Tyneside is in party mood as Rafa Benitez guided his Newcastle United side to the Championship title on an exciting final day.
United knew they had to better Brighton’s result to win the title. It was Barnsley who visited St James’ Park and stood in the Magpies’ way, while Brighton had Aston Villa to deal with. The Magpies were 2-0 up before the hour mark, Ayoze Perez netting his 12th goal of the season before Chancel Mbemba doubled the scoreline on 59 minutes.
With St James’ Park swaying, the news filtered through that Glenn Murray had put Brighton ahead from the spot. Villa, who in truth should have been ahead, were down to ten men and United’s grip on the title was slipping. But with 89 minutes on the clock Jack Grealish equalised for Villa and at the same time Dwight Gayle added a third for Newcastle. St James’ Park erupted, for the fans knew if it stayed like this, Benitez would lift the title with his Newcastle squad. The whistle blew, and the fans and players had a nervous wait to see if Villa could hold onto point.
A few moments later the players were piled on top of one and other in the centre circle and with fans embracing in the stands – United had been confirmed champions.