Newcastle brushed aside Leicester to move into second place with a sixth straight Premier League win

Newcastle brushed aside Leicester to move into second place with a sixth straight Premier League win

Joelinton celebrates scoring Newcastle's third goal at Leicester (Getty Images)

Joelinton celebrates scoring Newcastle’s third goal at Leicester (Getty Images)

Newcastle United showed they can be part of the Premier League title race, moving into second place in the table with a 3-0 win at Leicester.

The six-week break has not derailed what will prove to be a memorable season under Eddie Howe – the Magpies pulled three points at the King Power after a sensational opening 32 minutes.

Chris Wood’s penalty and a sublime strike from Miguel Almiron made it 2-0 after just seven minutes, with Joelinton adding a third just after the half-hour mark.

There was no going back for Leicester and the Magpies moved four points behind leaders Arsenal, who played later on Boxing Day.

It may be 45 days since their last, but this was a sixth successive Premier League win – their best run since 2012 – as Howe’s side proved an outstanding first half of the season was no blip at the bottom.

There is a long way to go and it remains to be seen whether the Magpies have the quality to keep up with Arsenal and Manchester City, but with the January transfer window set to open, Newcastle fans will be dreaming of at least a top-four finish for the first time in 20 years.

Leicester, without James Maddison, were let down by Newcastle’s quick start and were unable to recover as they produced a performance that resembled their early season struggles.

Brendan Rodgers had not imagined his side being two down after just seven minutes, with Newcastle electrifying from the start.

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They went ahead in the third minute from the penalty spot when Chris Wood, in for the ill Callum Wilson, emphatically fired home after Daniel Amartey had hacked down Joelinton.

It was 2-0 four minutes later when Almiron continued the exuberant form he showed before the World Cup by scoring a picture book goal.

After being set free down the right by Kieran Tripper, he cut inside, played a delightful one-two with Bruno Guimaraes and coolly slotted past Danny Ward for his eighth goal in nine Premier League games.

Leicester began to settle but they knew they needed to score the next goal and they almost did when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall played through Patson Daka.

The striker had a shot away which the on-rushing Nick Pope saved, but it deflected off Daka and towards goal, with Sven Botman required to clear the ball with a couple of meters to spare.

It was Newcastle who got another when they capitalized on poor defending in the 32nd minute when Joelinton was allowed to go unchallenged to head Trippier’s corner.

The second half was more of a game of containment for Newcastle, but they could still have added more goals when Botman fired over from a good position and Almiron had an effort blocked.

The job was done though, meaning Newcastle have suffered just one loss in their opening 16 games.

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