Sam Allardyce was obviously loving it after the final whistle.
Making out that it was some kind of genius tactics that had won the game at St James Park.
With Newcastle on a run of one point from 21, the last thing we wanted to do was gift them a goal…
However, on 27 minutes Karl Darlow gave them exactly that, an early Christmas present, fumbling the easiest of headers and allowing Rooney to score from two yards.
If either of Newcastle’s shots that hit the woodwork had gone in, then Everton wouldn’t have won.
It was typical boring Sam Allardyce tactics and Newcastle made all of their own problems, meaning there is little you can say when the fat oaf has got the three points and telling us how brilliant he is.
What a nightmare.
“We came here to open Newcastle up whenever we could and exploit their defensive weaknesses which have been apparent over the last six games.
“They’ve lost all six so there wasn’t a lot of confidence there so if we got at the back line as often and as quickly as we possibly could then there would be a chance for us to score today. Gratefully that chance came to us first and we could get in the lead.
“We had a bit of a slow start as I think there was a bit of tiredness left in the legs from the effort on Sunday. Newcastle had the extra day to recover and they made a lot of changes to the team as well so they had fresher legs.
“But our lads with their experience and as a defensive unit limited Newcastle, shut the crowd up, kept them quiet and Wayne Rooney pops up with a goal. That experience and reading of the situation… it was only Wayne who decided for himself that he would just take the chance to run in in case the ‘keeper spilled it. He did and he put it in the back of the net.
“After that, Gylfi would be a little bit disappointed he didn’t score tonight which is good news. He’s getting in those areas and we all know how good he is at scoring normally.
“So, all in all, I think the overall performance in possession could have been better but the defending most of the time was very, very good. And some of our play when we did play it right was a bit more encouraging.
“It’s not rocket science, it’s simplifying and making things easier for players to make decisions to win back confidence, get results and take us forward.
“Then there’s those other things about finding space, making space, closing down the opposition and showing players how it’s done. Not just on the field of play today but visually through the technology I use and the amount of work the analysts use.
“They’ve been on overtime since I’ve been here. I don’t think they’ve had much sleep but they’ve delivered a fantastic amount of information for the players to look at and take that on to the pitch. We haven’t been able to spend too much time on the training ground because we’ve got so many games at the moment so the analysts are delivering visuals on a constant basis and that’s been working.
“It pleases me even more than we’ve achieved an away win and gave another defensive performance which for the most part kept Newcastle quiet.
“I’ve come into football clubs in trouble before but never turned around results so quickly. One goal conceded – three wins and a draw – you can’t get much better than that.
“This squad I’ve got will get even better when the likes of Coleman, Baines, Bolasie, McCarthy and Barkley return from injury.
“It’s important that we keep this momentum going for the busy Christmas period.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Everton 1
Everton: Rooney 27
Possession was Everton 45% Newcastle 55%
Total shots were Everton 7 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Everton 4 Newcastle 4
Corners were Everton 1 Newcastle 4
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie (Aarons 74), Shelvey (sent off 90+4), Merino (Perez 86), Atsu, Diame (Joselu 67), Gayle
Elliot, Clark, Hayden, Murphy
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(Read what Rafa Benitez said after the match HERE)
(Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy argue after Newcastle 0 Everton 1 – Read it HERE)
(Read the match ratings for all Newcastle players HERE)
(Read what Wayne Rooney said after the match HERE)