Newcastle moved out of the bottom three after a 3-1 win against similarly relegation-threatened Everton, with Frank Lampard losing his first Premier League game as manager.
The first-half goals were scored in quite extraordinary fashion. Jamal Lascelles (36) and Mason Holgate (37) scored respective own goals within 107 seconds of one another – the shortest gap between both sides netting an own goal in a match in Premier League history.
But Newcastle took control of the tie in the second half. Ryan Fraser scrambled Newcastle ahead in the 56th minute before a superb Kieran Trippier free-kick 10 minutes from time added a late third.
Lampard did hand debuts to Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek, but both were ineffectual as Everton remain in 16th on 19 points.
After the game, the Everton boss told BT Sport: “If anyone thought this was going to be easy because we beat Brentford in the cup, it was never going to be that. It puts a real sharp focus on it for us, but I’ve got real belief in the squad but we must build that confidence.
“Where we saw confidence go through the roof on Saturday and in not much time, we saw it go down the opposite way, and that’s work for us to do.”
Eddie Howe’s side have registered back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season and move into the relative safety of 17th on 18 points.
In a sign of what was to come, Everton looked nervous in the opening minutes with Alli making a sooner-than-expected debut as Demarai Gray limped off with an injury. It was Newcastle who soon saw an opening as Joelinton scuffed an effort goalwards, but Jordan Pickford was down low to make the save. Jonjo Shelvey was arguably lucky to not be sent off just after, chopping Anthony Gordon down in midfield. However, referee Anthony Taylor only produced a yellow card.
Despite another enforced substitution – Yerry Mina replaced by Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton took the lead just after. A free-kick was delivered into the area, which Holgate tried to sweep home. Matt Targett cleared it off the line, but the rebound hit Lascelles in the goal mouth and went into the back of the net.
It looked to be a huge blow for Newcastle, but another own goal followed less than two minutes later. It came from another set-piece too as Lascelles headed Trippier’s corner onto the crossbar. As it came back out, it hit Holgate on the thigh and past his own goalkeeper.
Newcastle: Dubravka (5), Trippier (7), Schar (7), Lascelles (7), Targett (7), Willock (7), Shelvey (7), Joelinton (7), Saint-Maximin (9), Wood (6), Fraser (7).
Subs: Murphy (n/a), Guimaraes (n/a), Manquillo (n/a).
Everton: Pickford (6), Holgate (6), Keane (6), Mina (6), Coleman (7), Allan (7), Gomes (6), Gordon (7), Gray (6), Townsend (5), Richarlison (5).
Subs: Alli (5), Branthwaite (7), Van de Beek (5).
Man of the match: Allan Saint-Maximin.
Eleven minutes after the break, Newcastle took the lead with another scrappy goal. Alli was penalised for giving the ball away in midfield, allowing Joe Willock to drive forward. It was Saint-Maximin who eventually sent in the cross, with Fraser bundling the ball home past Townsend, who tried to keep it out on the goal line.
Lampard rolled the dice with his final substitution not long after, bringing on Van de Beek, but much like Alli he did not have an impact as the Magpies continued to dominate.
Newcastle added a deserved third in the 80th minute with the pick of the evening’s goals. Trippier lined up a free-kick just to the right of centre and curled a sumptuous effort into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club.
The Magpies could have ran away with it too. Late on, Saint-Maximin squared the ball unselfishly for Jacob Murphy, but the latter saw his header smack against the crossbar.
Bruno Guimaraes was introduced in the 90th minute to a raucous reception, and he almost set up Saint-Maximin for a late fourth. However, three goals was enough for Newcastle to secure a vital victory.
Man of the match – Allan Saint-Maximin
The Newcastle playmaker showed just why he is their key to surviving the drop. He was at the heart of everything Newcastle did going forward and was simply unplayable.
He topped the charts for dribbles (13), 10 of which were successful and won 14 of his 22 duels. There was a nice moment at the end of the game where, with a big smile on his face, Saint-Maximin led the jubilant Newcastle fans in a chorus of ‘Hey Jude’, already cementing himself in Magpies folklore.
Newcastle manager Howe told BT Sport: “He’s such a special player. We’ve seen in the last few weeks that he’s got better and better since I’ve been here. I’m delighted with his performance today, he’s a real threat and he’s someone I’d hate to play against personally because you just can’t predict what he’s going to do.
“But he’s a match winner and we’re going to need him at this level for the rest of the season.”