Everton 3-0 Newcastle: Mistakes doom Magpies as Toffees earn massive 3 points

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Sitting just three points above the relegation zone, Everton looked like last season’s Toffees as they capitalized on stupid mistakes by Newcastle for a 3-0 win.

James McCarthy picked out an opener that Tim Krul should have saved, and Romelu Lukaku struck home a penalty before halftime. A straight red card to Fabricio Coloccini made it easy for the Toffees to ease the game to the final whistle.

Newcastle got off to a roaring start, and immediately looked to score as Darryl Janmaat headed a corner right at Tim Howard. The American couldn’t collect, and the rebound came back at the goal. It caromed off James McCarthy and away, and the visitors immediately shouted for handball. Replays showed it hit McCarthy’s elbow on the line, but his arm was tight in to his body and the ball likely would have hit his body anyways.

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Everton responded by handing Romelu Lukaku a bunch of touches early, and he got off a few shots to keep Newcastle honest. The home side pressed well down the right-hand side, with McCarthy looking bright making runs down the flank, and it would pay off.

Lukaku collected a long ball in the middle of the attacking half, and with his back to goal, he laid off to McCarthy charging past the striker. McCarthy attempted to rifle a shot to the far post, and that’s exactly what Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul was expecting, but McCarthy scuffed his shot which ultimately fooled Krul and the ball dribbled into the net.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Unfortunately, following the goal, the timid, sketchy Everton of this season returned. It produced good possession and a pair of chances for Ryan Taylor sandwiching halftime, but he couldn’t produce a goal, firing over the bar on the second one a few minutes after the break.

Things would change though as Everton got the break they needed. Yoan Gouffran stupidly brought down Aaron Lennon at the edge of the box after losing the ball, and Lukaku touched home the penalty to double their lead.

Another stupid moment would doom Newcastle even further. Arouna Kone scythed up the Newcastle defense with a stellar run on the ball, and he picked out Lennon. Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini came flying in and toppled Lennon, and referee Martin Atkinson showed Coloccini the straight red card to reduce the visitors to 10 men.

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The advantage allowed Everton to pick up the possession advantage, and they held the ball for long periods of time to stifle their opponents. Taylor was required to make another goal-line clearance as Remy Cabella allowed Lennon through on goal. Arouna Kone missed an opportunity late on as he burst down the midfield and tracked down the ball past a tackle from Michael Williamson and around Krul but he couldn’t pop a cross off before Krul recovered.

Ross Barkley added a third in stoppage time to see the game out, a monstrous three points for the struggling club and closing the gap with West Brom in 13th to just two points. It also puts them a full six points above the relegation zone, and while not entirely safe just yet, it will alleviate many fears by putting the Toffees just nine points from the magical 40 point tally.

LINEUPS:

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Alcaraz, Baines; McCarthy (Besic 86′), Gibson, Osman; Lennon (Atsu 85′), Kone, Lukaku (Barkley 74′).

Goals – McCarthy 20′, Lukaku (pen) 56′, Barkley 90+2′

Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, R.Taylor; Colback, Sissoko; Obertan (Perez 46′), Gouffran, Ameobi (Cabella 58′); Rivière (Gutierrez 62′).

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.