Premier League. Magpies qualify for Champions League following Leicester draw

22 May 23

Newcastle United will return to the Champions League next season after an absence of 20 years

The Magpies have spent the majority of the season in the Premier League's top four positions and have won nine of their last 13 matches to qualify for the world's greatest club competition.

Monday night's 0-0 draw with Leicester means Eddie Howe's side are now certain of a top four finish with one match left to play. The club were 19th in the Premier League when Howe was appointed as head coach in November 2021.

Newcastle have played well over 125 games in Europe and have previously enjoyed two Champions League campaigns - the first in 1997/98, when they famously beat Barcelona 3-2 at St. James' thanks to a Faustino Asprilla hat-trick, the second in 2002/03, when they were winners against Juventus and memorably took on Inter Milan at the San Siro, drawing 2-2 with around 12,000 Magpies fans in the iconic stadium.

They qualified again in 2003/04, but lost out to Partizan Belgrade on penalties in the third qualifying stages, meaning they dropped into the UEFA Cup rather than going into the Champions League group stages.

The Magpies are no strangers to European football in other competitions, winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in their first ever European tournament in 1968/69 and becoming regulars in Europe in the early 1990s and early 00s. Ten years ago, United reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League but lost over two legs to Benfica.

But now a whole new generation of supporters can look forward to European adventures thanks to Premier League Manager of the Year nominee Howe, his staff and his fantastic team, who received a rapturous reception from a capacity crowd under the lights on Monday night.

"It feels amazing to share that moment with the supporters," said Howe. "(They were) emotional moments and I'm very, very proud of everyone connected with the club; the supporters, the owners, who were on the pitch at the end, and the whole squad.

"We were consistent and we kept winning games. We kept dealing with setbacks really well and we kept our resilience. The World Cup break was key - how would we come back from that break of momentum for us? We came back brilliantly in that first game and the only period where I felt we lost focus a little bit was around the Carabao Cup, but I think that's only natural. Once that was over, we got back on it.

"It's amazing to have done it and the former managers that have achieved it are club legends. I have a lot to prove, I feel, but when I came here creating history and trying to bring success to Newcastle was - after trying to stay in the league - very much on our thoughts of what we hoped to do.

"Hopefully this is the start for us. You never know in football what's around the corner, but we'll try and enjoy the achievement tonight."

Related Content