Newcastle United’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top four were dealt another blow with Saturday’s 2-2 draw against relegation-threatened Leeds United, while Southampton’s misery came to an end with the club’s relegation.
The second-half equaliser scored by Leeds defender Rasmus Kristensen cost Newcastle the win that would have virtually guaranteed them a spot in the 2019–20 Champions League.
Even though Leeds remained third-bottom of the table with two games left, it could prove crucial in their attempt to avoid relegation.
After losing 2-0 at home to Fulham, Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League, where they had played for the past decade, became official.
Their only chance of survival hinged on a victory, but Carlos Vinicius and Aleksandar Mitrovic scored to send them to their 24th loss of a dismal season that has already resulted in the dismissal of two managers.
“Disappointing. It has been coming. We knew we were in a difficult position,” Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse told the BBC. “From the first day of the season until now you can tell the standards have slipped.”
Nottingham Forest, in 16th place, earned a point in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea, proving that the fight to avoid joining Southampton in the second tier is still very much alive.
With 24 points after 36 games, Southampton is in last position, behind 19th-place Leicester City (30 points), 18th-place Leeds (31) points, and 17th-place Everton (32). Forest, led by Steve Cooper, has 34 points with two games remaining.
On Sunday, Everton will host league leaders Manchester City, while on Monday, Leicester will welcome Liverpool at home.
Leeds took an early lead, but then they conceded two penalties and had a player sent off in an exciting first half at Elland Road.
After Rodrigo’s header from Patrick Bamford’s cross was saved by Nick Pope, Leeds took the lead seven minutes in when captain Luke Ayling scored on the rebound.
After Joelinton fouled Junior Firpo inside the penalty area, Leeds were awarded a penalty, but Nick Pope was able to stop Bamford’s attempt from the spot.
Then, Maximillian Wober brought down Newcastle attacker Alexander Isak, and Callum Wilson scored a penalty kick. Midway through the second half, Newcastle was granted a penalty after Firpo committed a handball, and Wilson converted once again.
After initially falling behind, Leeds rallied, and Kristensen scored a deflected goal in the 79th minute to force overtime, when Firpo was sent out for a second yellow card.
“In the space of a few minutes in the first half when we get a second penalty to go 2-0 up, I think I’d be here saying what a great three points that was today,” Leeds interim manager Sam Allardyce said. “We shot ourselves in the foot.”
Manchester United scored two second-half goals to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at home, tying them with third-place Newcastle. Newcastle was beaten by Arsenal last week and dropped to 66 points.
Both teams have three games left, but they’ll be keeping an eye on Liverpool, who are at 62 points with a matchup against Leicester still to play (though Juergen Klopp’s squad will have only two).