Deadly Everton put Newcastle to the sword

, 25 March, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Newcastle United 0 - 3 Everton
Everton came through with a big performance just when they needed it, recording their fourth straight Premier League win with a handsome dismantling of Newcastle.

The contest was lit up midway through the first half by a world class goal by Ross Barkley and the Blues were able to tighten their grip on the game with two more goals in the second half.

John Stones continued in the starting XI while Roberto Martinez made two changes from the win over Swansea with Leon Osman and Gerard Deulofeu coming in in place of Kevin Mirallas and Aiden McGeady.

Everton had to survive an early scare, though, as Newcastle started on the front foot. John Stones' block sent Yoan Gouffran's shot behind for a corner and James McCarthy denied the same player with an excellent goal line block in the ensuing goalmouth melee.

At the other end, Gareth Barry's shot from the angle was charged down and Deulofeu might have done better with an opening inside the area but his attempted shot was also blocked.

The best move of the game thus far, though, came when Osman found Romelu Lukaku with a sublime first touch but Tim Krul made an excellent stop to deny the Belgian striker in a one-on-one situation.

Everton took the lead in stunning fashion, though, when Barkley picked the ball up inside his own half went on a long, 70-yard solo run, eschewing all passing options before ramming into the roof of the net in the 22nd minute.

Newcastle responded with a spell of pressure but Cisse was closed out by three Blue jerseys as he bore down on goal and a penalty claim when Leighton Baines and Sissoko came together in the Everton box was waved away by referee Lee Mason.

The Blues played four minutes without Stones who was forced off to have a head wound bandaged up, the defender returning to the fray, perhaps a little groggy, with a couple of glaring errors that, thankfully, weren't punished.

Deulofeu flashed a cross-cum-shot across the face of Krul's goal to close out the half.

The second half was only seven minutes old when a great first touch by Deulofeu wide on the right gave him space on the right to drive into the box and find Lukaku who converted from close range to make it 2-0. Another instinctive striker's goal from the Belgian that took his tally for the season to 13.

Newcastle again tried to rally with increased pressure and Gouffran slammed a volley narrowly over from the angle with an hour gone.

Everton remained tenacious and a Barry tackle sent the ball to Osman who released Lukaku for a run at the Barcodes' defence, the Belgian stinging the palms of Krul who parried his powerful left-foot shot.

With 12 minutes left, Newcastle's opportunity to get back into the game arrived. Hatem Ben Arfa skipped past Barry and Coleman and served it on a plate for Anita at the back post but the midfielder somehow contrived to slide the ball wide. A huge let-off for the Blues who were coming under increasing pressure as the game wore on.

Howard was then called upon to make a flying one-handed stop to claw Cisse's header away, although the striker's effort may have been spinning wide.

Martinez made his first change of the match with just under eight minutes to go, withdrawing Barkley for Steven Naismith.

And the Scot was involved in the killer goal with four minutes to go, knocking the ball forward into space, feeding Deulofeu down the left channel where the Spaniard held the ball up and eventually found Lukaku. His reverse pass put Osman in on goal on the right side of the box and he smashed it emphatically into the roof of the net.

A thoroughly professional win lifts Everton back over Tottenham and into fifth place while an injury time equaliser for Swansea City at the Emirates further deepened the Champions League qualification plot. The Blues gained two points on Arsenal in the race for fourth spot, with Arsene Wenger's side due to visit Goodison Park early next month.

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