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Premier League: Newcastle climb to second spot

Goals from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Stefan Bajcetic ensured the Reds recorded a third successive league win for the first time this season
Mohamed Salah.
Mohamed Salah.
File picture

Reuters   |   Leicester   |   Published 27.12.22, 06:11 AM

Newcastle United attacker Joelinton won a penalty and netted a first-half header in a 3-0 thrashing of Leicester City that took his side up to second in the Premier League table on Monday.

Leicester defender Daniel Amartey got the match off to a terrible start for the hosts, gifting Newcastle a penalty when he chopped down Joelinton after 86 seconds, and striker Chris Wood blasted the spotkick into the middle of the net.


Liverpool made a winning return to action too as they restarted their bid to force their way into the top-four with an entertaining victory over Aston Villa.

Goals from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Stefan Bajcetic ensured the Reds recorded a third successive league win for the first time this season and reduced the gap to the Champions League places to five points.

Newcastle’s great start continued when Miguel Almiron added a brilliant second in the seventh minute, cutting in from the right before playing a one-two with Bruno Guimaraes and slotting the return pass in at the far post.

Despite the return of league football following the World Cup break, there was little Christmas cheer for the home fans as Joelinton made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute when Boubakary Soumare was caught ball-watching at a corner and the Brazilian headed home.

In one of the first half’s few bright attacking moments for the home side, Leicester’s Zambian striker Patson Daka had a shout for a penalty turned down after a clash with keeper Nick Pope, but all too often the striker’s decision-making let him down.

The introduction of Jamie Vardy at the break gave Leicester’s attack a focal point that was sorely lacking in the first half, but Newcastle’s well-organised defence restricted them to shots from distance that were easily dealt with.

Newcastle climbed above Manchester City, who play Leeds United on Wednesday, into second place on 33 points.

Wolves prevail

Rayan Ait Nouri grabbed the winner five minutes into stoppage-time as Wolverhampton Wanderers moved off the foot of the table with a 2-1 victory over Everton on Monday in manager Julen Lopetegui’s first league game in charge.

Ait Nouri scored from close range at the back post after a quick break from the visitors to spark wild celebrations from the players and the bench, and leave Frank Lampard’s strugglers walking off the Goodison Park pitch to boos.

Wolves climbed two places to 18th with 13 points from 16 games, one place and one point behind Everton, who are now in freefall.

Fulham capitalised on Crystal Palace having two players sent off to stroll to a 3-0 away win. Bobby De Corvoda-Reid, Tim Ream and Aleksandar Mitrovic were on target for Fulham. Palace had Tyrick Mitchell sent off in the first half and James Tomkins followed him down the tunnel in the second after a second booking.

Kane scores

Harry Kane shook off his World Cup disappointment to spark a Tottenham Hotspur revival in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Brentford on Monday.

An early goal by Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney’s closerange strike shortly after the interval put Brentford 2-0 up as Tottenham struggled to deal with their hosts.

But Antonio Conte’s side have made a habit of playing their best football when trailing and so it proved again.

Kane, whose missed penalty just over a fortnight ago condemned England to a quarter-final defeat by France, headed home in the 65th minute to give his side a lifeline.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, one of five Tottenham starters who featured at the World Cup, levelled with a calm finish and Kane almost won it with a header against the crossbar.

Tottenham are in fourth place with 30 points while Brentford are ninth ahead of the rest of the day’s fixtures.

Forty-four days after the league shut down for the first mid-season World Cup, all eyes were on those players involved in Qatar and especially Kane.

The striker equalled England’s international scoring record with his 53rd goal in the clash with France but the abiding memory of that evening was his late missed penalty as England suffered a 2-1 defeat. Kane, along with most of teammates, was barely in the game at Brentford before half-time.

But any suggestion his England heartache might weigh him down were answered when he rose to meet Clement Lenglet’s cross and plant a header past David Raya. It instantly galvanised a Tottenham team, who have trailed in six successive Premier League games, and six minutes later a superb passing move ended with Dejan Kulusevski’s cut-back reaching Hojberg who coolly shotpast Raya.

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