The Premier League was back again this afternoon and Aleksandar Mitrovic has helped make it an almost perfect day for old boss Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.
Bottom club Fulham prevented Southampton climbing above Newcastle thanks to two excellent Mitrovic goals, a first half header and a volley after the break helping to give Claudio Ranieri a winning 3-2 start.
Mitro hadn’t scored for nine weeks in the Premier League but today’s double takes him to seven for the season, plus he scored twice for Serbia in the international break.
Elsewhere, West Ham were hammered 4-0 at home by Manchester City, that big hit to their goal difference means any kind of Newcastle win on Monday would take the Magpies up to 13th in the table.
Meanwhile Cardiff stay in the relegation zone with a single goal defeat at Everton.
Apart from Fulham, Crystal Palace were the only bottom eight club to pick up anything, Palace getting a point in a goalless draw at a poor Manchester United. Palace stay below Newcastle on goal difference whilst Man Utd are already a massive 14 points behind leaders Man City.
If Newcastle can beat Burnley and go above West Ham, then the next target in their sights would be Brighton in 12th, they only picked up a point at home to Leicester despite taking the lead.
Rafa Benitez would have definitely taken this set of results which means Newcastle will still be 14th on Monday unless Huddersfield win at Wolves on Sunday.
How the Premier League table looks after Saturday’s 3pm matches (the table before Saturday is below):
This weekend’s Premier League matches:
Brighton 1 Leicester 1
Everton 1 Cardiff 0
Fulham 3 Southampton 2
Manchester Utd 0 Crystal Palace 0
Watford 0 Liverpool 3
West Ham 0 Manchester City 4
Tottenham v Chelsea (5.30pm)
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Wolves v Huddersfield
Then this is how the table looked before the Saturday kick-offs:
The consecutive home wins against Watford and Bournemouth have presented Newcastle with a great chance of now putting some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, a a win at Burnley would send them four points clear of third bottom (and seven clubs below them), whilst even a draw would create a two point gap.