|Carroll, centre, scored three on a dream day for Newcastle [GALLO/GETTY]
Newcastle United celebrated the return of Premier League football to St James' Park by thrashing Aston Villa 6-0 with a hat-trick from Andy Carroll.
Joey Barton opened the scoring with a top-corner piledriver minutes after John Carew had blasted over a penalty for managerless Villa in the first half.
Kevin Nolan scored a goal in each half as Chris Hughton saw his promoted side recover from a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United last week.
The third 6-0 scoreline of the weekend came as USA coach Bob Bradley revealed that he would be interested in taking over at Villa following Martin O'Neill’s exit.
There was more good news for Newcastle on Sunday as the club agreed a deal to sign Cote d'Ivoire midfielder Cheick Tiote from Dutch side FC Twente.
The 24-year-old has passed a medical and is now awaiting a work permit.
Villa caretaker boss Kevin McDonald handed Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Ireland his Villa debut on his 24th birthday as he tried to follow up on an opening day win over West Ham.
Ireland, a makeweight in the deal which took James Milner to Manchester City, was included in a side which featured eight changes from the one that drew 1-1 with Rapid Vienna in midweek.
Newcastle had a lucky escape four minutes later when goalkeeper Steve Harper was penalised for a trip on Ashley Young as he tried to reach Stilian Petrov's through-ball inside the box and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot.
Carew stepped up to take the spot-kick but the Norway forward's woeful effort went high over the bar.
Newcastle made Carew pay for that miss just two minutes later when Barton picked up possession 30 yards out and smashed a dipping shot past Brad Friedel and into the roof of the net.
Then Jose Enrique crossed to the far post and Carroll headed the ball back towards Nolan, who followed up a parried header by planting the ball in the net.
Ten minutes before half time Richard Dunne miskicked in front of his own goal after Mike Williamson got his head to Barton's corner and Carroll blasted home from close-range.
Carroll added to the visitors' misery in the 67th minute when he reacted first in the box to lash home a loose ball.
Nolan made it 5-0 with three minutes left when he fired home after Shola Ameobi's header had been blocked, then in stoppage time substitute Xisco set up Carroll to complete his hat-trick.
Arsenal beat Blackpool 6-0 on Saturday, the same scoreline as Chelsea's visit to Wigan Athletic.
A late equaliser secured Fulham a draw against Manchester United in Sunday's late kick-off.
United missed an 84th minute penalty that would have given them a 3-1 lead before Fulham's Brede Hangeland, who had scored an 83rd minute own goal that put United ahead, scored from a corner with two minutes of normal time left to draw his side level again.