Newcastle climb to second as Almirón and Joelinton sink Leicester

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Not even the World Cup break looks like slowing Newcastle’s pursuit of Champions League football and, as Eddie Howe’s team climbed into second place in the Premier League, Brendan Rodgers even suggested they should “absolutely” be considered title contenders.

Early goals from Chris Wood, from the penalty spot, Miguel Almirón and Joelinton brought Newcastle a sixth successive league win against one of the division’s previous in-form teams, for whom the six-week international break in Qatar clearly came at a bad time.

The teams meet again in the Carabao Cup quarter-final in a fortnight but, with a trip to Arsenal, the leaders, next Tuesday, Newcastle’s priorities may have moved beyond one-off silverware by then. We can do anything,” Howe said. “The season is still young enough for all possibilities to exist for us. I want the fans to believe we can do anything.”

While the Newcastle manager was more restrained in his briefing with the written media, his Leicester counterpart believes there is no reason why they cannot compete for the title. “Absolutely,” Rodgers said. “Having watched them through this season, and today, obviously they have got that hunger to be there, with a point to prove. Making a good start gives you the belief you can stay there. They’ve signed top players … and got some great results.

“There’s no reason why they can’t be [involved in the title discussion]and if they can make the right additions in January, so they have cover for certain players, and keep players fit, then with the fanatical fanbase up there, they can have a great chance.”

Leicester’s form going into the World Cup had actually been as brilliant as Newcastle’s; they also averaged two points a game after they had been bottom with one point from their first eight games. But it was Howe’s team who picked up where they had left off as they went 2-0 up inside seven minutes.

Euphoric chants of “We’re going to win the league” rang out from the black and white corner of the King Power Stadium as Newcastle responded to the disappointment of losing Callum Wilson to illness by seeing Wood, his replacement, fire them into the lead after Daniel Amartey tripped Joelinton in the area after 85 seconds.

Source: The Guardian

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