Fresh from their mistake strewn defeat at Old Trafford, Newcastle United handed out more gifts this festive period this time helping Everton to a 2-1 win at their expense.
In a dreadful first half it was no surprise when Calvert-Lewin fired the visitors into an early lead after just 13 minutes. His first of two in the match came courtesy of a tap in following a deflected Sigurdsson shot.
Newcastle did at least rally in the second period and hit a post from an Almiron shot before Andy Carroll provided yet another assist, this time nodding back to Schar to volley home. But instead of making the most of getting themselves back into the game, United once more capitulated at the back, this time allowing Calvert-Lewin to steal in at the back post just after the hour mark to seal all three points for the Toffees.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Lejeune (Atsu, 74), Willems (S Longstaff, 85), Hayden, Shelvey, Almiron Joelinton (Gayle, 74), Carroll
Newcastle had welcomed back Andy Carroll to the starting line up whilst there were also recalls for Shelvey and Hayden after being rested for the trop to Manchester just 48 hours earlier. DeAndre Yedlin was also given a start in place of Manquillo who had been impressive of late but who was also rested.
Playing two up front certainly seems to have helped Joelinton’s game over the last few days as he, at least, put in another good shift without unfortunately doing much in front of goal once more.
Unfortunately it would be a day to forget for the back line however, who just didn’t seem to be able to cope with Everton’s higher intensity and pressing. In Schar though, there was at least the small consolation of another goal. His sixth of the calendar year making him the top scoring during that period of any player still at the club. Whilst 50% of all of Newcastle’s goals this season have come from defenders. A quite frightening statistic.
Newcastle can however consider themselves aggrieved that they were not awarded at least one penalty. A run from Almiron in the opening minutes saw him seemingly tugged back in the box before getting a shot away as he was falling.
At the other end Dubravka saved well from Holgate before the most fortuitous of deflections from a Sigurdsson shot allowed Calvert-Lewin to fire across Dubravka and put Everton into the lead in front of the Gallowgate end.
Newcastle did at least create chances, 20 shots in all during this one, with Pickford called into a making a number of decent saves.
On 56 minutes there was nothing the Everton stopper could do about Schar’s strike however. A Willems floated free kick nodded back into the centre of the box by Andy Carroll before Schar’s effort was smashed into the goal on the volley.
But when Richarlison raced clear just 7 minutes later Newcastle’s back line would be caught cold, allowing his cross to evade everyone and find Calvert-Lewin this time unmarked int he centre of the goal for the simplest of tap-ins.
And that was that. Two games in 2 days and no more than a few bruises to show for all the effort.
And now just 7 points above the relegation zone there seems signs that the luck Newcastle have ridden so fart his season is starting to escape the team. Combine this with the worrying statistics around the lack of possession and chances created across most of the games this season, there is a great deal to be pessimistic about going into the new year and the second half of the season.
Just the small matter of high flying Leicester City up next then. Oh joy!