Energy, passion and front foot football as United take all three points from Goodison
Everton 0-2 Newcastle United
Two goals from Callum Wilson, both in the second half, were more than enough for Newcastle United take three deserved points from Goodison Park.
Pressing high, lots of intensity, and roared on by an exuberant Graham Jones, Newcastle played on the front foot from the off. Everton, a supposed contender for the top four, made to look like an easy on the eye but bang average footballing side.
By the time Wilson scored from a Shelvey corner on 73 minutes, he'd already hit a a bar from a similar situation in the first half. This time though Pickford was left with no chance as the ball nestled into the net at the keepers right hand post.
His second goal came in injury time, Newcastle hitting Everton on the break with Lewis finding the striker unmarked with Wilson doing the rest. A brilliant performance from a player who is so important to the Magpies if they are to win games.
The win is the first in any competition since December 12th 2020, and one that will massively ease the pressure and the manager and the players.
Credit where it's due, this was much better!
Allan Saint-Maximin would continue to have to be content with a place on the bench as he continues his return to match fitness after long COVID.
With just one change, Manquillo in for Murphy, from the home defeat against Leeds, it once more looked like Steve Bruce's strategy (if there is such a thing) was to try and frustrate his opponents for as long as possible before throwing ASM on towards the end in the desperate hope of nicking something.
Newcastle, to be fair, started where they left off in the second half against Leeds. Quite a surprise given the quality of the opposition.
Indeed, whilst Everton would have more of the play for spells, the Magpies would look much busier than in recent weeks. Their closing down excellent, even in the opposition third. That added intensity would also mean United would enjoy the clearest of the first half chances, perhaps the best of which being a Shelvey shot that was deflected just wide after great work from Wilson inside the box.
A succession of corners, mostly wasted from Fraser, would also lead to another good opportunity. This time for Wilson with a brilliant header that would only just be tipped onto the bar from ex Mackem Pickford. So close!
A few meaty challenges on both sides, rightly singling out James for some special treatment in the Everton ranks and not giving him any time to settle, would keep the players honest in what was a decent opening spell for Bruce and his men.
Into the second half and it was clear something had been said to fire up Everton who certainly looked a different side.
The best of the chances would again fall to Newcastle however. A lovely, quick break from the visitors would eventually be whipped invitingly into the path of the unmarked Wilson who would stab just wide form the edge of the 18 yard box.
What would Newcastle have to do to find a way through as their struggles in front of goal continued.
As the half went on Newcastle would start to get a grip again. So much so that Iwobi would have to be withdrawn for Gomes as Everton had to suffle their pack to try and get more control in the middle of the park.
In response Newcastle would throw Saint-Maximin into the fray, with the Frenchman once again carrying the 'game changer' expectation.
If Newcastle were going to score however, you know where your money would be.
And when, on 73 minutes, Shelvey managed to pick out Wilson from yet another corner the Newcastle striker would make no mistake this time. Pickford having tipped one onto the bar in the first half could do nothing this time as Wilson's header across goal dropped deliciously inside the keepers right hand post.
And on 87 minutes Wilson came SO close to doubling his and Newcastle's goal tally. A lovely ball from Almiron seemed to have found Wilson in an offside position. Wilson played on and rounded the keeper before hitting Pickford's upright and bouncing back into play before being bundled behind for a corner. Replays showed that Wilson was actually onside and the goal would have stood.
But where as the post would have denied him a second goal once, Wilson was not to be denied.
With Everton pushing everyone forward in desperate search of an equaliser, the ball was cleared as far as Saint-Maximin who passed a lovely ball up the touchline to Lewis who placed a fantastic cross into the unmarked Wilson. At 25 yards out the Newcastle striker still had work to do, but after steadying himself he slotted home from the edge of the box to seal the points for the Magpies.
As good a performance from Newcastle United as we've seen in a long time. You have to ask the question, 'where has this been for the last two months'. A massive three points.