Newcastle United 3 Ipswich Town 0: Perez double sends club THREE points clear at top of Championship

Ayoze Perez
Ayoze Perez
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Newcastle United maintained their charge at the top of the Championship this afternoon.

Rafa Benitez's side beat Ipswich Town 3-0 at St James's Park to extend their lead.

Ayoze Perez, recalled to the starting XI by Benitez, scored two goals.

Matt Ritchie also found the net against Mick McCarthy's side in front of a remarkable 51,963 crowd.

READ MORE: Daryl Murphy reveals the thinking behind his decision to leave Ipswich and join Newcastle

Newcastle now lead second-placed Norwich City, beaten 1-0 at home by Preston North End, by three points.

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

Perez gave Newcastle the lead in the first minute. A left-wing cross from Paul Dummett was flicked on to him at the far post, and he beat Bartosz Bialkowski with a neat finish.

United, however, would have to wait for their second goal.

They went on to dominate the first half, but Ipswich were dogged and determined.

Former Newcastle striker Leon Best, withdrawn at the break, struck the crossbar with a 10th-minute shot.

United felt the should have had a penalty late in the first half when Bialkowski appeared to bring down Dwight Gayle, but referee James Adcock waved play on.

Benitez's side pressed on after the break, but they looked to be running out of ideas midway through the second half.

And just as Christian Atsu was waiting to come on, they made it 2-0.

Ritchie broke down the right in the 73rd minute and crossed for Perez, who beat Bialkowski to take his goal tally for the season to five.

Four minutes later, Ritchie skipped into the box and beat Bialkowski with a lovely left-footed finish.

Newcastle are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on Preston at St James's Park in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey (Hayden, 83), Colback; Ritchie, Perez, Gouffran (Atsu, 75); Gayle (Mitrovic, 79). Subs not used: Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Diame.

IPSWICH TOWN: Bialkowski, Chambers, Berra, Webster, Knudsen (Emmanuel, 46), Ward, Douglas, Grant, Lawrence, Best (McGoldrick, 46), Sears (Williams, 83). Subs not used: Gerken, Bishop, Digby, Bru.

Goals: Perez 1, 73, Ritchie 79

Bookings: Colback 27, Knudsen 41

Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: 51,963

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