Joe Willock’s first goal since November and a late Callum Wilson header moved Newcastle United into the Champions League spots on Sunday as they beat top-four rivals Manchester United 2-0.
Knowing a win at St James’ Park would leapfrog the Magpies above the Red Devils and into third, it appeared Newcastle’s luck was out as they saw countless chances come and go.
But Willock’s close-range header finally put Eddie Howe’s side ahead, before Wilson nodded in Kieran Trippier’s free-kick to secure a magnificent win that takes them into the Champions League places.
Erik ten Hag’s men see their own top-four hopes dented as they drop to fourth, just a point above Tottenham, though they do have a game in hand over the Londoners.
A lively opening saw Wout Weghorst lash into the side netting before David de Gea made a brilliant stop to deny Alexander Isak’s header and then Willock’s effort from the rebound.
The visitors were on the ropes and forced to spend much of the first half defending, with Sean Longstaff sending a powerful drive whistling past the upright before Willock blazed over from close range.
Ten Hag’s men survived until the interval, and Fabian Schar fired an effort from distance just wide after the break as Newcastle continued to press.
The Red Devils’ resistance was finally broken in the 65th minute, Allan Saint-Maximin nodding Bruno Guimaraes’ delivery back across to Willock, who headed in from close range to send the home fans into raptures.
Joelinton then saw a close-range effort tipped onto the crossbar by De Gea from a corner, but Wilson sealed the victory when he nodded home Trippier’s free-kick in the 88th minute to secure three precious points in the Magpies’ bid for European football.
Willock (65′), Wilson (88′)