Newcastle go up as champions on dramatic day at St James's Park

Chancel Mbemba
Chancel Mbemba

Newcastle United claimed the Championship title on a dramatic afternoon at St James's Park.

Goals from Ayoze Perez, Chancel Mbemba and Dwight Gayle saw Rafa Benitez's end a memorable promotion season with a 3-0 win over Barnsley.

And a late equaliser from Aston Villa's Jack Grealish against Brighton and Hove Albion at Villa Park saw Newcastle finish a point above Chris Hughton's side.

Benitez lost Isaac Hayden, playing at centre-half in the absence of Ciaran Clark, to a head injury early in the game.

Barnsley made the better start, but United took control midway through the half after a good move down the right.

DeAndre Yedlin crossed for Perez, who flicked the ball past Adam Davies.

Christian Atsu was superb for Newcastle, who should have been further ahead by the break.

United pressed on in the second half, and Mbemba put them 2-0 up in the 59th minute.

Shelvey swung a free-kick into the box, and Perez had a shot parried after good work from Jack Colback. Mbemba reacted first to finally score his first Newcastle goal.

Benitez sent on fit-again Gayle for the last 10 minutes, while Elliot Lee, son of former United midfielder Rob, came on for Barnsley.

And Gayle took his goal tally for the season to 23 with a late strike for United.

Seconds later, news filtered through of Villa's goal and St James's Park erupted.

The 1-1 result at Villa Park saw Newcastle crowned champions.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Hayden (Haidara, 13), Mbemba, Dummett; Shelvey (Diame, 72), Colback; Atsu, Perez (Gayle, 80), Gouffran; Mitrovic. Subs not used: Darlow, Anita, Lazaar, Murphy.

BARNSLEY: Davies, Janko, Elder, Jackson, MacDonald, Scowen, Moncur, James, Kent (Williams, 74), Hedges (Watkins, 54), Bradshaw (Lee, 74). Subs not used: Townsend, Evans, Mowatt, Jones.

Goals: Perez 23, Mbemba 59

Bookings: Shelvey 26

Referee: James Linington (Newport)

Attendance: 52,276

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