Manchester United and Newcastle parties put on hold as clubs made to wait for Champions League qualification
Liverpool’s draw against Aston Villa has seen Manchester United and Newcastle’s Champions League qualification parties put on hold.
A late equaliser from Roberto Firmino – making his last-Anfield appearance – has kept Jurgen Klopp’s side in touching distance.
United, who beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium, and Newcastle, who face Leicester on Monday, both have two fixtures still to play, with Liverpool having one left.
But the Reds’ draw has kept them three points behind in fifth place, with United and Newcastle now needing just one more point to seal their Champions League fate.
In what has been a stunning season for third-placed Newcastle, they are edging closer to a return to Europe’s premier competition for the first time since 2003.
In just his second year in charge at St James’ Park, Eddie Howe has turned the Magpies from favourites for relegation to Premier League powerhouses.
Erik ten Hag has also worked wonders since taking over at United last summer, considering his side lost their opening two top-flight matches.
The Red Devils won the Carabao Cup in February – their first major honour in six years – while they are also in the FA Cup final where they face rivals Manchester City.
But it has been a poor campaign for Liverpool, who look set to finish outside the Champions League spots for the first time since 2015/16.
The Merseyside outfit also failed to progress past the fourth round of both domestic cups, while crashing out to Real Madrid in the last-16 of the European Cup.
It’s not just the three clubs that have been affected by Liverpool’s draw, with a point at Anfield seeing Villa leapfrog Tottenham into seventh spot.
Unai Emery’s men capitalised on Spurs’ 3-1 defeat to Brentford in Saturday’s early kick-off to go a point ahead of the north Londoners.
Spurs know they must now beat Leeds at Elland Road next week and hope Brighton and Villa slip up to secure either Europa League or Europa Conference League football for next season.
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