Newcastle United Clinch Premier League Return With Emphatic 4-1 Home Victory Over Preston

Cameron Ramsey

​Newcastle United halted Brighton and Hove Albion's Championship victory parade on Monday night, as Rafa Benitez's Magpies ran out comfortable 4-1 winners against 11th placed Preston North End at St James' Park, earning themselves a place in the top-flight next season.

The opener for Newcastle came in the shape of Ayoze Perez, who diverted the ball home from a corner in the 7th minute following an initial contact from Ciaran Clark, which sent St. James' park into rapture.

Newcastle United v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

Preston drew level through Jordan Hugill in the 14th minute, his acrobatic volley skipped past Rob Elliott, and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net - 1-1.

Just before the stroke of halftime, Newcastle claimed a second through Christian Atsu, who latched onto a perfectly weighted cross from Aleksandar Mitrovic, following an indecisive episode in the middle of the park from Preston's Aiden McGeady and Daniel Johnson.

Newcastle were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute - Matt Ritchie steps up to the spot and slots the ball into the left corner. A straight red was shown to Paul Gallagher prior to Ritchie's spot kick, as the midfielder threw himself to his left hand-side to palm a goal-bound effort away.

Newcastle United v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

Just two minutes after Ritchie made it three, Benitez's men chalked a 4th in the 67th minute - Jonjo Shelvey's looping corner clatters off of the far post, only for Perez to fortuitously chest the ball in, claiming his second of the encounter.

The vigorous 4-1 triumph for Newcastle means that they have finally secured their return to the Premier League, along with Chris Hughton's table-topping Brighton. Although with the title race still seemingly wide open, however, the battle for supremacy is ultimately far from finalised, with two fundamental games left to play for both clubs respectively. 

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