've said all along, it's probably going to go right until the end."

"I'm really pleased with the performance. We could have won the game, we could have lost the game. We played against one of the best teams in terms of physical condition. We played in a fantastic atmosphere, it's incredible.

"The level of difficulty of this game was high and we played in our style with courage and ideas. We suffered too much in the second half in the last 25 minutes but they changed four players which made a difference. We changed young players. We have to be proud of the performance.

"We have another two games at home. We'd like to finish in the top 10. It's not a big, big result but if you consider this season, the first time we've played in the Europa League and how many injuries we have, finishing in the top 10 would be better than last season."
• Newcastle United remain unbeaten at St James' Park in the Premier League since the start of February (W4 D4), with Saturday's point being the ninth they've rescued from a losing position at home in that time, the second most of any team over that period (Tottenham Hotspur - 12).
• Newcastle United have now scored at least one goal in all 19 of their Premier League home games this season, the first time they've achieved that feat in the Premier League era - they'd previously scored in 18 of their 19 home games in the 1995/96, 1996/97 and 2002/03 campaigns and 20/21 in 1994-95.
• Sean Longstaff's goal was the 17th that Newcastle United have scored between the 30th and 45th minutes of the first half in the Premier League this season, overtaking Arsenal (16) to have scored the most goals during that period in the league this term.
• Joel Veltman's goal was the first scored by a Dutch player in a Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion, with the Netherlands the 11th different nation to have had a goalscorer in this fixture.

Newcastle visit Old Trafford on Wednesday May 15 to face Man Utd, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm, while Brighton will host Chelsea.

The Premier League's final day is on Sunday May 19 with all games kicking off at 4pm. Newcastle go to Brentford, while Brighton host Man Utd.

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It's one of the biggest sporting events in a generation. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk collide for the undisputed world heavyweight championship on Saturday May 18, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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