Saturday 5 November 2011 12.45pm (Sky Sports)
Newcastle United 2 (Heitinga 0.g. 12, R.Taylor 29)
“I don’t want to dampen expectations and dampen the mood. I am not here for that. I want Newcastle fans to enjoy this and if they are dreaming of the Champions League, let them dream, it is fantastic, good luck to them. In the dressing room we have to be a little more conservative about our approach. We are a new team, we have done terrific and we go to the next game, that’s it”. Alan Pardew
When Everton finished fourth not so long ago, it was not because they beat Manchester United and Chelsea every week, more because week in/week out they beat the….Evertons of this world.
Today, we beat Everton.
You have to acknowledge the league positions they’ve achieved with relatively limited resources, that doesn’t mean though that you have to like them. I always find them very tedious with a constant of one striker and a rat in the mould of Tim Cahill sniffing around.
Effective, often. Good to watch? No!
Today looked as though it was going to be surprisingly easy after 29 minutes, this game being especially built up due to the three tricky matches to follow.
With 12 minutes on the clock though, Simpson got down the right and put an inviting cross across the six yard line which Heitinga kindly sliced past Tim Howard.
The first goal might have carried the luck but the second was anything but as Ryan Taylor took the initiative by coming forward to a bouncing ball on the left hand corner of the penalty area, chested it down and hit the sweetest volley into the far top right-hand corner from some 25 yards.
At this point it looked like a comfortable afternoon of sitting back and enjoying the rest of the match. Ten minutes later though, Cabaye limped off to be replaced by Gosling and looking back, from that point we were without both Cabaye and Tiote for the first time this season and I reckon it showed.
Everton had some pressure as half-time beckoned and sure enough, Jack Rodwell headed in a corner to give Everton hope with Simpson badly at fault with the ‘marking’.
There then followed a backs to the wall forty five minutes as Newcastle looked to hold a solid line but were further weakened with both Marveaux and Best having to leave the pitch.
Much as Everton huffed and puffed though, Newcastle always looked relatively comfortable with only our fatalistic natures suggesting the visitors were going to level it up.
They maybe should have had a penalty when a shot struck Gosling on the hand but I’m not going to make any apologies to the likes of the bitter blues.
Ben Arfa didn’t look impressed when Sammy Ameobi got the nod ahead of him to replace Marveaux, so it was refreshing to see him putting the effort in when he was eventually called into action for the struggling Best.
Bring the next three on!
Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux (Sammy Ameobi 54), Yohan Cabaye (Dan Gosling 37), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best (Hatem Ben Arfa 73), Demba Ba.
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Davide Santon, James Perch, Peter Lovenkrands.
Everton: Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert (James McFadden 82), John Heitinga (Tim Cahill 56), Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Jack Rodwell, Phil Neville (c) (Sylvain Distin 41), Leon Osman, Royston Drenthe, Louis Saha.
Subs not used: Jan Mucha, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Denis Stracqualursi, Apostolos Vellios.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 50,671 (2,061 away fans)