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.
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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.
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′).