Newcastle up to second in Premier League after cruising past Leicester

Fulham thrash nine-man Crystal Palace and Brighton push Southampton to the bottom of the table after Wolves' dramatic win at Everton

Newcastle United players celebrate with Joelinton after he scored the third goal in the 3-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. PA
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Newcastle United picked up right where they left off before the World Cup break as Monday's impressive 3-0 win at in-form Leicester City moved Eddie Howe's side up to second in the Premier League table.

Newcastle, who won five successive matches prior to the break for Qatar 2022, cruised to victory at King Power Stadium courtesy of a 29-minute spell of dominance in the first half.

Chris Wood, starting in place of the absent Callum Wilson, opened the scoring with a confident third-minute penalty, before Miguel Almiron extended his scintillating form with a well-worked move and cool finish just four minutes later. It was the Paraguayan forward's eighth goal in his last nine Premier League games.

"Confidence is so important and he has been lifted by the form of the players around him," Newcastle manager Howe said.

Joelinton then made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute when he rose to power home a header from Kieran Trippier's corner.

Leicester, who had won four of their last five league matches before the World Cup, improved markedly after the break and dominated possession in the second half but were limited to a few half chances.

The victory moves Newcastle above Manchester City into second, although the champions have played two games fewer and can move back above the Magpies if they avoid defeat at Leeds United on Wednesday night.

"We can do anything," Howe said when asked about Newcastle's title chances. "The season is still young enough for all possibilities to exist for us. I want the fans to believe we can do anything."

Elsewhere on Monday, Fulham continued their impressive return to the Premier League with a 3-0 win at nine-man Crystal Palace.

Bobby Decordova-Reid opened the scoring for Fulham just after the half-hour mark, and Crystal Palace's hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a severe blow when full-back Tyrick Mitchell was issued a straight red card for a high and late challenge on Kenny Tete.

Palace found themselves down another player in the 57th minute when James Tomkins received a second yellow card, and Fulham made their numerical advantage count as Tim Ream doubled their lead at Selhurst Park with 19 minutes remaining. Aleksandar Mitrovic then scored his 10th goal of the season to complete a comfortable win for Marco Silva's side, who move up to eighth in the standings.

Meanwhile, Brighton piled the misery on struggling Southampton with a 3-1 win at St Mary's Stadium. Adam Lallana and Solly March scored either side of a Romain Perraud own goal to put Brighton in control, before James Ward-Prowse scored a consolation for the hosts, heading home the rebound from his own saved penalty.

The result moves Brighton above Chelsea and their former manager Graham Potter, while Southampton slumped to the bottom of the table after Wolves' dramatic 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park, where Rayan Ait-Nouri scored deep in injury time after Daniel Podence had earlier cancelled out Yerry Mina's seventh-minute opener.

Updated: December 26, 2022, 7:22 PM