Two goals from Callum Wilson and some heroic late defending was enough to see us end the season with a win at Burnley on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign.
The result sees us finish on our highest points tally (49) for eight years and in 11th place, while Burnley have suffered relegation to the Championship after Leeds’ 2-1 win at Brentford made certain of their survival.
It was a fitting end to a rollercoaster of a season that’s seen us go from Bruce, Ashley and favourites to go down, to Howe, ambitious new owners and a much improved side who are finally playing to their potential.
A shame we couldn’t secure that top 10 finish we deserved, however this has been a turnaround unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in Premier League history. Not only did we defy the odds by staying up – no side has ever done this when failing to win any of their opening 14 games – we would’ve ended the season 10th had Brighton not come from behind to beat West Ham.
It was also great to see Wilson back and doing what he does best – bullying centre-backs, making great runs and scoring goals – with Allan Saint-Maximin also causing problems throughout and coming away unlucky not to have bagged a hat-trick of assists.
Here’s all of today’s results – seeing Man City come back from 2-0 down to lift the title at Liverpool’s expense – and the final Premier League table, followed by our match report in full from a frantic day at Turf Moor:
- Burnley 1-2 Newcastle
- Brentford 1-2 Leeds
- Man City 3-2 Aston Villa
- Liverpool 3-1 Wolves
- Arsenal 5-1 Everton
- Norwich 0-5 Tottenham
- Crystal Palace 1-0 Man Utd
- Leicester 4-1 Southampton
- Chelsea 2-1 Watford
- Brighton 3-1 West Ham
Eddie Howe made TWO changes from the side that won so impressively earlier this week, seeing Kieran Trippier and Jamaal Lascelles come in for Emil Krafth and Fabian Schar.
Sadly, he was forced to make another less than 10 minutes into the game, as Joelinton was stretchered off with what looked like a potentially serious ankle injury. He looked in real discomfort and had his name chanted by the travelling Toon Army.
Jacob Murphy came on in his place and it looked like we switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 with that, seeing Miguel Almiron move into a number 10 role and Murphy go out to the right.
Our first effort of the game came from Guimaraes after some good play from Wilson. The Brazilian had his edge of the box shot saved by Pope and it was cleared for a corner. Trippier’s back post delivery was parried by Pope and touched on by Collins’ outstretched hand.
The referee didn’t see it, but was soon surrounded by black and white shirts and told to have a look at the monitor by VAR. A penalty was given and Wilson made no mistake, sending Pope the wrong way to bag his first goal since returning from a long-term injury. 1-0 Newcastle and Burnley were going down as things stood, with Leeds drawing 0-0 at Brentford midway through the first half.
As you’d expect, the hosts tried to get back at us in a bid to get back into a game they simply couldn’t afford to lose. They enjoyed a small period of pressure leading up to the half hour mark, but we defended well, with Lascelles in particular making a solid start to the game.
After that, we took control of the game and weren’t giving Burnley much of the ball. Our pace on the break was threatening to cause problems and our midfield three looked to have more quality in possession in what had generally been a scrappy start to a tense affair at Turf Moor.
Aside from two long distance strikes from Dwight McNeil, we’d restricted Burnley to very little and had a huge chance to make it 2-0 in first half stoppage time when Targett’s ball down the left released Saint-Maximin on the counter.
The Frenchman had too much pace for Brownhill, burst into the box and had a low effort across goal well saved by Pope. ASM could and should have done better, but it was a good break and more proof that our pacey front four were too quick for this Burnley back line.
Half-time came and we were 1-0 up and into the top 10 as things stood, with Brighton losing 0-1 to West Ham and Brentford currently level with Leeds!
Burnley brought on Wout Weghorst at the break – the giant Dutchman who replaced Chris Wood in January – but it was us who had the first near miss, as a lovely cross from Jacob Murphy just evaded black and white shirts in the box.
Bad news then arrived from Brighton, who moved back into the top 10 at our expense when a second half strike from Joel Veltman made it 1-1 in their clast with West Ham at The Amex.
Soon after a Saint-Maximin led counter almost led to another goal for Wilson, Turf Moor then went silent as news filtered in that Leeds had just taken the lead at Brentford, meaning Burnley may now need TWO second half goals to stay up.
Then, after Almiron blazed over after more good work from Saint-Maximin, the Frenchman did brilliantly to lay it on a plate for Wilson, who latched onto his ball across the box and guided the ball into the far corner to make it 2-0!
Burnley were going down and we were a West Ham goal away from a top 10 finish, although both those things were thrown into doubt when Maxwell Cornet made it 2-1, scoring at the second attempt after his first effort was parried by Dubravka.
Chris Wood came on against his former club and Saint-Maximin made way, presumably to give us more presence up top and some extra cover out wide, as Almiron moved out to the left and we switched to a 4-4-2.
The Clarets were building momentum and pushing for an equaliser, with it taking goal line clearances from Lascelles and Targett to keep us ahead! Brentford had equalised against Leeds, so Burnley knew an equaliser would be enough to keep them up should the score line remain the same in West London.
Brighton went 2-1 up against West Ham, meaning 11th looked like our best possible finish should we hang on at Turf Moor – and we really were hanging on at times!
We had a few big chances on the counter, however Bruno lost his footing at the crucial time and, on another occasion moments later, Almiron’s control let him down just when we looked to have a man over.
Miggy then made way for Matt Ritchie – who came on for what will almost certainly be his last appearance in black and white – as we looked to run down the clock. Four minutes of added time were signalled and Burnley almost equalised through Cornet, but that missed chance was followed by a Leeds winner at Brentford.
The full-time whistle went and Burnley were down, Leeds were staying up and Man City were champions, with their stunning comeback from 2-0 down against Aston Villa enough to see them lift the title after Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Wolves.
Back to Newcastle, it wasn’t a top 10 finish but ending the season in 11th place was an incredible effort. From winless after 14 games to the best points total we’ve managed in eight years is some achievement.
We’ve been through the mill at times over the past year, but it’s all been worth it in the end. This is a team to be proud of and one that’s only going to get better with ambitious new owners and an ever-improving manager on our side.
Next up, a huge summer off the pitch and a well deserved break for the squad – although we’d like to bet that workaholic Eddie Howe barely gives himself a minute’s rest!