Salomon Rondon scored his first Premier League goals for Newcastle United to seal an impressive 2-1 upset home victory over Bournemouth on Sunday (AEDT).
The Newcastle striker followed up an early strike with a thumping header and, although Jefferson Lerma netted his maiden Bournemouth goal in first-half stoppage time, the visitors could not recover.
After failing to win their first 10 games, Newcastle have now won back-to-back matches to kickstart their campaign, while sixth-placed Bournemouth have lost two in a row, Manchester United having defeated them in heart-breaking fashion last time out.
It took only seven minutes for Newcastle to move in front as DeAndre Yedlin raced clear down the right and fed Rondon, whose initial strike was well saved by Asmir Begovic, only for the striker to stab in the rebound from six yards with an effort that squirmed through the goalkeeper.
Bournemouth had a penalty claim denied when Federico Fernandez appeared to make contact with David Brooks, and saw Adam Smith taken off on a stretcher due to a bizarre but serious knee injury sustained as he took a set piece deep in his own half.
Newcastle then doubled their lead five minutes before the break, Kenedy curling in a wonderful cross from the left and Rondon's emphatic diving header finding the top corner.
In a frantic eight minutes of first-half stoppage time, key Begovic saves kept out Kenedy and a potential Callum Wilson own goal, interventions that grew in significance when Lerma's header from Ryan Fraser's corner crept in at the other end.
There was still time for Ayoze Perez to fire off-target with a glorious chance just before the break, after which Bournemouth emerged without an injured Lerma, Dan Gosling replacing him.
Martin Dubravka had made impressive saves from Fraser and Steve Cook in the first half, but was not troubled in the second until he made a superb sprawling stop to deny Nathan Ake with five minutes left, Gosling ruled offside as he bundled in the rebound. Jordon Ibe missed the visitors' only other key chance.
What does it mean? Newcastle have momentum
Newcastle now have back-to-back league wins for the first time since April, this result seeing them surge up to 14th place. The bottom area of the table remains congested, but morale is completely different now than it was a fortnight ago.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, have had the sting taken out of their stunning start to the season and could be caught by Manchester United and Everton – who both play on Sunday - before the next matchday arrives.
Resplendent Rondon gives Newcastle what they need
Newcastle only had seven goals in 11 top-flight games coming into the match, not helped by Rondon's struggles in front of goal.
But the Venezuela international was superb in this one, firing home the opener, scoring a superb header for number two and posing a constant aerial threat throughout the game.
He racked up eight attempts at goal, constantly troubling the away defence, and should have had a hat-trick when he had a shot saved at the death.
More of the same could help his side move away from trouble.
Not the England celebration Wilson hoped for
Wilson was called up to the England squad for the first time on Thursday after scoring six Premier League goals in a brilliant start to the season.
But he struggled to make a positive impact here, almost scoring an own goal when he forced a great save from Begovic while trying to head clear a free-kick. That was the closest he came to troubling the scorers.
He had only one shot at the other end, and created zero chances for his team-mates, registering the fewest touches of anyone from either team who completed the 90 minutes.
Key Opta facts:
- Bournmeouth lost their first away game in all competitions against Newcastle since Feburary 1990 (0-3), having won two and drawn one before this.
- Eddie Howe's men have lost their last two Premier League games having lost just two of their previous 12 (W8 D2 L2).
- Rondon has scored more than once in a Premier League game for just the second time in his career (scored three versus Swansea in December 2016).
- Bournemouth's Lerma scored for the first time in his last 57 appearances in Europe's big five leagues, since netting for Levante against Espanyol in LaLiga (December 2015).
Newcastle will hope to continue their momentum on November 26, away to a Burnley team who now sit below them in the table. A day before that, Bournemouth are at home to in-form Arsenal – not the ideal fixture as they look to get back on track.