Leicester 0 Newcastle 3
Newcastle showed they can be part of the Premier League title race, moving second in the table with a 3-0 win at Leicester.
The six-week break has not derailed what is turning out to be a memorable season under Eddie Howe and the Magpies eased to the three points at the King Power after a sensational opening 32 minutes.
Chris Wood’s penalty and a sublime Miguel Almiron strike put them 2-0 up after only seven minutes, with Joelinton adding a third just after the half-hour mark.
There was no way back for Leicester and the Magpies moved four points behind leaders Arsenal, who were playing later on St Stephen’s Day.
It may be 45 days since their last one, but this was a sixth Premier League win in a row – their best run since 2012. Howe’s side are proving that an outstanding first half of the season was not a flash in the pan.
There is a long way to go and it remains to be seen whether the Magpies have the quality to keep pace with Arsenal and Manchester City. However, with the January transfer window coming up Newcastle fans will be dreaming of at least a top-four finish for the first time in 20 years.
Southampton 1 Brighton 3
Adam Lallana struck against his former club as rampant Brighton inflicted more misery on struggling Southampton with a resounding 3-1 Premier League success at St Mary’s.
Saints academy graduate Lallana benefited from a major blunder from Irish goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu to put Albion ahead before Romain Perraud’s calamitous own goal doubled their half-time advantage.
Seagulls winger Solly March thumped home a thunderous third to cap a dismal first home game in top-flight management for Southampton boss Nathan Jones.
James Ward-Prowse pulled a goal back by heading in on the rebound after his 73rd-minute penalty was saved by Robert Sanchez but a Southampton fightback never looked likely.
Defeat for the error-strewn hosts means they remain languishing in the relegation zone and leaves Jones, who launched his coaching career with Brighton, in no doubt about the magnitude of the job facing him in Hampshire.
The Seagulls, meanwhile, tightened their grip on a top-half spot following a deserved third league win from four games.
Everton 1 Wolves 2
New Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui marked his Premier League debut with a dramatic late 2-1 victory at Goodison Park which ramped up the pressure on Everton boss Frank Lampard.
A match low on quality appeared to be drifting towards a draw which would have been little use to either struggling side only for substitute Rayan Ait-Nouri to score on the counter-attack in the fifth minute of added time.
The Frenchman scored late on in the midweek Carabao Cup win over League Two Gillingham but his close-range finish to clinch Wolves’ first away win since their visit here in March could prove far more pivotal.
It secured only Wolves’ third league victory of the season but it succeeded in lifting his side off the bottom of the table and within just a point of 17th-placed Everton.
Lampard’s side have now lost six of the last eight and a lack of firepower – Yerry Mina’s seventh-minute goal was only their 12th in 16 games – cost them once again as Daniel Podence scored a well-worked set-piece equaliser in the 22nd minute.
His side departed at half-time to sporadic boos but the dissent was much louder at the final whistle.
Crystal Palace 0 Fulham 3
Aleksandar Mitrovic starred to help Fulham inflict St Stephen’s Day pain on nine-man Crystal Palace.
Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins saw red for Patrick Vieira’s team either side of half time with Bobby Decordova-Reid’s 31st-minute header opening the scoring at Selhurst Park.
Tim Ream wrapped up the win with a second after referee Andrew Madley decided against changing his decision having reviewed the goal with the use of the VAR pitchside monitor.
Man-of-the-match Mitrovic, creator of the first two goals, got on the scoresheet himself late on with a close-range header.