NEWCASTLE UNITED rounded off their best week of the season in style as goals from Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak secured a 2-0 win over Burnley at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe’s side put eight goals past Sheffield United last Sunday, and followed up their Bramall Lane success by dumping Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Their third win in the space of six days lacked some of the fluency displayed in their previous two successes, but was no less welcome as it lifted them to within three points of a top-four spot.

Almiron’s long-range strike was a fitting reward for the Magpies’ first-half dominance, with Isak’s second-half penalty securing the points against a hard-working, if ultimately limited, Burnley side.

An injury to Joelinton, and a yellow card that means Anthony Gordon will miss next weekend’s game at West Ham, were the only sour notes to the day, with Newcastle setting themselves up perfectly for Wednesday’s glamour Champions League home game with Paris St Germain.

Howe was forced into a pre-match defensive reshuffle with Sven Botman unavailable, with Jamaal Lascelles making his first league start alongside Fabian Schar at the heart of the back four.

Newcastle looked defensively nervy in the early stages, and were fortunate not to fall behind after just four minutes.

Dan Burn slipped at the worst possible moment in his own half, enabling Burnley winger Luca Koleosho to break down the right. He squared the ball inside for Zeki Amdouni, but Nick Pope, lining up against his former employers, made a superb save to prevent the striker from opening the scoring.

Newcastle’s first opening came 11 minutes in, with James Trafford keeping out Isak’s low effort, and the Magpies broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion three minutes later.

Kieran Trippier was the architect of the goal, crunching into a challenge on Aaron Ramsey deep inside the Burnley half and emerging with the ball. He slipped a forward pass to Almiron, and after stepping inside onto his left foot, the Paraguayan hammered a brilliant 20-yard finish into the top left-hand corner.

Newcastle were not at their fluent best for much of the afternoon, but they continued to create chances. Sean Longstaff dragged a shot wide of the post after a flick forward from Isak, and Isak went close himself shortly before the half-hour mark.

Bruno Guimaraes’ through ball released the Swede into the box, but a heavy first touch enabled Trafford to race from his line and block. The ball looped back up into the air, but Isak was unable to scramble it into the net.

Trafford was having a good game in the Burnley goal, and Pope’s rival for a spot in the England squad made another important save towards the end of the first half. Longstaff crossed from the right, and Anderson directed an excellent diving header towards goal, only for Trafford to make a smart pointblank stop.

Trippier saw a shot deflected wide at the start of the second half as Newcastle continued to push for a second goal, but while the Magpies spent most of their time after the interval probing inside the Burnley half, they struggled to create clear-cut chances in the face of a well-organised Clarets defence.

Their injury problems also resurfaced in the second period, with Joelinton coming off the bench, only to then hobble back off the field five minutes later after suffering what appeared to be a recurrence of his injury issue.

That was a blow for the hosts, but they gave themselves some welcome breathing space as they finally added a second goal with 14 minutes remaining.

Gordon picked up a loose ball after a poor header from a Burnley defender, and was brought down by a clumsy sliding challenge from Ameen Al-Dakhil as he drove into the left-hand side of the box. Isak stepped up, and rolled a clinical spot-kick into the bottom corner to claim his sixth goal of the season.