Newcastle United are back in the big time after the Magpies secured their place in next season’s Premier League courtesy of a resounding 4-1 win at home to Preston.
Ayoze Perez opened the scoring for the hosts on seven minutes from a corner.
However, just seven minutes later Preston drew level, courtesy of Jordan Hugill.
Just before the break, Christian Atsu restored the Magpies’ advantage after a counter-attack on a tense evening at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle’s task was made much easier when, on 64 minutes, Preston’s Paul Gallagher was sent off for handling on the line.
Matt Ritchie, one of the Magpies’ most consistent performers this season, fired home the resulting spot-kick.
Soon after, Perez netted his second of the game to seal the deal for Rafa Benitez’s side.
The win sees Newcastle return to the Premier League just a year after they were relegated from the top-flight, with Benitez very much vindicated in his decision to stay with the club in the Championship.
To be fair, having spent around £50million on his squad, Newcastle were always expected to return to the top-flight, with the likes of Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle all Premier League quality players.
However, the top-flight is always better off with Newcastle in the mix, with the club set to be the north-east’s only representatives in the division next season.
Newcastle are now four points behind Brighton, with the Seagulls needing just one win from their remaining two games to win the Championship title.
As for Preston, they stay in 11th, with another season in the second tier ahead of them.