Newcastle thrash Everton to close in on Champions League
Newcastle moved another step closer to Champions League football for the first time in 20 years and pushed Everton ever closer to the Championship with a 4-1 win at Goodison Park on Thursday.
Eddie Howe's men were far from their best but still far too good for the Toffees as Callum Wilson scored twice.
Joelinton and Jacob Murphy were also on target as Newcastle opened up an eight-point cushion over fifth-placed Aston Villa with a game in hand still to come.
"First half was not perfect but second half was very good, we scored some very good goals," said Howe.
"Second half we really put our foot to the floor and showed what we are capable of."
The defeat leaves Everton still rooted in the relegation zone, two points adrift of safety, and with a huge task ahead to extend their 69-year stay in the English top flight.
No side has scored fewer goals than Everton in the Premier League this season and they were again made to pay for a lack of cutting edge despite an impressive start.
"The game changed on their second goal and that is what we have to change," said Everton boss Sean Dyche. "At 2-0 it is difficult but you are still in it and our reaction to that was so soft."
Newcastle scored five times inside the first 21 minutes in hitting Tottenham for six on Sunday.
But the Magpies had barely threatened before they went in front on 28 minutes.
Jordan Pickford should have done better when he parried Joelinton's shot back into the danger area and Wilson pounced for his fifth goal in six games.
Everton's position might not be so precarious had Dominic Calvert-Lewin been fit for most of the season.
The England international made his return in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace and showed a glimpse of the quality he possesses with a delicate dink over Nick Pope that was ruled out narrowly for offside.
Pickford made some measure of amends for the first goal with a stunning save to deny Joe Willock doubling Newcastle's lead 20 minutes from time.
But Everton collapsed once Joelinton did make it 2-0 with a simple header from Willock's cross.
Wilson then curled a brilliant third goal into the top corner from outside the box.
Even when Everton did finally find the net, it was a fluke as Dwight McNeil's corner wrong-footed his former Burnley teammate Pope.
Within a minute it was 4-1 as Alexander Isak came off the bench to lead the Everton defence a merry dance and then square for Murphy to tap into an unguarded net.