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Match Reports

Everton target Newcastle United after giving up on ever competing with Liverpool

1 year ago
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I suppose we need to get used to this.

As is to be expected, the top six side easily swatted the perennial league also-rans who, as ever, probably have a scintillating relegation battle to look forward to.

I genuinely can’t be bothered with this bo..ocks. Over recent years a niggle has developed between us and Everton which is inexplicable to an extent, but a quick investigate of the situation tells you everything need to know.

Everton, like us, are in the top 10 decorated clubs in England. However, they seem to believe that their trophies in the 80s hold more gravitas than ours in the 50s, despite both events being historical. Our recent strangulation of the Ashley years has given grounds for them to consider themselves more relevant in the Premier League era, despite our PL title challenges and Champions League finishes being more notable than their 30 year long relegation battle. This, friends, is the titled, deluded fanbase we have regularly been accused of being.

They seem to have targeted us a bit having given up on ever competing with the best team in their city and the hope would be that in a few years we have moved so far away that they are engineering something with baffled Wolverhampton or Middlesbrough fans, as we constantly hear about this enormous club scraping 17th yet again, as if it’s something we should be viewing with reverence.

Everton, basically, are boring. They add nothing to the Premier League, they know it and they try to make up for it with bluster. Still, we have to put up with them and I almost feel grateful to Jordan Pickford for helping bring the fixture to life a bit. He was, of course, roundly abused as he approached the Leazes goal, a tactic we only deploy because it has worked time and time again.

There’s always the fear that Pickford (who, let’s be honest, is a good goalie) will absolutely fire himself up and deny United their win, but it was apparent early on that it would need something like this as the home team cut the perennial bottom four side apart. The entire early exchanges were played in the Ev’s half, with the closest moment when Murphy scythed through literally four of them to unleash a shot that flew narrowly over.

I was shouting on for the VAR to intervene on the half hour when Longstaff’s attempted ball into the box was biffed away by Tarkowski with a clear elbow. I was sure that the next break in play would see the obvious pen given, unless there is some rule where former Canon League champions get special privileges when it comes to camera replays. However, it was not to be a factor. The Ev had the cheek to try and mask their cheating with an aaatck, which was swiftly dismantled by their betters in the black and white.

Almiron carried the ball forward before feeding Trippier for the standard outstanding delivery to the middle, which Murphy knocked to Joelinton, who found Bruno, who teed up Miggy to curl one beautifully into the opposite top corner. Brilliant stuff from a player who could not be in hotter form, this strike eclipsing any previous goal tally across an entire NUFC season.

Bruno, of course, was running the game and moments after the opener he narrowly missed out on scoring a goal that would have been an utter highlight reel in itself. First, he took out three midfield knuckleheads with a sumptuous backheel before playing back-to back one-twos with Almiron and Trippier, only to steer the latter’s pass inches wide of the far post. Minutes later he advanced and hit an almost identical shot millimetres wide of the same post. United were utterly dominating and you had to feel that there was no way the Ev would score more than one, so a second goal was game over.

As long as it stayed at one though, the Toffees were in it. They had thrown out pretty much their best side with the return of Calvert-Lewin, who didn’t seem quite ready, and Gordon, who was far more on it. I can’t work out whether this kid has got the sort of fire in his belly that will take him far, or if he’s just an irritating workie-ticket who will join the legions of Everton prospects that didn’t quite follow the Wayne Rooney path. Either way, he looked like Everton’s best chance tonight, and in the dying moments of the half was looking to sneak in behind for a flick on when Burn crowded him out. Gordon did his standard commando roll, and I think what happened next was as follows:

When Gordon had finished his fourteenth full rotation to no avail from the unconvinced ref, Kieron Trippier felt obliged to have a word about how to behave oneself, basically advising Gordon that he might end up playing for these forever if he keeps behaving like this. Scally tash didn’t like this and started a bit of standard pushy-shovey as you might see from someone who can’t fight and doesn’t want a fight but tries to make it look like neither or the above are true. Schar came over and picked him up by the scruff of the neck for a fully deserved shake. Pair of bookings and Gordon in his place, nowt more from him tonight.

Second half was a bit more muted.

Miggy almost replicated his goal at the other end and substitute pair Anderson and Willock linked up well, only for the latter’s header to fly wide. The fear may well have grown that the narrow lead was fragile, but the Ev are a total pile and at no point did anyone in this ground think we wouldn’t win, even when an unlikely six minutes appeared on the board. Eddie clearly had half an eye on Tottenham, which was the only reason this wasn’t about six nowt.

I am already looking forward to righting the almighty wrong that was the ridiculous defeat at Goodison last year but for now that’s the Ev dealt with, and given there are at least 15 better teams to worry about, it’s worth maintaining focus. We sit in sixth and that position can be seriously means tested over the coming weeks. Sunday is effectively a free punch but win the games after it and we will potentially be looking up at the Champions League spots. Hit another run of patchy form and mid-table suddenly opens right up. Of course, if we were to get something at Spurs the game changes up another notch.

This win is a great step in the right direction; as we look to make our mark ahead of the World Cup. Let’s hope we can show similar form against more relevant, high flying opposition.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Everton 0 – Wednesday 19 October 7.30pm

Goals:

Almiron 31

Newcastle United:

Everton:

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Everton 50% (41%) Newcastle 50% (59%)

Total shots were Everton 1 (1) Newcastle 16 (8)

Shots on target were Everton 0 (0) Newcastle 4 (3)

Corners were Everton 2 (1) Newcastle 8 (4)

Referee: Tony Harrington

Newcastle United:

Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno, Joelinton (Willock 45), Murphy (Anderson 72), Almiron (Fraser 73), Wilson (Wood 87)

Unused Subs:

Karius, Lascelles, Targett, Shelvey, Lewis

(Frank Lampard embarrassingly blames match officials for Newcastle United defeat – Read HERE)

(The stats smash it and say it all – Newcastle 1 Everton 0 – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Everton 0 – The instant NUFC fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Everton 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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