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Season 2022-23
Leicester City (h) Premier League


Monday 22nd May 2023, 8.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Momentous



Leicester City


0 - 0





Half time: Magpies 0 Foxes 0

Full time: Magpies 0 Foxes 0

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"It's a big relief, an amazing night to see the supporters react, it's incredible.

"This wasnít in our sights at that moment. We had escaped relegation impressively, from the position we were in.

"We were hopeful of improving and staying away from danger and growing the team to a position where maybe we could compete for Europe in a couple of seasons, so weíve shot ahead of schedule.

"With that comes big challenges for the future, but when youíre in these moments and thereís an opportunity of something like this, you have to take it.

What was the pre-season target? 

"It certainly wasn't top four. You always have to hope and dream but we didn't feel we were ready for that after battling relegation. It was about consolidating and becoming a better team and not have that flirtation with relegation. The lads have been unbelievable, their mentality, their attitude."

What does this mean for summer recruitment? 

"There is a small pool of players we can recruit. We have to recruit wisely, which we have done. This will be our toughest transfer window."

Is this your career highlight? 

"It's probably more recognisable around the country due to the scale, but my first challenge in Bournemouth to keep them up was incredibly huge to me and the club. This is on a different scale media-wise and I'm just so grateful to be managing here.

"I want success massively for this football club. The only difficult thing is that although you feel like you've achieved something great there is no trophy. 

"We want to bring silverware here in the future. The difficulty is thereís no trophy. Itís an amazing achievement, an amazing thing in terms of where weíve come from in such a short space of time.

"But it feels difficult to celebrate it like youíve won a league or something like that. Itís right up there, of course it is. Itís an amazing thing at a very special club.

"I donít know how Iíll celebrate. Iíll wait and see. I hope itís not with a tea and a biscuit.Ē

On the challenge of the Champions League:

"We want to compete, not just turn up. We want to do ourselves justice. As for the supporters ó Iíve got no doubt whatsoever theyíre ready. Theyíll grace the competition and be a great addition in the numbers they travel."

On Joelinton:

"It was a difficult late change; we thought Joe would be OK. We didn't think there were any major concerns with his injury, but he felt, in the warm-up, that he couldn't play. He couldn't do himself justice, so unfortunately he missed out." 

They Said

Dean Smith said:

"We've taken it to the last game and made Everton need to win, that's what we had to do.

"I make no apologies for the way we set up today. We havenít kept a clean sheet for too long and the reason we are where we are is because of that in my opinion.

"My mind was made up when I watched Newcastle play Brighton on Thursday, one of the best footballing teams in the Premier League this year, Brighton, and in that first 20, 25 minutes, they steamrollered them. 

"I don't think many people would have thought we'd come here and get a result. We had to keep a clean sheet and hope, because we had to make sacrifices with our team sheet today and hope then we were still in the game. 

"It almost worked exactly to plan, but the goalkeeper made a really good save in the 90th minute, which was our only shot, I think.v
If itís too little, too late, who knows? But weíve taken it to Sunday now.Ē

On keeping a clean sheet:

"That's a big thing mentally for the players. It's the first clean sheet at half-time I've had in my seven games. It was important we did that.

"You can't open up here and go at them. It was a tough watch at times but you could see the players were fighting for it. We had a great chance right at the death."

On the potential red card for Bruno Guimaraes:

"It was a really poor challenge, he's caught him on the thigh. I'm not sure what VAR sees there. From what we've seen so far this season that's been a red card many times."

On the relegation battle:

"We're going to need help. There will be a lot of anxiety for all three teams that are in it. Our job first and foremost is to win against West Ham. I'm sure with our supporters behind us, we can do that. Then it's out of our hands.

"As long as we can say we gave it our best shot, we'll fight tooth and nail to stay in there. All we can do is put some pressure on Everton and hopefully we've done that."

Astonishing quotes and performance from Smith and his gutless Foxes. This was a team fighting tooth and nail was it? Not from our vantage point. To see City coaches high-fiving each other at the end was even more laughable than their Leeds counterparts celebrating a point against us. 

Far from making Everton "need to win", Leicester's antics handed the final day initiative to the Toffees. It's out of City's hands now, with Everton assured of safety by beating Bournemouth - regardless of what happens in the Leicester versus West Ham game.  That wouldn't have been the case had Smith's side tested our nervousness more and won...


Newcastle won a place in the Champions League for the fourth time in their history, this the first time that they won't have to enter in a qualifying round and go straight into the group stage.

Here's where they gained the decisive point(s) to qualify:

Nottingham Forest (h) won 5-0 (game 38, Kenny Dalglish)
2001/02 Blackburn Rovers (a) drew 2-2 (game 36, Sir Bobby Robson)
2002/03 Birmingham City (h) won 1-0 (game 37, Sir Bobby Robson)
Leicester City (h) drew 0-0 (game 37, Eddie Howe)

United reached their highest PL home points total in a season since 2002/03:

52 points
48 points *
47 points
46 points *
42 points
39 points
39 points
30 points

* 21 home game seasons, others 19

And scored the highest number of PL goals at SJP in a season since 2010/11:

1993/94 51*
1994/95 46*
1999/00 42
2010/11 41
2001/02 40
1995/96 38
2002/03 36
2022/23 36

* 21 home game seasons, others 19

Foxes in Toon - PL era:

2022/23 Drew 0-0
Won 2-0 Joelinton, Burn (LC)
Won 2-1 Guimaraes 2
2020/21 Lost 1-2 Carroll
2019/20 Lost 0-3
2019/20 Drew 1-1 (lost 2-4 on pens) (LC)
2018/19 Lost 0-2
2017/18 Lost 2-3 Joselu, Gayle
2015/16 Lost 0-3
2014/15 Won 1-0 Obertan
2009/10 Won 1-0 Guthrie (CH)
2003/04 Won 3-1 Ameobi, OG, Jenas
2001/02 Won 1-0 Solano
2000/01 Won 1-0 Cort
1999/00 Lost 0-2
1998/99 Won 1-0 Glass
1997/98 Drew 3-3 Barnes, Tomasson, Beresford
1996/97 Won 4-3 Shearer 3, Elliott
1994/95 Won 3-1 Albert 2, Howey

Closing home game results - PL era:

2022/23 Leicester City drew 0-0
Arsenal won 2-0
2020/21 Sheffield United won 1-0
2019/20 Liverpool lost 1-3
2018/19 Liverpool lost 2-3
2017/18 Chelsea won 3-0
2016/17 Barnsley won 3-0 (Ch)
2015/16 Spurs won 5-1
2014/15 West Ham won 2-0
2013/14 Cardiff City won 3-0
2012/13 Arsenal lost 0-1
2011/12 Manchester City lost 0-2
2010/11 West Bromwich Albion drew 3-3
2009/10 Ipswich Town drew 2-2 (Ch)
2008/09 Fulham lost 0-1
2007/08 Chelsea lost 0-2
2006/07 Blackburn Rovers lost 0-2
2005/06 Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 Chelsea drew 1-1
2003/04 Wolves drew 1-1
2002/03 Birmingham City won 1-0
2001/02 West Ham won 3-1
2000/01 Aston Villa won 3-0
1999/00 Arsenal won 4-2
1998/99 Blackburn Rovers drew 1-1
1997/98 Chelsea won 3-1
1996/97 Nottingham Forest won 5-0
1995/96 Spurs drew 1-1
1994/95 Crystal Palace won 3-2
1993/94 Arsenal won 2-0

The late replacement of Joelinton in the starting XI by Elliot Anderson led to a first PL bench selection for full back Harrison Ashby.

Dean Smith looked on from the away dugout at SJP as the side he was managing earned a point on Tyneside for the fourth successive time:

2022/23 Leicester City drew 0-0
2021/22 Norwich City drew 1-1
2020/21 Aston Villa drew 1-1
2019/20 Aston Villa drew 1-1



No goal - the dream begins

There'll be no commemorative DVD of tonight's match (although "Howay 0-0" has a certain ring to it), but for those fortunate enough to be present, the sights, sounds and emotions evoked were either reminiscent of former triumphs, or a joyous revelation of just what this place can produce.

Needing one point from their last two games to confirm a top four finish in the Premier League and a place in next season's Champions League, Newcastle did exactly that by drawing with a relegation threatened Leicester City side at Gallowgate on Monday evening. 

A rearguard action from the Foxes saw them keep eleven men behind the ball for the majority of the match; belatedly looking to sneak a goal themselves by bringing on the likes of James Maddison after a combination of desperate defending and the woodwork had kept the black and whites at bay.

An unapologetic City boss Dean Smith admitted that his game plan was heavily influenced by seeing Brighton mown down here last Thursday. Given our enhanced status, the task of overcoming spoiling tactics from visiting sides here will be regularly set, but tonight there were echoes of recent times here when Newcastle didn't possess the talent, direction or motivation to have a go.

"Stay in the game" was in the Rafa Benitez playbook, most notably succeeding in January 2019 when Manchester City were beaten 2-1 here via our only two shots on target - a result we described as a giant-killing, even though it was a league encounter.

Leicester's determination to willfully avoid anything that could be mistaken for meaningful possession meanwhile was a reminder of some desperate days during Steve Bruce's tenure here; a sad state of affairs that is thankfully receding into history. One day it will never have happened.

Eddie Howe welcomed Sean Longstaff back into the side while Jacob Murphy returned to the bench, but a late change saw Elliot Anderson drafted in when Joelinton dropped out after the warm-up.

A first half heavy on home possession but light on chances came to life in the closing stages; Callum Wilson denied by a post then a goal line clearance in the same move, before Miguel Almiron hit the other upright at the Leazes End moments later. 

Bruno Guimaraes headed against the post from close in after the break as United's relentless but unsuccessful attempts to score continued. Visiting goalkeeper Daniel Iversen also denied both Isak and Longstaff in the second half as
City recorded a first PL clean sheet in 22 attempts.

The visitors almost silenced a raucous home crowd in added time however; Fabian Schar making one vital interception and Nick Pope superbly denying Timothy Castagne with the only effort Leicester managed to get on or off target; also managing not to give them a second go from the rebound.

That pivotal moment broke what had become an increasingly fearful atmosphere; a genuine sense of apprehension as a collective memory of the "old" Newcastle returning looked set to become reality.
That gave way to scenes of pure glee though when Andre Marriner blew for time.

Following a burst of "Que sera, sera...." to prompt of "Tell me ma...", the PA was silenced and the squad belatedly embarked on what was officially called a lap of appreciation - a suitable conclusion to the most memorable of seasons on home soil, when they lost just twice in 23 games.

The usual entourage of players, coaches and staff joined in, along with ever-increasing quantities of their bairns clad in Newcastle strips and having a kickabout; Miggy's two year old lad to the fore and cheered loudly when poking the ball into the Gallowgate goal. 

With security staff discreetly in place and the ubiquitous documentary cameras accompanying them
Al-Rumayyan, Staveley, Ghodoussi and Reuben joined in a massive group photo with the Gallowgate End behind them, as was the case after Arsenal in 2022. Larger numbers of stewards meanwhile were placed on the perimeter to deter any pitch invaders.

Third place may elude Newcastle regardless of the outcome of Sunday's season closer at Chelsea, but given the remarkable achievement of returning to Europe's premier competition this season, that's of very little consequence. 

To boldly go where no Mag has been for 20 years then, and given the opposition here it's wholly appropriate to hark back a decade further, when the Foxes were crushed 7-1 here en route to our Premier League ascension in May 1993. 30 years on, there's a similar sense that the limitless potential at this club is being harnessed once again. 

And so, a season that began with optimism that we'd stay well clear of the drop zone heads to a conclusion with a top flight points total not bettered since 2002, a first cup final appearance since 1999 and a positive goal difference of almost unimaginable magnitude. 

All rather different to "just ticking along" isn't it?


Page last updated 24 May, 2023