Brilliant victory, can’t believe it – Everton 0 Newcastle 2 match report
Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – I’ll sum it up in one sentence. Thank god for that.
A superb display from Callum Wilson led United to a first win in 12 games, in all competitions.
By far the most cohesive 90 minute display of the season, was rewarded to give us a first league win since December 12th.
The double for Bruce’s Mags over Carlo’s Toffees sends us nine points clear of the relegation zone for now, with sides below yet to play this weekend.
In truth, the success was built on a similar formula to our other wins this season.
Wilson? Simply magnificent.
Whilst any point, let alone all three, would have been welcomed with open arms, we managed to do it by spending a fair amount of time in the opponent’s half. Who’d have thought it?
Wilson himself admitted in his post-match interview, he should have had a hat-trick and it’s hard to disagree.
He missed a golden chance only a few minutes into the second half when sent through by Miguel Almiron, flashed the ball just wide.
Later on our number 13, rounded Jordan Pickford, only to hit the post with the goal gaping, albeit from a narrow angle.
Regardless, it was another star performance from our main man upfront, and with decent supporting cameos from Ryan Fraser and the hard-working Almiron.
The Paraguayan was busy throughout with dynamic pace, encouraging others to press earlier, and making life difficult for Everton.
Once again Bruce had shuffled his pack, though perhaps understandably considering how dire the first half was on Tuesday against Leeds.
BT Sport held up the formation as a deep 4-3-3/4-5-1. In reality, it was a deep-lying diamond.
Almiron took up a number 10 position, with Wilson and Ryan Fraser as a front two, admittedly with Fraser sitting far deeper in an inside left position.
Everyone looked settled, a stark comparison with recent performances that have been nothing short of pathetic.
The first half was similar to the reverse fixture at St James’ back in October. A game devoid of any real rhythm, with chances few and far between.
Although Darlow still had to make a couple of handy stops, in truth, Everton failed to really worry our backline.
At the other end we had far more attacking intent, though admittedly that isn’t saying a lot compared to recent performances.
Shelvey went close with a deflected shot and good link-up play from Wilson led to a free-kick where Jonjo failed to test Pickford.
Meanwhile, Hayden was back to him usual self in midfield, with a colossal display.
A fair but aggressive approach to James Rodriguez was rewarded, with the Toffees playmaker dropping deeper and deeper in the second half, to the point where he was too far away from our box to truly threaten the Magpie goal.
As the second half wore on you sensed a belief we could nick something. Forward runs were being made, we looked for more comfortable in possession.
Jonjo Shelvey was even making the right decisions with the ball. You started to sense something could happen. Then, in the 73rd minute, we got that key moment you need when form is dire.
Ex-Mackem Pickford had made an annoyingly brilliant stop in the first half from a Wilson header, following a corner. This time around he had no chance.
Wilson’s magnificent flick from an increasingly rare, half decent corner, found the bottom corner and restored some hope. Something to cling onto.
Although the last 10 minutes saw us sit slightly deeper, the introduction of Saint-Maxi from the bench, made us even more of a threat on the break.
A lovely flowing move saw Miggy thread Wilson in behind the Everton backline. Our man of the day rounded Pickford, but with the angle narrowing could only hit the post.
Yet he would still manage to get his brace in the dying seconds, after an excellent counter, following Everton overcommitting on a corner.
It was particularly pleasing to see us score the sort of goal, that we have been conceding ourselves in recent months.
ASM kept the ball in down the left channel and sucked in a defender, before sending the underlapping, much improved, Jamal Lewis through with acres to run into.
Wilson was free on the far side and Lewis wasted no time sending across a perfectly weight pass, allowing Callum to finally apply the knockout blow.
As with nearly all of our victories this season, his finishing has turned a draw into a win. It emphasised again, just how scary the drop in quality is when Joelinton stands in. An injury to the former Bournemouth man doesn’t bare thinking about.
The full time whistle sounded not long after and short of a raucous away end, completed a perfect afternoon for us.
It was a terrific display all-round, with the body language at full-time from those in a Toon shirt, a world away from the deflated state on display at Aston Villa a week ago.
Of course, we are still far from safe and issues at the club go way beyond our Premier League status. As we all know.
But in such dire times, you have to savour every moment of joy life can bring – football or otherwise.
Thanks to a mix of desire, renewed belief and the golden goalscoring touch of Callum Wilson, we can do that tonight.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 30 January 12.30pm
Wilson 73 and 90+3
Possession was Everton 61% Newcastle 39%
Total shots were Everton 11 Newcastle 13
Shots on target were Everton 3 Newcastle 3
Corners were Everton 7 Newcastle 12
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles (Clark 54), Hayden, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Shelvey, Almiron, Wilson, Fraser (Saint-Maximin 67)
Dubravka, M Longstaff, Carroll, Joelinton, Gayle, Anderson, Krafth
(Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s win – Read HERE)
(Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Watch both excellent NUFC goals in these official match highlights – Watch HERE)
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