Blues Bounce Back with Important Win

A huge win at Newcastle for Moyes and his men that gets them back to winning ways with their fourth away victory of the campaign.

Lyndon Lloyd 03/01/2013 34comments  |  Jump to last

Newcastle United 1 - 2 Everton

If a hugely encouraging 2012 had come to a frustrating close, Everton ushered in 2013 with a bang, overcoming another partially self-inflicted early wound to level the game with a stunning Leighton Baines free kick and then win it in the second half with a determined victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park.

Sunday's defeat to Chelsea, only their seventh in the previous calendar year, felt like a kick to the groin given how much the Blues had put into the game only to find Lady Luck looking the other way, but despite continuing problems with injuries, David Moyes's side bounced back immediately to reclaim fifth place in the Premier League and start the year just two points off the Champions League places.

In the context of the disappointment at the weekend and Papisse Ciss's second-minute goal, this was a big performance from Everton and an equally important result. Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas were missing from the midfield and Phil Jagielka had to deputise at right back again in the injured Seamus Coleman's absence, but Marouane Fellaini made a crucial return to the starting XI following a three-match ban.

Though not at his most effective overall, the Belgian was a constant thorn in the Magpies' side and he was instrumental in the move that led to the winning goal on the hour mark from substitute Victor Anichebe.

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That goal from the substitute capped a laudable recovery by the Blues from more sloppy defending early on that had gifted Ciss the opportunity to guide a looping header over the stranded Tim Howard. Tim Krul had launched a long ball forward, John Heitinga mis-timed his jump as he challenged Shola Ameobi and Ciss lost the otherwise superb Sylvain Distin to head home.

To their credit, though, Everton responded by taking the game by the scruff of the neck and not letting go until half time. For long periods, though, it looked as though Krul would single-handedly keep the Blues at bay. The Dutch keeper made a one-handed save at full stretch to turn Baines' free kick around the post after Chike Tiote had fouled Steven Pienaar in the sixth minute and he was off his line quickly to smother a close-range shot by the Blues' left back a minute later after Heitinga had sprung the offside trap with a long ball from the halfway line.

The visitors were employing a mixture of raking balls forward looking for Fellaini or the second ball and the quick, neat passing that has underpinned much of their success so far this season but they were much more effective with the ball on the ground. So it proved mid-way through the first half when Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic combined to create a clear opening but Fellaini seemed to hesitate a fraction too long and Davide Santon got across to block his goalbound shot.

A similarly good chance was orchestrated a few minutes later when Fellaini put Pienaar in behind the defence with a beautifully-weighted through-ball but Krul raced off his line and won the one-on-one face-off with a smart save.

In between, Everton survived a scare when James Perch headed a free kick off the post and Neville survived a convincing penalty claim by Ameobi as he tumbled under the midfielder's challenge in the box.

But when Fellaini went to ground under an apparently illegal challenge by Fabricio Coloccini, it set up an audacious direct free kick opportunity for Baines, one he grabbed with both hands with an explosive 30-yard shot that swerved beyond the wrong-footed Krul and bulged the net to send the Blues into the half-time break all square.

In truth, Everton emerged from the break lacking the intensity with which they had dominated the first after going behind and when Heitinga was rolled all too easily by Ameobi and picked up a booking for his trouble, Sylvain Marveaux hammered a free kick into the wall. But referee Martin Atkinson evened up the unawarded penalty claims when Steven Naismith was slammed to the ground by Tiote while the players jostled for a corner and Jelavic was caught near the eye by Coloccini's raised arm but nothing was given.

In the 57th minute, Ameobi was again a source of consternation in the Blues' defence when he took down Anita's impressive ball over the top but, thankfully, he flicked it wide of Howard's left-hand post from close range.

Three minutes after that, with Naismith having just been replaced by Anichebe, Everton went ahead with another flowing move on the counter-attack. Fellaini executed a trademark chest-down-and-pass that released the ever-industrious Jelavic down the left flank and he faked to cut inside before continuing his charge forward and fired a low pass across the six-yard box. Anichebe arrived on cue to slide it home emphatically with his first touch and silence the home crowd.

With half an hour to play, it would remain an uncomfortably slender lead but Newcastle would eventually run out of ideas, trying by turns to unsettle Heitinga with long balls forward or driving in from the flanks with pace. Gabriel Obertan was allowed to charge into the area with blue shirts backing off but Howard made an excellent stop with his legs to divert his shot behind for a corner and Cisse was denied twice in quick succession as his header from a deep cross hit Jagielka near the goalline and then Howard as he prodded the rebound goalwards from the floor.

Fellaini then made a mug of his marker by slipping the ball past him and rampaging towards the penalty area but tumbled in a tangle of legs in the "D" and Baines curled the resulting free kick inches wide of the post with Krul beaten.

Newcastle's best chance to grab a point was spurned, though, with just four minutes left of the regulation 90 when Santon was put clean through on the left side of the area with Howard in front of him and two black-and-white jerseys free in front of goal to his right. He elected to take the shot from the angle, one that the American beat away well for another corner, leaving his teammates lamenting his greed. A let-off for the Blues who would play out the remaining 10 minutes six additional minutes were added for substitutions and a clash of heads between Neville and Anichebe in relative comfort.

So, a huge win for Moyes and his men that gets them back to winning ways with their fourth away victory of the campaign. More than that, it keeps them fully in the hunt for Europe and adds a boost in morale for a group of players who have battled through a busy festive programme and picked up nine points from 12. Pienaar, Distin, Baines and Howard stood out for special praise but there were some tired legs on show in the second half and Moyes may make some judicious changes for the FA Cup tie at Cheltenham on Monday that will allow some rest for a few players who have run themselves ragged in recent games.

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Reader Comments (34)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 03/01/2013 at 00:35:55
Good stuff Lyndon.

Must add, for all our talent injured/suspended, we remain the toughest top side to defeat.

51 points there to get. Pile em up gents.

Dick Fearon
2 Posted 03/01/2013 at 05:33:05
Other than our great goals, what pleased me most was Moyes's proactive approach. Bringing on Anichebe while scores were even swung the game in our favour. He usually does not make that kind of move unless we are chasing the game.
Gareth Fieldstead
3 Posted 03/01/2013 at 07:18:54
Great result but if I was to have a moan it would be the ongoing inclusion of Heitinga: he had an awful game yet again, and our inability to finish sides off.

Yet again the game could have ended in a draw. Visions of Fulham, Norwich and this lot at home sprung to mind.

Yet again attempting to play 'keep ball' and inevitably we lost possession inviting Newcastle to attack. Howard as much as anyone won us that game.

The need for a decent defensive midfielder and right winger is acute. I very much doubt Mirallas will play half the remaining games and no doubt Gibson is set for another two months plus spell on the sidelines.

Going by Moyes's recent record in the transfer market, it would take 10 million to secure the two signings needed, if Heitinga is sold and we do have a little cash over from August, would it really be asking too much to find the additional 4 million or so?
Peter Barry
4 Posted 03/01/2013 at 07:22:06
Pluses Fellaini in patches, Baines's superb free kick, Neville's tactical nous and awareness, a much improved and improving Anichebe, and overall a great team effort, a timely substitution of Naismith for Vic by Moyes.

Minuses Heitinga; time to say bye bye... he doesn't seem to care, so why should we?

Naismith: he is quite clearly not a Premier League player, lousy first touch, bad positioning, can't hold the ball, poor distribution and he's had enough game time to adapt if he ever was going to.

And, sad to say, Jelavic: I know he made the cross for Vic's goal but apart from that he was as ineffective as he has been all season. Perhaps last season's player was the anomaly and this is his norm or maybe it's a close-season of 'track back' 'team effort' and other Moyes/Round training homilies that have turned an instinctive striker into a headless chicken.

Kase Chow
5 Posted 03/01/2013 at 07:50:11
Big Vic has had a lot of criticism on here...I wonder if those that slated him will be objective enough to concede that he was excellent yday (aside from his goal)?

Super, super, super win - well done chaps!

6 Posted 03/01/2013 at 08:49:09
I know we Blues are known for our pessimism but lets all try and be a bit more positive guys. Like every other Blue I was depressed after the Chelsea game, couldn't understand the team selection for last night and after them scoringin a couple of minutes I was almost suicidal but lets look at it reallistically. We've just taken 9 points from 12 and were unlucky not to get anything from the Chelsea game, you've got to admit thats a great achievement given we were without out 2 of our most influential players for most of these games. Maybe we will fall short in the end but you can't say that the lads aren't making a good go of it. My only downside at the moment is that Moyes seems to have too much faith in Naismith. Initially I thought give him time he might come good eventually but watching him last night I am now of the opinion he's never going to be good enough in the Premier League. Here's looking to a great New Year for the Blues and Happy New Year to all Toffee Webbers and all other Blues.
Bob Parrington
7 Posted 03/01/2013 at 09:49:47
Dick Fearon #777. Couldn't agree more. Was a little disappointed he didn't make the change at half time as Naismith's first touch had been abysmal. Anichebe seems to have matured a lot recently, either through a little extra age or some good coaching. There were a few instances towards the end of the game in which he showed some sound judgement.

Great goals by Baines and Anichebe ..... the series of passes to the latter were a treat to watch.

Great win.............. my wife's a Georgie!!!!!

Norman Merrill
8 Posted 03/01/2013 at 10:25:24
I was very impressed with Victors attitude, and obviously his goal.
Towards the end when Newcastle were trying to rally, his holding of the ball, to run down the clock, was superb.
Steve Brown
9 Posted 03/01/2013 at 10:59:55
Peter Barry has spoken. Don't let the result or the celebrating, ecstatic fans deceive you, overall an extremely disappointing evening due to the appalling management of Moyes. Must do better.
Sam Hoare
10 Posted 03/01/2013 at 11:05:58
Steve Brown 808, that earlier post from Peter Barry was amongst his most positive and optimistic ever! To be honest I agree with much of what he says, apart from the rubbish about Moyes turning strikers into headless chickens.
Anthony Lamb
11 Posted 03/01/2013 at 11:39:44
Everton's performances of late have to be seen as quite exceptional when one considers that they have done so while carrying the liabilities that have been Heitinga and Naismith.

The attitude of the former is disgraceful. Sylvain Distin deserves all the credit in the world for carrying Heitinga's lack of physical commitment and application and general "going through the motions". The sooner he is gone, the better.

As for Naismith, I am afraid words fail me. The poor guy is a complete and utter embarrassment who must surely be one of the most limited footballers ever to pull on an Everton shirt, and there have been quite a few, especially of late! His presence on the team drives me to distraction as it makes me berate David Moyes who quite frankly continues to perform wonders at Everton in so many ways.

Thus, with these two needing to be compensated for, what a blessing is Leighton Baines who in all my near 60 years of watching Everton is proving to be simply peerless. The lad is one of the few Everton players of recent times who would walk into ANY club team in the world. Balance, technical ability, pace, work ethic, honesty and integrity on the field he is a complete and utter gem and a joy to watch.

Last night's efforts were Baines at his best. I would just love to know what the likes of himself and one or two others think when they are having to perform alongside the above two already mentioned, who for differing reasons, are not fit to even pull on the shirt.
Nick West
12 Posted 03/01/2013 at 13:23:47
How cool is Bainsey? He scores one of the best free-kicks you'll ever see and just jogs towards the fans. None of your stupid sliding on the turf codswallop. And when he got totalled by Carlton Cole's head-high kick he just jumped straight up.

Cashley Cole isn't fit to clean his boots.

Nick West
13 Posted 03/01/2013 at 13:54:45
(Sung to King of the Road)

Hes not for sale or rent
You can stick your fifty cents
No cash, no Cole, no Gareth Bale
Theres only one to hale
Five seven and cool as fuck
He brings us all the luck
His name is Leighton Baines
King of the left

Jay Harris
14 Posted 03/01/2013 at 13:33:47
As always much to be happy about and much to be concerned about.

Our defensive lapses are appalling at this level but the quality and determination of the lads is ensuring we get points from games. Man Utd and Man City are the only teams with less defeats than us in the last 12 months so kudos to Moyes and the lads.

However like many other blues I cannot understand why Heitinga is in the middle with Jags at RB. Neither of them is doing the position justice. For me, Duffy would have been ideal in this game with the number of aerial balls.

I also think Oviedo is worthy of a place currently and would switch Peanuts to the right in place of Naismith who was very poor last night and put Oviedo there with Baines as most teams have figured out the Baines/Pienaar double-act and are doing their best to kick both of them out of the game.

Also have to mention big Vic who was immense when he came on last night. Let's hope his confidence is growing now. He could be like a new signing (according to Elstone LOL).

Brent Stephens
15 Posted 03/01/2013 at 14:00:29
Ah, Peter Barry, you almost had me there, mate! A post that was somewhat positive, the start of a New Year for Peter, turned over a new leaf etc etc, until I got to the sting in the tail about Moyes/Round. I should have learnt by now!
John Jennings
16 Posted 03/01/2013 at 13:36:26
Coming after a hard-to-take loss to Chelski ( and what a loveable bunch they are ) the result was everything tonight. So well done the boys in Royal blue.

Steve Brown. Harsh words and not true. As always, with a paper thin squad assembled for less than the RS spend on golden handshakes, the manager picked a team that should have been able to comfortably beat a struggling Newcastle side. The fact that we were largely outmuscled, conceded more possession and shots than the hapless Geordies was down to certain players not doing their jobs. And most managers who make a tactical switch that results in the new player scoring after 60 seconds would, rightfully be praised. So good on you Davie boy. Nobody is perfect ( great move to rest your best players last night Mr Large Spanish Waiter ).


Vic. Need that commitment for 90 mins lad. Every week.

Leighton. Words fail me. As close to the perfect attacking full back as I have seen. If you feel at all glum, just replay the free kick.

Jag. Despite playing out of position and trying to compensate for the worst defensive display I have seen in many moons - hang your head in shame John Heitinga - kept battling to the end.

Ossie and Peanuts. Looked pretty knackered but gave it everything.

Sylvain. See above. Coped with a bombardment as well as the clown next to him.

Jella. Covered a huge amount of ground and got a well deserved assist.


Naismith. Just not cutting it with poor touch and control. Will need to step up the performance level massively from last nights showing.

Tim. Looks a shadow of the keeper he was and a bag of nerves. Still a good shot stopper.

John Heitinga. That performance capped a run of stinkers and rates as one of the worst centre back shows ever. Not only did he knock into Distin needlessly for the opener, he looked like a rabbit in the headlights all evening. Poor positioning, losing his player, backing off, no commitment. A shocker and needs to be benched, and off-loaded, quickly.

Message to BK. Give the manager the resources he deserves and we can finish top four. And guys, please turn up and win at Anfield to qualify for the CL.

Tony J Williams
17 Posted 03/01/2013 at 14:08:39
3 goals conceded against the Skunks and all of them from massive punts into our area and the defence playing the Keystone Kops routine perfectly.....
Brian Harrison
18 Posted 03/01/2013 at 14:14:14
There is no doubt that this team never gives up, they could easily have felt sorry for themselves when Newcastle scored but they got stuck in and played some good football. Yes there were mistakes and not only for their goal, but most teams at home will create 1 or 2 chances you have to expect that, but overall Everton thoroughly deserved their win.

I would hope that those fans who have been critical of Anichebe will give the lad a chance. He is certainly improving with age and maturity and can do a good job playing wide right which also allows him to cut inside as he did last night. David Moyes deserves a lot of credit for that win he never lets them let their heads drop and is always demanding more from each player. I think we might be seeing why Moyes has stuck by Anichebe and new he has the potential to be a very good player in a number of positions.

James Stewart
19 Posted 03/01/2013 at 14:56:53
Heitinga had another nightmare. His performances recently have been an absolute disgrace.
James Flynn
20 Posted 03/01/2013 at 15:32:44
And as a bonus here in the States, ESPN's Top 10 plays from the day before included Baines' goal!! Very nice to see.
Clarence Yurcan
21 Posted 03/01/2013 at 15:35:57
Great match! As a newer supporter, can someone tell me why there always seems to be so much negativity towards Victor? It seems he scores a goal every other game he appears in. When he replaced Naismith yesterday I knew a goal was coming, though never could have imagined so quickly.
Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 03/01/2013 at 15:59:35
Maybe it's because we have seen glimses of what Victor is capable of, but sometimes, in truth more often than not he sulks when things aren't going his way. If he had the same attitude as Naismith he could develop into a very good player, but too often he loses concentration and seems to lose belief in himself all too easily. I would still have in the line-up before afformentioned Naismith as I believe he adds something to the team, when his head is on the right way.
Kevin Hudson
23 Posted 03/01/2013 at 15:33:38
Obvious delight at the win, but particularly happy to see us bitch-slap Pardew. I decided to despise him after his crass "we gave Everton a footballing lesson," triumphalism as West Ham gaffer!

In light of the appalling refereeing that favoured them at Goodison this season, the irony at hearing the home crowd bemoaning Atkinson was also a joy.

I would also suggest to our resident pessimist that the "Moyes/Round training homilies," (nb: his imagined version of Life at Finch Farm) may possibly have contributed to Everton having the 3rd best league record in 2012; therefore, long may it continue..

Tony J Williams
24 Posted 03/01/2013 at 16:12:27
"Obvious delight at the win, but particularly happy to see us bitch-slap Pardew. I decided to despise him after his crass "we gave Everton a footballing lesson," triumphalism as West Ham gaffer!" - No-one holds a grudge like us do they? Kevin, it's the first thing I say when we beat that graceless fecker. Best thing for the Skunks, they are either stuck with him for another 7 years or he is taking a big wedge to go with a smile on his face.

Predictable Peter is close to taking the Marsh/Dodd mantle...

Ray Roche
25 Posted 03/01/2013 at 16:09:40
Clarence Yurcan

Clarence, when Victor first came on the scene he was used as a sub in several European games and scored 4 goals in 9 appearances. Unfortunately by setting the bar so high this led many of us to expect more from him than he was capable of producing.That wasn't his fault. Coupled with his often sulky attitude, which IS his fault, when he spends as much time on his arse with his arms outstretched appealing for free kicks which are never likely to be given, he has, on occasion, opened the door to many of the whiners who contribute to these articles. He has undoubtably got talent and if he could channel his angst and aggression in the right direction he'd be some player. I just hope he does come good, it'd save us a shed load of money and repay the faith that Moyes has shown in him, as well as shut the moaners up.

Kevin Hudson
26 Posted 03/01/2013 at 16:36:28

You, me, Pardew, a darkened alley, and a brief recitation of Everton honours in comparison to the combined paucity of trophies won by every club the biff has managed..!!

Clarence Yurcan
27 Posted 03/01/2013 at 16:58:29
Thanks for the explanation Ray
Paul David
28 Posted 03/01/2013 at 17:04:57

There is also the time he throw at strop at not being allowed to leave to go to Hull and knocking back a contract when a hell of a lot of supporters believe he should be happy with any sort of contract. When you add that to never being fit, not scoring for years, being a lazy cunt, constantly moaning on the pitch and spending half the match on his arse I think its not surprising most people have no time for him.

Jamie Barlow
29 Posted 03/01/2013 at 18:13:24
I thought the knocking back of a contract was bollocks.
Ray Roche
30 Posted 03/01/2013 at 18:16:37
Jamie, don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. Or a good moan.
Dick Fearon
32 Posted 03/01/2013 at 20:40:19
Kevin H @ 880, you have now got thousands of Twebbers worrying who it is you call our ' resident pessimist'.
John Crawley
33 Posted 03/01/2013 at 21:17:23
Great battling performance from the Blues. Well led as always by the ultimate professional that is Phil Neville. Just my personal opinion but I think he is having a good season in the middle of the park and has filled in well for Gibson when required. Although I hate to say it after that sending off I thought Atkinson's performance as ref was the best of the season.
Pete Anthony
34 Posted 04/01/2013 at 00:12:02
Great report Lyndon on our deserved away win in Geordie land, thanks.

Agree about Moyes needing to rest some of the lads against Swansea too, though judiciously of course.

I'd fancy this team, fitness permitting:

Coleman, Jagielka, Duffy, Baines;
Anichebe, Osman, Hitzelsperger, Oviedo;

Subs: Mucha, Distan, Barkley, Neville, Pienaar, Naismith, Jelavic.

Pete Anthony
35 Posted 04/01/2013 at 11:55:32
Typo above! Rest a few against Cheltenham, not Swansea.. Distan and Jags experience needed against Michu me thinks, would be a bit unfair to chuck Duffy in against an in form top striker like Michu. Game time in the FA Cup could bed him in nicely for prem games later on if needed though.

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