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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Thursday 7 December 2023; 7:30pm
3 0
McNeil 79'
Doucouré 86'
Beto 90'+6
HT: 0 - 0 
Attendance: 38,198
Fixture 15
Referee: Tim Robinson

Match Reports
2023-24 Reports Index
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  Coleman (Patterson 67')
  Gueye booked
  Calvert-Lewin booked (Beto 82' booked)
  Subs not used
  Alli (injured)
  Garner (ill)
  Gomes (injured)
  Onana (injured)
  Maupay (loan)

  Lascelles (Krafth 90')

Miley (Ritchie 90')

  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Luton 3-4 Arsenal
Wolves 1-0 Burnley
Aston Villa 1-0 Man City
Brighton 2-1 Brentford
C Palace 0-2 Bournemouth
Fulham 5-0 Nott'm Forest
Man United 2-1 Chelsea
Sheff United 0-2 Liverpool
Everton 3-0 Newcastle
Tottenham 1-2 West Ham

1 Arsenal 36
2 Liverpool 34
3 Aston Villa 32
4 Manchester City 30
5 Tottenham Hotspur 27
6 Manchester United 27
7 Newcastle United 26
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 25
9 West Ham United 24
10 Chelsea 19
11 Brentford 19
12 Fulham 18
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18
14 Crystal Palace 16
15 Bournemouth 16
16 Nottingham Forest 13
17 Everton* 10
18 Luton Town 9
19 Burnley 7
20 Sheffield United 5

Match Report

A 30-pass move set against a backdrop of ebullient “Olés” from the Goodison faithful ending in a climactic third goal against a Champions League side chasing repeat qualification for Europe’s elite competition is not what immediately comes to mind when you think of Sean Dyche.

After all, the gravel-voiced Midlander is more renowned for more direct, no-frills football and Everton’s 38% share of possession on the night against much-vaunted Newcastle was more in keeping with that reputation. But 2-0 up and deep into 10 minutes of stoppage time, the Blues’ players took the opportunity to indulge in some keep-ball with a passage of play that twice wended its way into the opposotion's half and back again, across the field to the right touchline where Nathan Patterson sent Beto away to score his first Premier League goal.

It put the icing on the proverbial cake for the Toffees who, at one stage, looked to be treading a well-worn path of missed first-half chances followed by painful home defeat before two uncharacteristic mistakes by Keiran Trippier opened the door in the 79th and 86th minutes respectively. First, the hero at the City Ground, Dwight McNeil, took full advantage with a thumping finish; then Abdoulaye Doucouré, who had scored all bar one of his goals this season away from home, gleefully swept the ball past Martin Dubravka to essentially seal the points.

Prior to last Saturday’s visit to Nottingham, Everton were mired in the bottom three as a result of the Premier League’s 10-point penalty and five points from safety; this evening, thanks to their seventh League victory in their last 10 matches, they’re clear of the relegation zone and eating up ground on a couple of other teams struggling above them. By rights, Dyche’s men should be sitting in 10th, a point and a place above Sunday’s opponents Chelsea, testament to the job the manager is doing now that he has a functioning forward line at his disposal and increasing faith from his players.

Of course, this had the potential to go a few different ways. Newcastle, for all their injuries, talk of the fatigue of their players, and their somewhat iffy away form this season, are a very good team. In Bruno Guimarães they have a top-class operator, Alexander Isak can be deadly up front and then there was Anthony Gordon — in good form, apparently starting to fulfil the promise that persuaded the Magpies to shell out £45m on him and just itching to rub his old club’s noses in their sorry predicament at the wrong end of the table.

It could have been the young Scouser’s night on his old stomping ground. Twice he had an excellent opportunity with just Jordan Pickford ahead of him but on both occasions that dubious end product that had many Evertonians shrugging their shoulders at his departure last January was in evidence and he squandered them.

Then there were Everton’s own selection problems that meant that Amadou Onana again missed out with a calf strain and although Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Seamus Coleman returned to the starting XI, James Garner, man of the match against Forest at the weekend, was struck down with illness earlier in the day and was unable to play.

Dyche’s solution was to deploy 38-year-old Ashley in right-midfield and Jack Harrison off Calvert-Lewin up front, with Doucouré dropping into central midfield alongside Idrissa Gueye. And for most of the first half, the Blues didn’t look all that worse off for the enforced change; indeed, they looked purposeful, strong and determined to rectify a poor record at Goodison that, before tonight, had yielded just two League wins since March.

They almost went ahead from a seventh-minute corner when Jarrad Branthwaite nodded wide of goal and when McNeil dug out a superb 19th-minute cross from the byline, Calvert-Lewin met it at the back post only to be denied by Dubravka who had covered his angles well.

The striker had an even better chance a minute later. Harrison played Calvert-Lewin in nicely but the latter’s scuffed shot was saved one-handed by the keeper.

As expected, Newcastle had had the majority of the possession but Trippier had failed to trouble Pickford with a direct free-kick and Miguel Almiron’s attempt to beat the Blues’ keeper when played in by Joelinton was dealt with with similar ease.

Almiron then volleyed over from the edge of the box at one end before a lovely Everton move should have yielded the opening goal. Harrison was the provider once more as he picked McNeil out with a pass inside and the winger took one touch before trying to place a shot inside the far post but put it the wrong side of the upright.

Isak, who was well shackled for much of the game by Jarrad Branthwaite and James Tarkowski, went very close in the 36th minute with Newcastle’s best chance of the first half but, thankfully, his header dropped inches wide and three minutes later, Calvert-Lewin somehow missed the best chance he would get all game.

Young was fouled near the halfway line, Tarkowski stole in ahead of his marker to meet Pickford’s deep free-kick and Branthwaite prodded it on to Calvert-Lewin who was all alone in the six-yard box but after setting himself perfectly with control off his chest he somehow hammered the ball over the bar and into the Park End stand.

With no changes made by either side at the break, the pattern of the game continued for the first 10 minutes of the second period, with Calvert-Lewin’s header bouncing off Jamal Lascelles and almost sneaking past Dubravka until he stopped it on the line and visitors cleared their lines.

No doubt under instruction from Howe, Newcastle then began to build some pressure as Gordon, booed and barracked throughout by the home fans on what was an unproductive night for him personally, despatched a curling effort wide and Lewis Miley flashed a shot over from 25 yards before Gordon passed two idea chances to twist a knife into his former club.

Pickford put Tarkowski into trouble and he coughed the ball up to Gordon but the winger could only fire straight at the keeper. Then, when he was sent into the clear on the counter-attack in the 65th minute, he smashed the ball high and wide with only Pickford to beat.

Having weathered that brief storm, Everton started making inroads of their own. Gueye skied a trademark effort from 20 yards over the bar and Doucouré failed to get enough purchase on a header to trouble Dubravka before Trippier’s slip gifted the Blues the chance to break the impasse.

Receiving a pass in his own half from Guimarães, the England international’s forward options were cut off by the advancing McNeil and as he tried to turn backwards, lost control of the ball and the Everton winger pounced. Driving straight towards goal, he used Calvert-Lewin peeling off to his left as a decoy before leathering an unstoppable drive across Dubravka and high into his net.

Newcastle very nearly wiped that lead out with eight minutes left when Miley’s mis-kicked shot bounced up invitingly for Almiron but his header dropped onto the roof of the net and four minutes after that it was 2-0.

Trippier’s kicked an attempted pass forward into Harrison and bounced back off him, the on-loan Leeds winger latched onto the loose ball and drove towards the box, squared it for McNeil who didn’t make contact with a shot and it fell to Doucouré to stroke it past the keeper from a central position.

Isak threatened to make a game of it in the first minute of stoppage time when he touched the ball past Branthwaite and dinked it over Pickford’s glove but, again, his effort dropped narrowly past the upright.

That left Beto to have the final word when Patterson, on as a substitute for Coleman, sent him away behind the Newcastle defence with a curling ball down the line and the Portuguese, having sprung the offside trap, made a beeline for goal and then no mistake, shrugging off Fabian Schär at the last before slotting under Dubravka's legs.

Goodison has waited a while for a night like this, particularly after this same fixture back in April ended so harrowingly. Not since that thrilling Thursday evening against Crystal Palace 19 months ago has the Old Lady rocked and roared to a winning performance under the lights and with precious few of them left before the club moves to Bramley-Moore Dock, each one should be savoured.

It may have taken a couple of mistakes from the unlikely source of the vastly experienced Trippier — mistakes needled out of him by the Blues’ relentless press — but, make no mistake, Everton, towering at the back, dogged in midfield and (finally!) clinical up front, were full value for this victory that will, hopefully, be a pillar on which Goodison can be made into a fortress again.

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

Updated Everton are back under the lights to face Newcastle United at Goodison Park this Thursday evening looking to turn their home form around having recorded just one Premier League win in L4 so far this season.

It was hoped that the 3-0 win over Bournemouth two months ago and the triumph over Burnley in the League Cup three weeks later would spark the Toffees into life on front of their own fans but the games against Brighton and Manchester United yielded just one point from a possible six.

Indeed, Everton’s performances in matches at Goodison against sides chasing a place in the top six has not been great but two fixtures in the space of three days against teams that are, on paper, superior outfits in the form of the Magpies and Chelsea presents the ideal opportunity to put that right.

Certainly, Saturday’s gritty 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, which lifted the Blues to within two points of Luton Town in 17th place, should ensure that the players go into these two matches in the right frame of mind and with the confidence to pick up much-needed points.

And it’s possible that Dominic Calvert-Lewin could be back in the side after missing the trip to the East Midlands with a calf complaint. The striker had been kept separate from the main group last week as the club’s medical staff nursed the problem that had flared up during the 3-0 defeat to United but he was not deemed able to face Forest last weekend.

However, while Amadou Onana is rated as "touch and go" by Dyche for the Newcastle clash with a calf injury of his own, Sean Dyche hinted at the weekend that Calvert-Lewin could make the clash with the Magpies and followed that up with more encouraging words in his press conference on Wednesday.

Assuming he does play and no other injury concerns are thrown up in the interim, DCL is likely to be the only change to the team that started against Forest, with Beto the man expected to make way to accommodate his return. That would see Idrissa Gueye and James Garner, so impressive last Saturday, continue their partnership in midfield and Ashley Young retain his place despite the return to fitness of Seamus Coleman.

Newcastle, meanwhile, come into the game with a raft of injury problems and as many as 13 members of their squad either ruled out or being assessed for their ability to play on Thursday. Anthony Gordon left Sunday’s game against Manchester United limping and complaining of tightness in his hip but it’s unlikely he would allow that to keep him out of a reunion against the club he left in fairly acrimonious circumstances last January.

But with Sandro Tonali serving a long suspension and all of Elliot Anderson, Harvey Barnes, Sven Botman, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Matt Targett, Joe Willock and Callum Wilson ruled out, Eddie Howe’s woes were compounded by the loss to injury of goalkeeper Nick Pope at the weekend.

Despite those challenges, Newcastle remain in decent enough form, having beaten Man United in both the League Cup and Premier League as well as thumping Chelsea 4-1, overcoming leaders Arsenal at St James’s Park last month and coming within a hugely controversial VAR decision of beating Paris Saint-Germain on their own turf.

Nevertheless, their away form in general should give Everton cause for optimism. Howe’s men were beaten fairly comfortably by Bournemouth on the south coast on 11th November and so far this term their only Premier League victory on their travels was the 8-0 demolition of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in September.

Last season’s 4-1 humbling by Newcastle on another night charged with hope and defiance during Everton’s battle against relegation was a harrowing experience and one Dyche and his players will be keen to avoid this time around.

Despite it being the same margin of victory as United’s on Merseyside 10 days ago, the Toffees are generally made of sterner stuff these days and their defence will be stronger than the one comprising Michael Keane and an out-of-position Ben Godfrey that was given such a run-around by the Magpies last March.

Once again, the first goal could be important for Everton’s chances so the manager will be hoping his side can make a strong start and make things as difficult as possible for Howe and his men.

Kick-off: 7:30pm, Thursday 7 December, 2023
Referee: Tim Robinson
VAR: David Coote
Last Time: Everton 1 - 4 Newcastle United

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Garner, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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