Everton – Newcastle didn’t go the way many people expected, as Steve Bruce eased some of the pressure on him with a huge 2-0 win at Goodison Park.
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Two late goals from Callum Wilson were enough for Newcastle to beat a sluggish Everton side and secure their first Premier League win in 10 games.
With the victory Newcastle move on to 22 points for the season, while Everton lose more ground in their top four push as they remain on 33 points.
Three things we learned
1. Almiron dazzles in central position: The Paraguayan winger was superb in a more central role and he set up Wilson on several occasions and covered the most distance on the pitch. Almiron scored against Leeds in midweek and seemed rejuvenated by that goal, as he slid in plenty of nice passes and caused Everton so many problems centrally. He should play centrally, just underneath Wilson, more often.
2. James Rodriguez sums up Everton’s malaise: He failed to take a chance in the first half with a tame effort and that summed up Everton’s outing. James and Everton have both gone through the motions in recent months and even though they are still in the top four conversation, it seems like a Europa League spot is now the best they can hope for. Everton have suffered too many shock defeats already this season, as Carlo Ancelotti needs more consistency from James, Richarlison and even Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has gone off the boil and is in the middle of a lengthy drought.
3. Bruce gets much-needed win as Jones arrives: New assistant coach Graeme Jones arrived in the week and had an instant impact, as a new voice clearly brought new energy and ideas to Newcastle. Steve Bruce has been under-fire but both of his assistant coaches have been missing in recent months for COVID-19 and family reasons. Jones’ arrival will help Bruce out and Newcastle’s squad is too good to be languishing in the lower reaches of the table. The energy and commitment will have pleased Newcastle’s fans.
Man of the Match: Callum Wilson – Scored the winner, hit the post and crossbar and was a constant threat up top. A brilliant display and he said he was disappointed to have not scored more.
Everton started well and tested Karl Darlow, who was equal to the challenge. Richarlison drove inside and took the ball past several players but his shot on target was too close to Darlow who pushed it away.
Newcastle almost took the lead as Wilson, Almiron and Shelvey combined as the latter saw his deflected effort trickle just wide.
Jordan Pickford then made a fine save to deny Wilson, as he powered a header on target as Newcastle pushed hard for the opener.
At the other end James Rodriguez didn’t make the most of a chance, while Richarlison’s shot hit Calvert-Lewin and almost snuck in.
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Everton started better in the second half but Newcastle should have taken the lead after a brilliant counter attack.
Almiron led the counter and played in Ryan Fraser who crossed for Wilson but he scuffed his shot just wide of the far post.
Newcastle continued to dominate as the final moments arrived and they finally broke through with just over 15 minutes to go.
A corner from the right found Wilson at the near post and he flicked a superb header into the far corner as Bruce celebrated wildly on the sidelines.
Late on Wilson rounded Pickford after being played in by Almiron but his clipped shot hit the post and was cleared, but then Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lewis combined to set up Wilson for his 10th goal of the season as they secured a huge win.