NEWCASTLE United ended the year with a convincing win over Everton.
Goals from Papiss Demba Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback gave Alan Pardew’s side a hard-earned 3-2 win on a bitterly cold afternoon at St James’s Park.
Colback’s strike was his first for the club since his summer move from Sunderland.
And the midfielder made a point of patting the badge on his Newcastle jersey as he celebrated the goal.
The game, however, wasn’t without controversy.
An elbow from Cisse on Seamus Coleman went unpunished with Everton leading 1-0 thanks to Arouna Kone’s early strike.
Cisse, set to leave for the African Cup of Nations in the New Year, could be retrospectively punished with a three-match ban if referee Craig Pawson didnot see the incident.
Newcastle went on to score three unanswered goals before visiting substitute Kevin Mirallas set up a nervous finale with a late strike.
However, United held on to draw a line under three successive Premier League losses and climb up to ninth in the table ahead of Burnley’s visit to St James’s Park on New Year’s Day.
Roberto Martinez’s side got themselves ahead in the fifth minute.
Yoan Gouffran was caught napping by Coleman, whose right-wing cross was converted at the near post by Kone, who had got himself between the recalled Mike Williamson and captain Fabricio Coloccini.
Cisse, restored to the starting XI, created an opening for Moussa Sissoko with a 12th-minute flick-on, but the midfielder’s touch was too heavy and goalkeeper Joel Robles gathered the ball.
Newcastle, however, got themselves back in the game later in the half.
A 34th-minute corner was worked to Cheik Tiote – who served a one-match ban on Boxing Day – and his deep ball into the box was hooked across goal by Williamson.
Cisse was there on the turn to shoot past Robles for his ninth goal of the campaign.
Martinez and his Everton team, however, were furious that Cisse was still on the pitch, the 29-year-old having elbowed Coleman in the face.
United got themselves ahead early in the second half.
Tiote seized on a loose ball and slipped in Perez, who skipped into the box and expertly rolled the ball past Spanish countryman Robles and into the bottom left-hand corner.
A mistake from Everton substitute Ross Barkley led to Newcastle’s third goal, scored by Colback.
The 25-year-old seized on the error and rolled the ball under Robles before celebrating in front of the Gallowgate End.
Mirallas pulled one back for Everton in the 84th minute, but United managed to see the game out and return to winning ways.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Alnwick; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Perez, Sissoko, Tiote, Colback, Gouffran (Cabella, 90); Cisse (Riviere, 73). Subs not used: Woodman, Santon, S Taylor, Anita, Armstrong.
EVERTON: Joel, Coleman, Distin, Alcaraz, Garbutt, Baines, Barry, McCarthy (Barkley, 46), McGeady (Mirallas, 61), Eto’o, Kone (Lukaku, 72). Subs not used: Griffiths, Oviedo, Besic, Browning.
Goals: Kone 5, Cisse 34, Perez 51, Colback 68, Mirallas 84
Bookings: Gouffran 27, McCarthy 28, Alcaraz 71
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)