Everton 3-0 Newcastle

Trippier howlers punished as Blues capitalise. ​

Two monumental errors by the much vaunted Kieran Trippier gifted Everton two scoring chances that they gleefully converted. Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucoure smashing shots past Dubravka to silence the travelling Geordies and send Goodison into near chaos. And deep into added on time, substitute Beto bagged his maiden Goodison and Premier League goal to clinch an emphatic scoreline.

Looking to follow-up on the victory at Nottingham Forest last Saturday, the Blues were back in action at Goodison on Thursday hosting high-flying Newcastle United, in a game that pitched Everton with just one home win and Newcastle with just one away win so far this season – something had to give?

The Blues and the fans were boosted by the news that striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was over his tight muscle issue and had been passed fit to play, however midfielder Amadou Onana was only ‘touch ‘n go’ and ultimately didn’t make the subs bench. With a hectic December schedule ahead, giving the big Belgian another couple of days to fully recover was probably a wise decision. The Blues have been unfortunate with home results so far this campaign and the boss alluded to the shortage of home goals when he noted, “It’s putting the ball in the net, that’s the biggest challenge and the next challenge because a lot of our performances have been very strong at home.”

Knowing a victory over the Magpies would lift the Blues out of the bottom three places, manager Sean Dyche sprang a surprise with a welcome return for everyone’s favourite sixty-grand man and a disappointing omission of James Garner – due to illness – when naming his starting eleven: Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman (c), James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Vitalii Mykolenko, Jack Harrison, Ashley Young, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Our visitors had a number of injury and fitness concerns, not least of which was the loss of their number one goalkeeper Nick Pope who suffered a shoulder injury last weekend that will require corrective surgery. Even though Pope joins Harvey Barnes, Sean Longstaff, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock and striker Callum Wilson on the unavailable list, Toon boss Eddie Howe only had to slot Martin Dubravka into his strong team to take on the Blues. Returning to Goodison and probably expecting a ‘warm’ reception was Anthony Gordon who seems to relishing life with the Geordie outfit.

Howe eventually named his starting line-up: Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles (c), Schaer, Livramento, Miley, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Isak and Gordon.

Under the lights at the Grand Old Lady and the rain having stopped, Tim Robinson was our referee.

Another visual protest by the home fans in the Park End as green posters suggesting the Premier League is corrupt were brandished as the teams took to the pitch.

Newcastle calm in possession from the kick-off but it was the Blues with the first chance, as a cross from McNeil led to a miskicked shot by Gana Gueye and a shot by Young blocked and cleared. Gordon was fouled by Doucoure and the home fans enjoyed him taking a tumble before a cross by Coleman led to another effort from Gana Gueye being blocked and the follow-up cross saw a Young shot deflected behind for the games first corner, that Branthwaite climbed for but couldn’t direct a header on target. Everton had certainly started brightly and another attack ended with Tarkowski shooting wide from outside the Newcastle penalty area.

On ten minutes the green posters were again raised and boos rang around Goodison as the home support riled against the ten points deduction… and the FA might be next to get some earache having switched the FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace in January to a Thursday evening – demonstrating absolutely no consideration for the fans in my opinion.

Newcastle got a free kick in about five yards outside the Everton area, and Trippier beat the wall only to find the perfectly positioned and waiting hands of Jordan Pickford. Some loose passing by the Blues saw Newcastle work the ball forward with Joelinton to find Almiron who shot straight at Pickford from twelve yards. Everton roared forward with Gana Gueye, Harrison and Young in support to find Harrison to cross for DCL who, under pressure, put his header wide of the target.

Doucoure and McNeil then worked an opening for the latter to cross from the left to find DCL at the back post, Dubravka happy to hold onto the downward header. Everton came again through Harrison and he fed a ball into the right channel for DCL to strike first time, Dubravka getting down quickly to his right to make the save. Passing the twenty minute mark, Everton were enjoying more meaningful possession and looking much the more likely to break the deadlock. The Blues were crossing the ball at every opportunity, not giving the visitors defence time to settle and Gordon having had no joy attacking Seamus Coleman switched flanks to come up against Mykolenko who was in equally determined mood to keep the former Everton player quiet.

Gana Gueye was spoken to be referee Robinson for a foul on Gordon, Branthwaite heading the Trippier free kick as far as Almiron who volleyed the ball back over the goal and into the Gwladys Street seats. A quick attack by the Blues saw Harrison feed McNeil but he dragged his low shot across the face of goal and wide. Newcastle countered and a terrific block by Tarkowski left Guimaraes in a heap – welcome to Tarko’s patch.

Gana Gueye was booked for a foul on Miley on 35 minutes, his fourth of the season before the best chance of the half so far for the visitors as Joelinton laid the ball back for Trippier to cross and Isak guided his header wide of the back post. Blues boss Sean Dyche was becoming frustrated at some of the free kicks being given against his side for challenges he thought were innocuous and the home crowd agreed jeering loudly when a free kick was awarded for a foul on Young.

The miss of the season from the free kick as Pickford found Tarkowski, the ball back to Branthwaite then onto DCL to take on his chest, turn and from no more than six yards, blaze wildly over the bar. DCL then pressured Trippier wide on the left and he brought down the Blues #9. Before the free kick was taken, referee Robinson spoke to both Joelinton and Tarkowski who were falling out, with Tarkowski claiming scratch marks on his arms had been made by the Newcastle player. The free kick failed to produce and we approached the interval with a ball into the Everton area seeing both Branthwaite and Schaer go down and needing treatment as three added minutes were signalled.

At the break, Sean Dyche was probably the happier manager but, the glaring miss by DCL was symptomatic of the troubles his side have endured at Goodison far too often this season – an inability to hit the onion bag.

Half Time: 0-0

No changes by either manager for the start of the second half saw the Blues get forward with Coleman whipping a cross in from the right with nobody able to get on the end of it, and when Newcastle responded, Pickford easily claimed a deep cross from Livramento. Everton won a corner on the right off Guimaraes that Dubravka spilled and was grateful to see it pushed behind for another corner from the opposite side and again, Dubravka was fortunate in that a header by DCL, deflected by Lascelles, rather hit him than him saving it, and the ball was smuggled to safety.

Newcastle were patiently trying to build their attacks, whereas Everton looked to employ width to work openings to cross for DCL and a rather quiet few minuntes was only punctuated by boos whenever Gordon was in possession and jeers when he fired a long range effort well wide of the target. And considering what a victory might mean to both sides, the game had almost an air of complacency about it. On 58 minutes, Miley fired a powerful shot over the bar without troubling Pickford and some excellent defending by Vitalii Mykolenko saw him deny Almiron a chance to get free.

A long ball into the Newcastle area saw Dubravka get to the ball ahead of McNeil and then take a tumble to win a soft free kick as we passed the hour mark still deadlocked at 0-0. A loose ball by Pickford to Tarkowski saw Gordon nip in to win the ball and hit a low shot that Pickford was well positioned to save. DCL with nice turn of the chest fed Harrison to win another corner on the right that he climbed for at the back post but again, couldn’t find the target with his header.

A quick break by Isak saw his thread a fine ball for Gordon to run onto and again, he made a mess of his shot, sending it high and wide. On 65 minutes, Seamus Coleman pulled up and immediately Nathan Patterson stripped off ready to replace the popular Irishman who got a warm round of applause as he left the field. Doucoure and McNeil combined to set up Gana Gueye and another shot went high and wide. Newcastle countered with Gordon forcing the visitors first corner out of Tarkowski, that was defended before Tarkowski hooked a shot from Schaer out for another corner that was easily defended as Newcastle tried unsuccessfully to be inventive.

Into the final twenty minutes and could either side find a goal as it looked increasingly like either a moment of quality or a utter cock-up might be the only way a goal would come. Harrison and Young broke up a Newcastle attack to start a counter that saw Young overhit a through ball for DCL. Gana Gueye found Young to cross for Doucoure, no power on the header and it was cleared by Trippier. Pickford was limping, Branthwaite had a bloodied nose from an accidental clash of heads and Pickford went down with a clear issue with his right leg. After some treatment, he made his way to his goal and play restarted with a drop ball to Dubravka.

Branthwaite returned and Dwight McNeil robbed Trippier in midfield to stride forward with purpose and smash a sweet left footed blast past that Dubravka had no chance of saving on 79 minutes – an utter cock-up by Trippier with a moment of quality from McNeil.

Into the final ten minutes of normal time and now it was Newcastle who needed to up the pace and a bouncing shot from Miley was headed onto the roof of the net by Almiron. A foul by DCL on Livramento saw him yellow carded. Beto replaced DCL on 84 minutes and a hooked ball from Tarkowski fell to Harrison who saw his shot deflected behind for a corner from the right, that Dubravka claimed far too easily.

Another mistake by Trippier coughed up possession to Harrison and when McNeil fanned on the ball, Abdoulaye Doucoure was on hand to smash home the second.

Beto was booked for delaying the restart but, nobody cared as the home fans revelled in their side having doubled their lead and looked destined to climb out of the bottom three.

An incredible minimum of ten added minutes was announced much to the consternation of Sean Dyche and the home crowd. Newcastle made a late double change to try and rescue something as the seconds ticked away. Pickford easily held a deep cross from Matt Ritchie before falling over theatrically and laughing at the visiting fans.

Everton were now passing the ball around confidently with the crowd roaring ‘Ole’ and a great ball from Patterson to Beto wide right saw him arrow towards goal and add the insurance third through the legs of Dubravka. VAR reviewed it for a possible offside against the Portuguese and Goodison roared again as the goal was given, and the baiting of Anthony Gordon got even louder.

Time ran down with the home crowd in celebratory mood with a huge cheer greeting the final whistle.

Full Time: 3-0

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