Newcastle United were at home to Cardiff City on a chilly Friday evening as the Magpies looked to go six points clear at the top of the table.
They have had a poor run of form recently and have clocked up a lot of draws but the black & whites are on a record unbeaten run and did well in the January transfer window, picking up six new players.
All of those six signings were playing tonight but as Newcastle exploded into life early on, it was Toon favorite (and product of the youth system) Andy Carroll who opened up the scoring with just three minutes gone. The tall forward headed home from a corner after receiving an assist from new boy Fitz Hall.
This great start continued and with six minutes gone Newcastle were 2-0 up. Carroll was the orchestrator again as his shot rebounded off the post and hit defender Gyepes who watched the ball hit roll into his own goal. As Newcastle continued to push Carroll found his second with just fifteen minutes played, the towering striker beat luckless Gyepes at the far post to head in a Simpson cross; putting the home side 3-0 up.
Newcastle were clearly enjoying the game and looked impressive. New signings Routledge and Simpson had the run of the right wing, Williamson, Van Aanholt and Hall looked solid at the back and Best – although dwarfed by Carrolls’ performance – looked promising up front.
Best was subbed off on the hour mark with Lovenkrands coming on, and the Danish striker grabbed the fourth goal with just over twenty minutes to play. The left sided hitman took control of a neat through-ball from Routledge and effortlessly beat the ‘keeper. As Carroll looked for his hattrick Lovenkrands stepped up to steal his second with just eight minutes left, a beautiful curling shot flew past the Cardiff Goalkeeper who watched the ball shake his net for the fifth time tonight.
Cardiff found some consolation late on with substitute Aaron Wildig scoring, but this was Newcastle’s night. The game ended 5-1 and the Geordies were set for a night of drinking and celebrating.