Callum Wilson scores twice as Newcastle take all three points against Everton at St James Park
Newcastle United 2-1 Everton
A brace from Callum Wilson was enough to see Newcastle United home with all three points at St James Park this afternoon, despite a late onslaught from Everton that would see them score an injury time goal from Calvert-Lewin.
A penalty just before the hour mark, earned by and converted by Wilson, and a toe poke from a lovely run and deflected cross from his mate Fraser were just enough.
Having been felled in the box by Gomes on 58 minutes after the Toffee player got ball and man why trying to hook clear a corner, Wilson would step up and finish well past Olsen in the Everton goal. The second goal would come from a fantastic run from Fraser, who would get in behind the Everton back line and cross to Wilson to score again.
But just as Newcastle United seemed to be strolling to what would have been a hard fought and, in the last 30 mins, a reasonably comfortable three points, Calvert-Lewin would stab home to make it a nervous final few moments.
United would hang on. Possibly Newcastle's best performance of the season. A reasonably shocking statement given the match stats. But the crucial one was the scoreline. 2-1 the final score.
Steve Bruce went back to basics for Bruce with 5 at the back and would revert back to the formation that was so successful in providing stability for Newcastle United under Rafa Benitez for the visit of Everton.
The system would providing something of a reward for Jacob Murphy, one of the only highlights for United last time out against Wolves, whilst there would also be a rare starting place for Miggy Almiron. You can see all key player statistics in the Match Facts section at the foot of this page.
Newcastle would start the game sitting deep and allowing Everton to have the ball in their own half. This, leaving room behind the Everton back line as they pushed their full-backs up the pitch, would lead to the first chance. A nice ball over the top would allow Wilson to momentarily get in behind, but after being forced wide he would eventually fire harmlessly over the bar from a high angle.
The early signs were promising for the Magpies at least, looking more solid at the back but managing to get their own wing backs forward whenever possible.
The early opening exchanges wouldn’t be helped, by either sides, by some sloppy passages of play, probably due to good defensive pressure from Newcastle in forcing a number of mistakes, whilst for Newcastle it was the age old issue of not having enough players in black and white going forward to be able to force any real fluidity.
Everton certainly looked to be missing the creativity of James, Richarlison and Digne as United eased through the first half with ease at the back.
It would take until the half hour for the next big chance, and it was a huge one. Almiron breaking from a corner to set Wilson free in a 1 against 2. And after the striker played in Allan all that was left was for the Frenchman to beat Olsen in the Everton goal. But the big keeper did really well to rush out and block the shot to deny a certainly goal.
The games biggest chance and a rare opportunity for Newcastle United.
Everton frustrated and with only a couple of blocked effort to speak of in the first half.
The first chance of the first half should have seen Darlow called into action, but a brave header from Clavert-Lewin into the path of Sigurdsson saw the latter completely fluff his lines and fresh air a ball that, whilst dropping, represented as good a chance as the visitors had seen all afternoon.
Whether Bruce had changes something deliberately at half time or not was unclear, but United seemed to be pushing more men forward. The result was certainly a more open contest in the second periods opening exchanges.
On 54 minutes the games first goal. What should have been a slice of the ball away from danger from Gomes inside the Everton box, ended up being a foul on Callum Wilson as the Newcastle player stole into the space between the ball and the Toffees man to be brought down for a penalty.
Wilson, of course, would step up and convert from the spot expertly. Waiting for Olsen to move before drilling the ball down the centre of the goal to make it 1-0.
And moments later the Magpies should have doubled their lead. This time a neat exchange of passes allowed Wilson to find Sean Longstaff who’s turn and shot was unbelievably tipped over the bar, with the visitors keeper knowing nothing about the save other than the ball had cannoned off his outstretched right hand from point black range.
Everton would now have to force things at the other end. And whilst Newcastle could barely move any deeper the visitors would at least need to commit more men forward, leaving gaps at the other end.
And it would be exactly those gaps that would ultimately prove Everton’s downfall. Fraser latching onto a lovely weighted ball to race clear and his deflected cross would be prodded home by Wilson for his second of the game.
But with the clock ticking beyond the 90 minute mark, United managed to make the end of the game as awkward an experience as possible. First letting Calvert-Lewin sneak in for another goal against the Magpies, and then having to suffer an onslaught for the remainder fo the 6 minutes of injury time.
2-1 the final score.