Florian Thauvin scored one and provided a hat-trick of assists on his first Newcastle United start as Steve McClaren’s men booked a place in the League Cup third round with a 4-1 thumping of Northampton Town.
The winger, signed from Marseille last week, turned in an impressive display on his home debut at a half-full St James’ Park before departing to a standing ovation after 65 minutes, having played a starring role in handing McClaren a maiden victory.
Thauvin broke the deadlock with a neat finish and then set up Siem de Jong as Newcastle raced into a two-goal lead inside eight minutes.
A Marc Richards penalty two minutes later pegged the hosts back, but Thauvin-inspired Newcastle put the second-round tie to bed as Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson netted early in the second half.
McClaren spoke in June when he was unveiled as head coach about placing a renewed emphasis on winning silverware, and, although they were given a scare by League Two opposition, Newcastle safely overcame their first hurdle.
And, in Thauvin, the Premier League team possess an exciting talent, the 22-year-old making an instant impact to open the scoring in acrobatic fashion.
Massadio Haidara’s cross from the left flank found Thauvin on the edge of the six-yard box and he got in front of his marker to divert a volley beyond Ryan Clarke.
It was 2-0 five minutes later when Thauvin turned provider for the first time in the evening, De Jong heading home the Frenchman’s free-kick.
A rout looked on the cards, but Northampton pulled one back straight away from the spot after Cheick Tiote had been penalised for handling Rod McDonald’s header. Richards stepped up to dispatch the resulting spot-kick straight down the middle.
Richards also steered a diving header just off target as the visitors threatened to level, while Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez spurned two chances prior to half-time.
Yoan Gouffran rippled the side-netting four minutes into the second half before Thauvin and Janmaat combined to put the tie beyond doubt 11 minutes after the restart. Thauvin broke into the box and teed up Janmaat, who swept low past Clarke.
Williamson headed home another Thauvin set-piece after 63 minutes, with McClaren taking no chances by substituting the youngster two minutes later.
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