Newcastle United fans let off a collective sigh of relief on Sunday afternoon, as a place in the Europa League was made mathematically certain.
Everton picking up just a single point at Old Trafford meant that the Toon Army will march on Europe once more. Get in!
The result however has restarted a title race that City boss Roberto Mancini conceded was over only last week. The blue side of Manchester made the most of their rivals dropping points when they relegated sorry Wolves, and now go into the Manchester derby just three points behind the league leaders and boasting a superior goal difference.
What’s all this got to do with us? Well, I for one had hoped that by the time Man City made the trip North to St. James’ Park they would have nothing left to play for. As it stands, they most certainly do, and a positive result of any kind against Man United will see them arrive here all guns blazing.
We’ve all said on countless occasions that, regardless of how the run in pans out, we’ve had an unbelievable season. That said, wouldn’t we all feel just a little bit gutted if we fell at the final hurdle?
A place in the second tier of European competition is a fantastic consolation prize, without a doubt, though I can’t help but wonder how big a sense of disappointment there would be on Tyneside if we failed to qualify for the Champions League after taking the inside track against Spurs and Chelsea.
Big Al made the same point on Match of the Day last night. We’re so close we can almost taste the Spanish tapas, the Italian bruschetta, the German bratwurst, though there is still a good chance our travelling support could end up dining on… whatever it is they eat in the Ukraine.
Not that the Europa League isn’t littered with top teams – Schalke 04 and Athletic Bilbao contested two of the best games I’ve seen all season – but you get my point. The real glamour games are within reaching distance, we just need to stand up tall for another four games and grab them. It’s no less than we deserve.
What do you reckon? Would you be disappointed with Europa League given our current position, or cast your mind back two seasons and simply enjoy how far we’ve come?