Nothing at Newcastle these days is ever stable. Nothing is ever comfortable. You could even go so far as to say that nothing is ever promising or auspicious.
What there is at St. James’ Park, though, pending Saturday’s late Premier League kickoff, is a five-point gap between Newcastle and the relegation zone for the first time since December.
What there is, for the first time in a while, is some breathing room. Not comfort. But some breathing room.
And there was a quite impressive performance to go along with it. The Magpies heaped all kinds of pressure on Southampton, and relieved some of the pressure previously weighing them down, with a 3-0 victory over the Saints.
Chelsea loanee Kenedy was the protagonist. The Brazilian bagged two goals in the opening 30 minutes, the second after a mistake from Southampton’s Mario Lemina and a wonderfully executed counter attack. Ayoze Perez rewarded Dwight Gayle’s lung-bursting run, and Gayle, composed as could be, picked out Kenedy for a tap-in.
Matt Ritchie found the bottom corner for a third Newcastle goal after halftime, and the home side cruised from there.
Meanwhile, Southampton remains just one point above the relegation zone.
West Brom loses again
West Brom – bottom of the table, and seven points off 19th place heading into the weekend – took an early lead at home against Leicester, but threw it away.
Or rather, Jamie Vardy snatched it away:
And then Riyad Mahrez scored the winner in what eventually became a 4-1 Leicester win.
Kelechi Iheanacho got a goal and an assist, a great sign for the Foxes.
Chaos at West Ham
West Ham didn’t just lose its third straight game. It suffered its third straight three-goal defeat. After two 4-1 losses, it dropped a 3-0 decision to Burnley that left it in 16th place, just three points above the relegation zone.
The bigger story, though, was fan mayhem. West Ham fans invaded the London Stadium pitch, clashed with players and caused chaos in the stands. West Ham has launched an investigation into the incidents – manifestations of anger at the club’s directors.
Everton 2-0 Brighton
Huddersfield 0-0 Swansea
Crystal Palace, down 2-0 at halftime to Chelsea, was on its way to another defeat.
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