Championship
NewcastleNewcastle United4BirminghamBirmingham City0

Newcastle United 4-0 Birmingham City

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle scored his second hat-trick of the season for Newcastle United

Newcastle returned to the top of the Championship table as Dwight Gayle's hat-trick inspired a comfortable home win over against Birmingham City.

Striker Gayle headed in unmarked from a Mo Diame cross, and then finished a low cross for his second in the first half.

Fellow forward Yoan Gouffran thumped in Newcastle's third following a set-piece early in the second-half.

Gayle's 16th of the season from Jonjo Shelvey's pass capped victory over the Blues, who drop out of the top six.

After three games without a win, Newcastle fans might have feared an end-of-year wobble, but any such concerns evaporated as Rafael Benitez's side imposed their dominance.

Gary Rowett's side, who had climbed to fifth, failed to cope with the free-scoring hosts as their miserable run on Tyneside - four straight losses - was extended.

Shelvey and Matt Ritchie had the quality deliveries to feed the lively Gayle, and Blues goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak had plenty of work to do before his goal was eventually breached.

The visitors were lacklustre going forward as Newcastle climbed one point above Brighton, winners against Leeds on Friday.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez told BBC Newcastle:

"I think the first half we played really well and had a lot of chances, in the second-half we expected them to push but we created more chances and scored the goals.

"We played attacking football with some pace and good situations that we practiced, the players were enjoying it.

"We talked about the Blackburn game and not making the same mistakes in waiting 45 minutes to create some chances. We concentrated and did what we had to do."

Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett told BBC WM:

"Newcastle are probably the best team I've seen in the Championship, thinking back to some of the teams I've seen promoted from this division and they certainly give you more problems and test you in more way than they do.

"I said to players we have to be aggressive, we have to get close and really tough to play in our half and we'll defend and break - we had opportunities to do that but we didn't play enough balls or play with enough quality when we did win the ball. We were too passive at times.

"I'm very disappointed with the way we made some of the chances far too easy to create."

Line-ups

Newcastle

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 26Darlow
  • 8Anita
  • 6Lascelles
  • 2Clark
  • 3Dummett
  • 11RitchieBooked at 59mins
  • 12Shelvey
  • 14HaydenBooked at 75minsSubstituted forLazaarat 82'minutes
  • 20GouffranSubstituted forAtsuat 70'minutes
  • 15Diamé
  • 9GayleSubstituted forMitrovicat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Lazaar
  • 18Mbemba
  • 22Yedlin
  • 24Tioté
  • 28Sels
  • 30Atsu
  • 45Mitrovic

Birmingham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 25Cogley
  • 28Morrison
  • 5Shotton
  • 3Grounds
  • 7TescheBooked at 32minsSubstituted forKieftenbeldat 45'minutes
  • 8Gleeson
  • 20StewartSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 45'minutes
  • 14Adams
  • 11CotterillSubstituted forO'Keefeat 74'minutes
  • 9Donaldson

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 4Robinson
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 15Jutkiewicz
  • 17Solomon-Otabor
  • 18Brown
  • 30O'Keefe
Referee:
Andy Davies
Attendance:
52,145

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home20
Away5
Shots on Target
Home10
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away1
Fouls
Home17
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 4, Birmingham City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 4, Birmingham City 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey tries a through ball, but Achraf Lazaar is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.

  5. Post update

    Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Che Adams (Birmingham City).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a headed pass.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Achraf Lazaar replaces Isaac Hayden.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Cogley.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Dwight Gayle.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Newcastle United 4, Birmingham City 0. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Corey O'Keefe (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

  14. Booking

    Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  16. Post update

    Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Corey O'Keefe replaces David Cotterill.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  19. Post update

    Maikel Kieftenbeld (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Newcastle20141541162543
2Brighton20126230111942
3Reading2011452725237
4Huddersfield2010372325-233
5Leeds2010282322132
6Sheff Wed209472323031
7Birmingham208752426-231
8Norwich209383532330
9Fulham207853425929
10Derby198561713429
11Barnsley208483430428
12Preston208482725228
13Aston Villa2061042220228
14Bristol City208392724327
15Nottm Forest197483433125
16Brentford207492627-125
17Ipswich206771820-225
18QPR206592029-923
19Wolves205782528-322
20Burton205782227-522
21Blackburn2055102331-820
22Cardiff2055101931-1220
23Wigan2046101622-618
24Rotherham2024142045-2510
View full Championship table

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