Andy Carroll helped himself to a hat-trick as Newcastle United stunned Aston Villa 6-0 to mark a memorable home return to the Premier League on Sunday.
Two goals from midfielder Kevin Nolan and another from Joey Barton ensured a third 6-0 victory of the weekend following Chelsea's win over Wigan Athletic and Arsenal's thumping win over Blackpool.
Last season's runners-up Manchester United were held 2-2 at Craven Cottage after a frantic finish in which Fulham defender Brede Hangeland scored late on at both ends, after a Paul Scholes strike had earlier been cancelled out by Simon Davies for the hosts.
Carroll, the England Under-21 international striker, staked his claim for inclusion in manager Fabio Capello's plans for the senior side with an outstanding performance to the delight of the watching Tyneside scoring hero Alan Shearer in the stands.
"It's great feeling, especially in front of the home fans," Carroll told ESPN. "I'm just over the moon with all three of them. I enjoy playing my football, I'm happy being the number nine at this club but I just want to do well for the team."
Villa wasted a golden opportunity to go ahead when John Carew skied a penalty high over the bar after 10 minutes and soon after last season's Championship (second division) winners took control.
Barton fired home an angled shot after 12 minutes before Nolan headed in at the second attempt just after the half hour mark and Carroll made it three for the Magpies minutes later.
Carroll blasted in the fourth on 67 minutes with another Nolan header and a neat stoppage-time finish from Carroll sealing Newcastle's first points of the season following their opening 3-0 defeat by Manchester United on Monday.
"We expected a very tough game, but once we got the first goal that lifted any fears we might have had and we played some very good attacking football, managed to keep it going and score some very good goals," said Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.
"The quality and intensity of our play was too much for them."
Villa, who started the season with an encouraging 3-0 win over West Ham United last week, rarely threatened and the hopes of caretaker coach Kevin MacDonald getting the job fulltime following the shock resignation of Martin O'Neill before the season began were not helped by his team's performance.
In an entertaining game at Craven Cottage, Scholes continued his fine form by giving United the lead on 11 minutes with a sweet low drive from 20 metres but Fulham levelled after the break when good work from Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora allowed Davies to thump home from inside the box.
United looked to have snatched victory on 84 minutes when Hangeland put through his own net but after Nani had a penalty saved soon after for the visitors, Hangeland rose highest to head home a stoppage time equaliser.