Tue 7 May 2024, 10:30 · Ash Harrison

Newcastle are now firmly in the driving seat for Europe thanks to Crystal Palace

Newcastle are now firmly in the driving seat for Europe thanks to Crystal Palace
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It was just a couple of weeks ago that Newcastle United fans were having a meltdown about Crystal Palace and this morning we all love them.

It turns out that getting beat 2-0 at Selhurst Park isn't so bad after all, given that our close rivals Manchester United went there last night and shipped four goals without reply, and in truth, it could have been more.

A quick look at the Premier League table this morning and it's looking good for Newcastle. Our nearest rival for the European places is now Chelsea, and they are a big threat right now with their current form. West Ham are no longer a threat so it's down to in-form Chelsea and wobbly Man United to close the gap.

Manchester United's heads have completely fallen off, partly due to their injury crisis with defenders, but we have one of those too and we won at the weekend. Obviously, next week's clash at Old Trafford will still have a big say on things, but after seeing them play last night, we have nothing to fear, do we?

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Zac Goodwin/PA Wire
Man United are looking finished!

Man United still have a lot of say in the European places

Manchester United have a major part to play in the European qualifications owing to their participation in the FA Cup final. If Manchester United don't finish in the top five but win the FA Cup they qualify for the Europa League, with sixth place claiming a Europa Conference League spot.

If the Red Devils don't win the FA Cup then Europa League qualification will be awarded to fifth and sixth, while seventh claims Europa Conference League.

It's looking highly unlikely that Man United will finish in the top 5 with the gap between them and Tottenham being six points with three games to play, so one more point for Spurs puts that out of reach for them. Newcastle have a four-point gap to close on Spurs which isn't out of the question just yet.


Newcastle can achieve another Premier League first

It's now looking like Newcastle United will finish above Manchester United for the first time in Premier League history, and that's almost as sweet as picking up European football on its own.

Chelsea's run-in looks pretty generous, though, even when compared to ours. The Blues also have three games remaining and those are against Nottingham Forest and Brighton away and finishing with Bournemouth at home.

Newcastle have Brighton at home followed by Manchester United and Brentford away. It's going to be tight but Newcastle need just seven points to ensure a higher finish than Chelsea who would need to make up an 11-goal deficit in goal difference to overtake us. It still leaves us with a lot to do, seven points from nine is still a huge task.

Who'd have thought we'd have a nail-biting end to the season?