Everton 1-1 Newcastle United
Newcastle United, once more, failed to hold on to a winning position away from home, as despite taking a lead on 19 minutes through a Rondon strike, the game would finish in a stalemate.
All in all, a good point.
A visit for Everton has not looked as difficult as this for quite some time. A revitalised Toffee outfit under Marco Silva, albeit having suffered the devastation of a comedy derby day injury time goal goal, boasted several in form players in the likes of Sigurdsson and Richarlison.
The reality of the situation being that Sigurdsson alone cost more than the entire Newcastle line up.
Rafa shuffled his pack a little for this one with Atsu, Lascelles and Murphy all getting a start with the Magpies boss also switching to a back 5 again just as he did against Burnley away at the end of last month.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Schar, Manquillo, Murphy (Perez, 64), Ki, Diame, Atsu, Rondon (Joselu, 74)
Kenedy was rested with a slight knock, whilst Shelvey would have to be satisfied with a place on the bench where he was joined by fit again Muto and the much maligned Perez
The early exchanges were dominated by Everton possession wise but without troubling Dubravka in the Newcastle goal.
Just before the 20 minute mark an unlikely breakthrough. A great ball from Fernandez set Murphy away. His run and shimmy left Zouma for dead allowing him to cross low and left footed for Rondon to slam home. 1-0 Newcastle United.
With Everton pushing straight away from the equaliser a neat ball from Atsu to Rondon saw the striker hit an effort tamely wide when the option of Murphy should have been used.
The home side piling forward were forcing corner after corner, Newcastle just looking to try and relieve the pressure. Those periods of respite coming from some smart play on the break on occasion from Atsu and Murphy.
On 36 minutes a huge moment as Sigurdsson has all the time in the world to side foot home from 6 yards but SOMEHOW Fernandez got his body in front of the shot to deflect the ball behind for a corner. Had to be 1-1, yet…
Next, Dubravka saved from Richarlison with Everton surrounding a penalty. The resultant corner however saw Everton level. Richarlison this time making no mistake to slot into the roof of the net to make it 1-1. Everton now totally on top.
In injury time at the end of the first half Martin Dubravka makes a wonderful save to deny Tosun. Outstanding yet again.
Early in the second half a great chance for Newcastle United to get themselves back in front was wasted after an excellent Atsu centre from a free-kick was not seized upon by anyone in black and white.
Whilst Everton pressed hard in the second half their next best chance to get themselves ahead was following the smart release of Walcott from ex Mackem, Pickford. But the ex-Arsenal man couldn’t get the ball under control when he would have had a clear run at goal and could only tamely get a shot away that Dubravka comfortably saved.
As the clock ticked into the final 5 minutes Newcastle could have nicked it, with Joselu finding Atsu who’s header was well saved by the Everton keeper.
AND AGAIN - A huge chance as Atsu this time played in by Perez but could only hit the keeper when he HAS to score. Either side of Pickford and it would have been ’scenes’ in the away end.
Newcastle would, at least, run the clock down including the 5 minutes of injury time. A good point in the end. Everton with most of the ball, but Newcastle will point to a chance or two at the end that could have seen then nick it!