Everton 3 Newcastle 0 Sunday 15 March 4pm
Goals: McCarthy 20, Lukaku 56 (Pen), Barkley 90
Despite Everton’s struggles this season, I don’t think many/any Newcastle fans were expecting anything from this game.
The stats suggested the visiting black and whites should have retained hopes of at least a point, considering just how bad the Toffees have been for most of the season.
However, with the home side hovering just above the relegation zone, the travelling fans fearing that Newcastle could be coming along at just the right time to give them a lift.
John Carver said after the game that Everton had confounded his preparations by playing two up front and from the kick-off they took the game to Newcastle.
Kone and especially Lukaku were a right handful for the United defence and the blues were also finding alarming amounts of space in the middle of the pitch.
On nineteen minutes the pressure told, a long ball was played up to Lukaku who then laid it off into the path of James McCarthy who had ran from his own half with nobody in a Newcastle shirt for company. His weak shot from the edge of the box somehow deceiving Tim Krul who looked to almost dive out of the way of the ball.
Carver blamed Emmanuel Riviere for not tracking back with McCarthy when reviewing the game later.
To be fair Newcastle at least didn’t crumble and actually had a couple of chances to equalise, though to be fair the home team were also looking likely to add to that opener.
Half-time was reached and a positive move saw the hopeless Gabriel Obertan replaced by Ayoze Perez as United chased the game.
Sadly Newcastle never really got going before it was 2-0 and game over.
Yoan Gouffran giving away a clumsy penalty with Aaron Lennon falling easily to the floor, although that didn’t alter the fact it was a blatant spot-kick.
Lukaku performed the honours and now it was uphill all the way.
Belatedly, Remy Cabella was instantly introduced after that goal, Sammy Ameobi making way.
Seconds later it was an even bigger uphill struggle as Fabricio Coloccini lost his head and hacked Aaron Lennon down when he was in a non-threatening position.
It was hard to believe this was anything other than frustration being vented by Colo as the game slipped away, a red card is not what you need from a Captain though when you have the likes of Arsenal and Sunderland up next.
Always trust Newcastle though to confound you, as they actually played better with ten men than they had with a full team.
Having both Perez and Cabella on the pitch undoubtedly helped create the better play, Sissoko and Cabella himself going close to pulling a goal back.
On the break though Atsu played in Ross Barkley and he made it three in injury time, a bit harsh on the ten men.
Considering Everton had played in the Europa League on the Thursday night and John Carver had had a clear run to prepare, even the Newcastle Head Coach had little to blame this one on, apart from the players…
These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;
Possession was 46% Newcastle and 54% Everton
Total shots was 12 for Newcastle and Everton 15
Shots on target was Newcastle 4 and Everton 9
While corners was Newcastle 4 and Everton 3
Team: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Ryan Taylor, Colback, Sissoko, Obertan (Perez 46), Riviere (Jonas 62), Ameobi (Cabella 58), Gouffran
Unused Subs: Woodman, Armstrong, Anita, Satka
Ref: Martin Atkinson