Man Utd and Newcastle one point from Champions League

20 May 2023

Red Devils and Magpies close to securing top-four spots as Liverpool are held to a draw

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Manchester United and Newcastle United are on the verge of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, each needing only a point from their final two matches after fifth-placed Liverpool failed to maintain their winning run.

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Man Utd beat AFC Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday thanks to Casemiro's eighth-minute goal. The Brazilian produced a brilliant overhead kick after the ball fell to him from Christian Eriksen's chipped pass.

The visitors had David De Gea to thank for maintaining their lead as he produced a crucial save in the final 10 minutes, denying Kieffer Moore six yards out. The Spaniard now has 17 clean sheets this season and has won the Castrol Golden Glove award outright.

A first win in four away matches takes Man Utd three points clear of Liverpool. A draw against Chelsea on Thursday or at home to Fulham on the final day would secure a top-four finish.

Similarly, Newcastle can wrap up a place in the UEFA Champions League with a point at home to Leicester City on Monday or at Chelsea next Sunday.

Race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
3 Manchester United MUN 38 +15 75
4 Newcastle United NEW 38 +35 71
5 Liverpool LIV 38 +28 67
6 Brighton & Hove Albion BHA 38 +19 62
7 Aston Villa AVL 38 +5 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 38 +7 60
9 Brentford BRE 38 +12 59
Full table

See: Which clubs can qualify for Europe

Liverpool's winning run ends

Liverpool's seven-match winning run came to an end with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa which leaves their top-four hopes hanging by a thread. 

Villa had a brilliant opportunity to take the lead at Anfield when Ollie Watkins won a penalty after being fouled by Ibrahima Konate, but the forward missed the target with his spot-kick. 

The miss did not prove costly though, as Jacob Ramsey sneaked in at the back post five minutes later to score his sixth goal of the season from Douglas Luiz’s cross.

Liverpool thought they had levelled through Cody Gakpo, but their goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

The home side kept pushing and grabbed an equaliser when Roberto Firmino, in his final match at Anfield, came off the bench to convert Mohamed Salah's cross from close range. 

Liverpool move on to 66 points while Villa climb to seventh on 58 points, level on points with Brighton & Hove Albion in sixth.

Teams finishing fifth and sixth will qualify for the UEFA Europa League, while seventh will earn a spot in next season's UEFA Europa Conference League. 

Brentford still in the race for Europe

Brentford moved to within a point of Tottenham Hotspur and can still qualify for Europe after coming from behind to beat their London rivals 3-1 thanks to the heroics of Bryan Mbeumo.

Spurs took the lead in the eighth minute through Harry Kane’s brilliant 25-yard free-kick.

It was the 25th different Premier League match this season in which Kane has scored, a competition record in a 38-match campaign, while he also became only the second player to score 10 times in London derbies in a season, after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2001/02.

Thomas Frank’s introduction of Mikkel Damsgaard at half-time helped change the match, the Dane involved in the 50th-minute equaliser, with Mbeumo scoring from Brentford’s first shot on target.

Mbeumo completed the turnaround 12 minutes later, with his ninth Premier League goal of the season, before he set up Yoanne Wissa in the 88th minute to put the Bees out of sight.

Brentford’s fourth win in five matches leaves them ninth on 56 points. A fifth defeat in their last seven fixtures drops Spurs to eighth on 57, outside the European places.

Fulham out of contention

Fulham and Crystal Palace played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage, but it was a result that ended the hosts' faint hopes of finishing in a European place.

Palace took the lead from Odsonne Edouard's fine finish into the roof of the net.

Aleksandar Mitrovic levelled through a penalty before half-time, netting his second of the match, a bullet header from Willian’s free-kick after the break.

Palace fought back through Joel Ward, who converted from close range after Fulham had failed to clear a free-kick for his first goal in four years.

Fulham are 10th on 52 points, with Palace a place back on 44 points.

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Brighton will continue their pursuit of UEFA Europa League qualification and a fifth-place finish when they host relegated Southampton.  

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