And breathe. The job is far from done but Newcastle United can enjoy being out of the Premier League relegation zone for now at least.
Eddie Howe’s men made it back-to-back top-flight wins with a 3-1 victory against Everton in Frank Lampard’s first league game in charge.
Kieran Trippier was the hero, with a faultless defensive display capped off with a stunning free-kick to make it 3-1.
An own goal from Jamaal Lascelles handed the Toffees the lead but a bonkers few minutes saw Mason Holgate return the favour.
Ryan Fraser made it 2-1 after the break before Trippier sent St James’ Park into raptures, wrapping a huge three points.
- Kieran Trippier: Give this man the keys to the city. Seriously, what a performance, as good as you’ll see at St James’ Park. The England international didn’t a foot wrong all evening, he won absolutely everything that came his way and his free-kick simply capped off an extraordinary display. Chants of “Kieran Trippier over the wall” echoed around St James’ Park - all that while clearly playing through the pain barrier for most of the second-half before limping off in injury time. A leader on and off the pitch. Hopefully his injury isn’t too serious.
- The whole Newcastle team: And enormous credit goes to Trippier’s teammates too. One to 11, Eddie Howe’s men were outstanding. There were some nervy moments - there always is - but the Newcastle players showed determination, character and fight that is needed in this relegation battle. Let’s remember they came from behind to win this, the first time they’ve done that since December 2019 in a 2-1 win over Southampton.
- Wor Flags: Yet another spectacular display for the world to see. With some of the more regular flags moved to the Leazes End, the Gallowgate End was free to unleash Europe’s biggest surfer flag ‘We are the Mags’. Bruno Guimaraes also got a proper Geordie welcome with a flag of his own on display in the Strawberry Corner. A spine-tingling pre-match atmosphere that carried on throughout the evening. The 12th man.
- Jordan Pickford: An obvious candidate, as it always is the case when the former Sunderland man visits St James’ Park. Pickford was loudly booed by the home supporters from the first whistle to the last - or given pelters as others may describe - in an attempt to rattle the England international’s cages. Did it work? Of course it did, with a certain chant aimed towards Pickford when he failed to keep out Trippier’s free-kick into the bottom right corner.
- Richarlison: As the game progressed, and Newcastle’s advantage increased, Richarlison began to lose his cool. On one of the many occasions Allan Saint-Maximin was awarded a foul by the referee, the Brazilian got right in the winger’s face. Trippier, being the leader he is, of course, had a few words to say back as he leap to his teammate's defence.
Everton’s injury list: Good news for Newcastle, but not so for Everton. Both Demari Gray and Yerry Mina were forced off with injuries inside the opening 34 minutes. Donny van de Beek was the final substitution on the hour-mark as Frank Lampard had no Dominic Calvert-Lewin to turn to when they needed a goal threat.
Newcastle: Dubravka 7; Trippier 10 (Manquillo, 90 N/A, Schar 8, Lascelles 8, Targett 8; Willock 8 (Bruno G, 90 N/A) Shelvey 7, Joelinton 7; Fraser 7 (Murphy 82), Saint-Maximin 9; Wood 7. Subs not used: Darlow, Krafth, Almiron, Burn, Gayle, Longstaff.
Everton: Pickford 6, Holgate 6, Keane 5, Mina 5 (Branthwaite 34, 5), Coleman 5, Allan 6, Gomes 5 (van de Beek 60, 5), Townsend 6, Gordon 6, Richarlison 5, Gray 5 (Alli 25). Subs not used: Begovic, Kenny, Patterson, Calvert-Lewin.
Who do Newcastle play next?
Newcastle are back at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon (February 13) when they host Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
Kick-off is at 2pm, as United look to make it three consecutive wins in the Premier League.