May 24, 2024

Newcastle United thrashed Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, but it was Aston Villa who made the most Premier League headlines this weekend.

While the Magpies easily defeated Spurs to get into the top six on Saturday, Sunday was all about the title chase.

Manchester City appears to have reclaimed the Premier League crown, as both Liverpool and Arsenal suffered defeats.

The latter were defeated by Aston Villa, as Unai Emery dealt a crushing blow to his former club’s title hopes. All the while, it puts Aston Villa in prime position to qualify for the Champions League next season.

They are back in fourth place, leapfrogging Tottenham Hotspur and securing Champions League qualification. Fifth might also deliver that, but it is still doubtful given the English clubs’ struggles in recent European matchups.

Villa are seeking to finish in the top four, like Newcastle United did last season, but Emery is still looking over his shoulder with five games remaining – and he is even looking back at the Magpies.

Unai Emery makes Newcastle claim after massive Aston Villa win

Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa: Premier League – live


Emery spoke with BBC Sport’s 606 Football Phone In after Aston Villa defeated Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
“We are at 33 [games] and now we can feel contenders to be in the top five,” he went on to say.

“We’ve been fighting with Tottenham, but I believe Man United and Newcastle will and can get points. So we must be highly demanding of ourselves.”

No way Newcastle are going to catch Aston Villa

Emery is gazing over his shoulder, but he is definitely staring farther back than necessary. While it is highly courteous of him to acknowledge Newcastle’s position, Eddie Howe’s side will not be able to narrow the deficit.

Newcastle currently behind Aston Villa by 13 points, despite having a game in hand. The Magpies have six games left, while Villa have five. To catch Emery’s team, they would need to lose points in at least four of their remaining games.

That seems extremely unlikely, especially given how good they were on Sunday. It was a perfect away performance, with late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins giving Aston Villa a crucial and unlikely three points.

They have now done the double over Arsenal, like Newcastle did over Villa. Given this, it is not surprising that Emery is interested in the Magpies. He understands how talented Eddie Howe’s team is, having fallen to them twice this season.

Newcastle might be able to catch Tottenham

While Aston Villa are undoubtedly too far away, Tottenham are not quite out of sight. They are 10 points ahead of us after playing the same number of games.

If Saturday proves to be a momentum mover, Newcastle may be able to reduce the gap on Spurs and finish in the top five.

That is undoubtedly a possibility for Dan Burn, who previously spoke with iNews about catching Tottenham.

“Of course we think we can catch Spurs,” he went on to say.

“We spoke about it before the game that they were 13 points ahead of us, but they have a tough run-in and if we could lay down a marker and beat them, then they will always be looking over their shoulder.”

Newcastle’s remaining games Tottenham’s remaining games
Crystal Palace (away) Arsenal (home)
Sheffield United (home) Chelsea (away)
Burnley (away) Liverpool (away)
Brighton (home) Burnley (home)
Manchester United (away) Manchester City (home)
Brentford (away) Sheffield United (away)

When we compare our remaining matchups, catching Tottenham and replacing them in fifth place is obviously possible.

And, with Newcastle playing twice before Spurs kick another ball, Howe’s team has a real chance to cut the gap to four points and put them under pressure.

While Emery looks over his shoulder nervously at Newcastle, Ange Postecoglou should be the most concerned about the Magpies.

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