Newcastle took a huge stride towards Champions League football next season by inflicting a demoralising defeat on struggling Everton, who remain rooted in the Premier League’s relegation zone.
A comfortable win at Goodison Park keeps Eddie Howe’s men in third place, eight points clear of Aston Villa in fifth and with a game in hand, in the battle to play in Europe’s elite club competition.
Callum Wilson scored twice for the visitors in each half, reacting quickest to poke home the opener before curling a magnificent 25-yard effort into the top corner.
Brazilian Joelinton netted in between, heading in from close range following excellent play by Joe Willock to set up the goal.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin thought he had made it 1-1 for Everton on the stroke of half-time, but a delightful dinked finish was ruled out for offside.
Dwight McNeil did make it 3-1 with a goal that went directly in from a corner kick, but substitute Jacob Murphy added a Newcastle fourth just a minute later to consign Everton to a 17th loss of the campaign, which leaves them in 19th place and two points from safety.
Wilson shines as Newcastle continue fine run
Barring a colossal late-season collapse, Newcastle will return to the Champions League next season for the first time in 20 years.
The Magpies are an organised and well-drilled outfit under Howe and backed up their 6-1 dismantling of Tottenham last Sunday with another thumping result.
Once they saw off Everton’s early bluster, there was only going to be one winner in this contest and it was old nemesis Wilson who proved the scourge of Sean Dyche’s side again.
The forward’s double took his tally to eight goals in the last six games against the Blues.
The first in the 28th minute was an instinctive finish as he popped the ball into the net following Jordan Pickford’s parry on Joelinton’s shot, but the 75th-minute second was a tremendous strike, curling a finish past the reach of the England goalkeeper.
The in-form Joelinton added to the tally and Newcastle showed their strength in depth as Alexander Isak eluded a number of challenges with some sensational dribbling to set up an easy finish for fellow substitute Murphy at the far post.
It could have been worse for Everton but Pickford brilliantly tipped Willock’s spectacular volley wide and defender Fabian Schar’s stunning late strike was ruled out for offside.
But, after a dip in February and March, Newcastle maintained their superb recent run of results, collecting a seventh victory in eight games to control their hopes of a top-four finish.