Record signing Joelinton scored his first Premier League goal since August as Newcastle United secured a convincing 3-0 win over 10-man Sheffield United on Sunday.
The Brazilian striker found the net from close range to round off a dominant display for Newcastle, who were playing their first game since the Premier League restart.
Sheffield United did not create many opportunities at St James’ Park and were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when defender John Egan collected his second yellow card.
Egan, who was cautioned for clashing with Joelinton over an offside decision in the first half, brought down the Brazilian striker to receive his marching orders from referee David Coote.
Newcastle seized control of the contest in the 55th minute when midfielder Matt Ritchie’s cross from the left wing found Allan Saint-Maximin, whose low shot found the net.
Ritchie doubled Newcastle’s lead in the 69th minute with a swerving shot from the edge of the box, before Joelinton recorded only his second league goal of his debut campaign in the northeast.
“I see Joelinton in training and he’s working really hard to score,” Saint-Maximin said.
“You have to know that a striker sometimes has a difficult time but I hope he can keep going and score against Aston Villa.”
The result means Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, who played out a goalless draw against Aston Villa in their first match back, remain seventh in the standings and four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
The Blades next face fifth-placed Manchester United on Wednesday and will need to produce a much-improved display to keep their European qualification hopes alive.
“I’m sick and tired of people talking about Europe and Champions League,” Wilder said.
“It’s about working in the present and the present is that we’ve put in two bang average performances this week.
“We have to play at our maximum to get anything, we have to go at it full tilt, but we are off the pace at the minute.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle moved up to 12th spot with 38 points to surely put any remaining relegation fears to rest.