Owen Humphreys/PA via AP

Video: Ayoze Perez stuns with back-heel strike in Newcastle training

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The Premier League season may be a few weeks away from kicking off, but Ayoze Perez looks to be in fine form for the Magpies.

[ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo won’t travel to U.S. with Juventus ]

The Newcastle attacker scored a wonderful flicked back-heel during a recent training session with the club (below), potentially giving fans a preview of things to come this season.

Perez, 24, is entering his fifth season at St. James’ Park, and with goals like this, the Spaniard will have expectations raised even further under manager Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle United smash listless Chelsea, finish 10th

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  • Chelsea winless in last 5 at St. James’ Park
  • Newcastle has won four of those
  • Perez scores twice
  • Gayle opens scoring

Ayoze Perez’s two-goal day led Newcastle United past listless Chelsea as the Magpies clinched a top-half finish with a 3-0 win at St. James’ Park on Championship Sunday.

Dwight Gayle also scored for the Magpies, who finish 10th with 44 points. Chelsea will end the season fifth with 70 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle’s fifth minute free kick came from a promising angle, but Chelsea cleared the effort with a powerful header.

Jonjo Shelvey stung a ninth minute effort at Thibaut Courtois, but the Belgian parried for Cesar Azpilicueta’s clearance.

And Mo Diame forced a similar save, though his rip appeared to be going wide of the goal. A short corner was sent away, but Newcastle came back.

Newcastle indeed opened the scoring, with Jacob Murphy‘s intense pressure forcing Courtois to slap the ball onto the path of Gayle for 1-0. And Shelvey sent a shot just wide moments later!

Joselu took Gayle’s place early in the second half. It was Chelsea who got its first shot on target of the match when Olivier Giroud forced Martin Dubravka into an outstanding tip save.

Shelvey’s long drive was deflected in by Perez to make it 2-0, and Newcastle made it 3-0 (!!!) on a free kick. Florian Lejeune headed to the back post to square for Perez’s tap-in.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Watford 2-1 Newcastle: Early goals lead Hornets

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  • Both teams on 41 points
  • Goal, assist for Pereyra
  • Perez scores again for NUFC

Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray scored early goals as Watford clinched another season in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United at Vicarage Road.

Ayoze Perez scored Newcastle’s goal, as the Magpies poured it on but couldn’t complete their comeback bid.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Watford took the lead within two minutes, as Paul Dummett‘s tepid touch cued up Abdoulaye Doucoure’s cut pass to Pereyra. 1-0.

Martin Dubravka made a close-range stop on Pereyra minutes later, the rebound blocked by Troy Deeney before a follow-up shot sailed wide of the goal.

The Hornets grabbed insurance when Pereyra’s cross was misjudged by Martin Dubravka, nodded over the line by Gray.

Paul Dummett gave away a penalty to Gray with an ill-time slide, but Dubravka stopped Deeney’s attempt and the rebound.

United pulled one back through Perez’s slick outside of the boot finish of a Javier Manquillo cross.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Newcastle comes back to top Arsenal

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  • Lacazette scores early
  • Perez levels, assists winner
  • Slimani impacts off bench

Matt Ritchie‘s second half goal helped Newcastle United to a 2-1 comeback win over Arsenal at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

Alexandre Lacazette and Ayoze Perez traded first half goals as Newcastle stayed unbeaten at home in 2018.

The 10th place Magpies now have 41 points, 13 clear of relegation with five to play.

Arsenal remains sixth with 54 points.

Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were among the Arsenal players rested after completing its defeat of CSKA Moscow in Europa League play on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Though Newcastle was on the front foot, with Kenedy forcing an early save out of Petr Cech, the Gunners went ahead when Lacazette feasted off the work of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka stopped to collect an Alex Iwobi effort in the 20th minute as the Gunners grew further into the control.

Newcastle went level through Perez, who flicked DeAndre Yedlin‘s cross past Cech as the match reached the half hour mark.

Arsenal quickly regained control, and probably should’ve been ahead on multiple occasions including a point-blank miss by debutant Joe Willock.

Ritchie put Newcastle ahead in the 69th minute, with substitute Islam Slimani winning a header that Perez nudged to the Scot.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

WATCH: USMNT’s Yedlin assists for Newcastle; Auba to Laca for Arsenal

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Alexandre Lacazette and Ayoze Perez have traded first half goals as St. James’ Park as Newcastle United aims to stay unbeaten at home in 2018.

[ STREAM: Newcastle-Arsenal ]

Though Newcastle was on the front foot, with Kenedy forcing an early save out of Petr Cech, the Gunners went ahead when Lacazette feasted off the work of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka stopped to collect an Alex Iwobi effort in the 20th minute as the Gunners grew further into the control.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]