Newcastle's 'incredible' stadium wows Premier League boss as Geordies leave their mark again

Roberto De Zerbi has hailed the 'fantastic' atmosphere at the 'incredible' St James' Park following his Brighton side's 1-1 draw against Newcastle United.

De Zerbi first visited St James' when Newcastle were going for a place in the Champions League a year ago and the Brighton boss returned to Tyneside on Saturday as the Magpies attempted to move a step closer to sealing European qualification in their final home game of the campaign. You only had to look at how the stadium was full a quarter of an hour before kick-off to realise Newcastle did not have another game at St James' for several months. This was an afternoon where supporters brought Wor Flags' superb display to life and created a deafening noise before kick-off.

De Zerbi described St James' as the 'best stadium in the Premier League' ahead of the game, having admitted that his first visit was 'still in my head', following a 4-1 defeat, and the Italian's return to Tyneside certainly lived up to its billing.

READ MORE: Newcastle's 'can't afford' warning and 'more drama' with Man United as Dan Ashworth watches on

READ MORE: Yasir Al-Rumayyan may have seen Newcastle stadium farewells as Brighton turn air blue - 5 things

"We played against one of the best teams in terms of physical condition in this moment," the Brighton boss told reporters. "We played in a fantastic atmosphere. This stadium is incredible.

"I've twice been to this stadium. I don't know if the other games at home have this atmosphere as well, but the level of difficulty of this game was high.

"We suffered too much, especially in the last 25 minutes of the second half, but there is a reason because they changed four players with [Kieran] Trippier, Joelinton, [Harvey] Barnes and [Miguel] Almiron. They make a difference in every game. We changed young players on the pitch so we suffered too much."