Newcastle United will once again be playing Champions League football after a 20-year absence following Monday’s 0-0 draw with Leicester City. The stalemate under the St James’ Park lights was enough to guarantee Eddie Howe’s Magpies will take a seat at Europe’s top table next season.
The game itself won’t live long in the memory as Dean Smith’s relegation-threatened Leicester dug in and camped in their own half for the majority of the tie. Newcastle had the better chances but couldn’t make their dominance count in their penultimate Premier League outing.
Fans didn’t care too much in the end as the celebrations began after the final whistle. Here are the moments you may have missed from the 0-0 draw.
Staveley’s pitchside congratulations
Amanda Staveley kicked every ball during the Leicester draw – and also cheered her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi on from the sidelines as he took part in the half-time football challenge alongside fellow co-owner Jamie Reuben.
Staveley gave Ghodoussi a huge hug after he was defeated by Reuben – but there was more affection on the way at full-time as Newcastle’s players and staff left the field following their top four success.
Eddie Howe and Bruno Guimaraes were two who earned pitchside praise from Staveley, with Graeme Jones, Nick Pope and Sven Botman all receiving huge hugs and sharing long conversations with the Ripon-born financier.
We will win the Carabao Cup, we will win the FA Cup, we will win the Champions League and we will win the Premier League,” Staveley said earlier this year. One of those ambitions just got a lot closer.
Al-Rumayyan takes part
During the aforementioned half-time challenge, where contestants aim to score from different marked areas of the pitch, Ghodoussi and Reuben were joined by Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.
The PIF chief took part in half the challenge before bowing out early, admitting he had recently undergone ACL surgery. Al-Rumayyan also took his coat off to reveal black and white stripes on the inside linen.
Eddie Howe was asked about the appearance of the Saudi chief and praised Al-Rummayan, suggesting the chairman would be giving the players some congratulatory words in the dressing room after the game.
Forgotten men invited back
Loris Karius and Emil Krafth, both of whom haven’t played a Premier League game this season, took part in the full-time lap of honour with their Newcastle co-stars on Monday evening. The pair are facing uncertain futures on Tyneside but have both played their part in different ways in recent years.
Karius, who was forced to fill in for Nick Pope in the Carabao Cup final, looks set to move to Italy where his, currently pregnant, partner works and lives. Krafth is close to returning to fitness after a nasty knee injury at the very start of the season.
A number of other players may well have said their final goodbyes to St James’ Park…
John Terry not happy
It may have slipped the memory of a lot of people but Bruno Guimaraes probably should have been sent off in the opening minutes of the drab 0-0 draw.
The Brazilian left a nasty mark on the knee of Boubakary Soumaré in the early stages of the clash, escaping an early red card after referee Andre Marriner brandished a yellow instead. Replays showed Bruno was probably lucky to get away with one.
The Leicester bench were left furious with the decision, as Foxes coach John Terry made quite clear. The former Chelsea defender had words with the fourth official and was shocked that VAR hadn’t at least told Marriner to get and review the late challenge again.