Everton lifted themselves into the top four, preserving their status as the top flight's only remaining unbeaten side with their third straight Premier League victory, although they were forced into a nervy finale by a Newcastle side that grew in confidence after being destroyed in the first half.
The Blues looked on course for the kind of deluge of goals that usually eluded Roberto Martinez's predecessor as they surged into a 3-0 lead on the back of a sublime first half display. Having been turned over in their own back yard by Hull City the weekend before last and then put to the sword emphatically by a rampant Everton under the Goodison lights, Alan Pardew's Magpies were potential lambs to the slaughter.
They were allowed to gradually work their way back into the game after half time, however, and though a point would have flattered them enormously, they might have grabbed it in injury time had Loic Remy's drive not flown over Tim Howard's crossbar just afew minutes after he'd made it 3-2. That would have been staggeringly rough justice on Everton who, in their best moments, were irresistible.
Martinez made a number of the expected changes to the team that lost at Fulham in the Capital One Cup last Tuesday with perhaps only Steven Pienaar missing from what would ideally be his first-choice starting XI. Nevertheless, the team that he did field he looked to have everything needed to steamroller their way to an impressive victory as they took the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half.
It was a half owned by home debutant, Romelu Lukaku who scored two and laid on the other and had the ball in the net on two other occasions before 43 minutes had elapsed. The Belgian was narrowly offside in only the second minute as he put the ball past Tim Krul but it would take only three more minutes before he was on the scoresheet for real thanks to another goal forged in Belgium.
Kevin Mirallas scampered down the right flank leaving his marker for dust, looked up and squared it invitingly for his international teammate who swept home via Krul's arm, the ball deflecting inside the far post to make it 1-0.
Barkley arrowed a shot narrowly wide from the left side of the area and the impressive James McCarthy forced a save from Krul that Leon Osman tried to chip into the far side of the goal on the rebound as the Blues turned the screw.
And they rewarded in the 25th minute when Lukaku collected a pass in the centre of the field, held it until Barkley had dissected the Barcodes' defence with a run and then put a perfectly-weighted ball through that the young midfielder controlled and then despatched past the goalkeeper.
Though 2-0 down, Newcastle began to find their feet a little after the half-hour mark, with Everton beginning to cede some of the possession they had been greedily hogging to that point but the visitors were the architects of their own destruction eight minutes before the break with some shocking defending.
Lukaku tracked Howard's long boot downfield as it bounced between Williamson and Coloccini, did enough for Krul to bottle it as the pair came together in the Newcastle box and then profited when the 'keeper missed the ball entirely, leaving the Belgian striker to neatly turn inside Coloccini's last-ditch challenge and emphatically slam his second goal into the empty net.
With his third goal in as many games for the Blues, Lukaku was clearly enjoying himself but the offside flag deprived him of a hat-trick as he finished off another lovely passing move. Still, with Hatem Ben Arfa only forcing the first real save from Howard deep into first-half stoppage time, Martinez's men went into half time on a high.
The complacency that had begun to creep in in the latter stages of the first period, however, bled noticeably into the second half as Santon was allowed to drift a shot over the bar from distance and then Yoan Gouffran raced in behind the home defence to latch onto a through-ball that he clipped over the advancing Howard and, thankfully, off the far post.
Normal service appeared to have resumed at the other end as Mirallas, who had shaken off an injury he'd sustained in the first half when he kicked the turf taking a corner, drive into the box and drove in a low cross-cum-shot that Krul palmed towards the back post. The ball squirmed agonisingly behind Osman who couldn't quite steer the loose ball home.
But a couple of minutes later, with the otherwise excellent McCarthy backing off, Cabaye, a half-time substitute, was allowed space to pick unload a superb effort from 25 yards that dipped into the top corner of Howard's goal.
It was the first goal Everton had conceded at Goodison Park since March and it briefly sparked a reaction as Barkley skipped through the Newcastle defence and forced a save from Krul and Osman shot disappointingly high and wide from 20-odd yards.
For all their manager's emphasis on retaining the ball, though, the Blues were still ceding far too much possession to the visitors but Anita's shot was, thankfully, fired straight at Howard and he was able to gather it safely shortly before the hour mark.
It was then that Everton began to reassert themselves a little and start to claw back some possession. McCarthy was putting in a good shift breaking things up in the middle and stringing passes across the centre alongside Gareth Barry who was less impressive than he had been on his debut against Chelsea but was still an important component in the engine room.
All four of the central midfielders had their lapses in concentration over the course of the game, though, that might otherwise have been punished but there were plenty of promising signs that Martinez has decent depth to cope with the rigours of a Premier League season.
The killer instinct to smash teams when they have the impetus will hopefully come. Lukaku might have provided the death blow to Newcastle with 23 minutes left but Tiote just put him off at the crucial moment and he sliced a shot wide from around the penalty spot and when Coleman was tripped by the same player on the edge of the box, Baines skied his free kick into the stands.
The introduction of Gerard Deulofeu promised to give Newcastle something else to think about in the final 18 minutes, though, and the young Spaniard delivered a few minutes after coming on for Mirallas when he danced past three players to the near post and when the ball finally broke to Baines on the left side of the box, the left back flashed an effort back across goal and just wide of the post.
Newcastle remained dangerous, though, and with 88 minutes on the clock, Remy capitalised on poor defending to set up the possibility of another grandstand finish by them at Goodison. Baines was beaten in the air to a cross from the left flank and Jagielka allowed the French striker to bundle him over as they challenged for the knockdown, Remy tucking the ball past Howard.
Fortunately, though, the Frenchman's drilled effort three minutes into injury time rocketed over the bar and Everton's grip on the three points held firm.
It is still early days in Martinez's reign but there was so much to admire in the way his team sliced Newcastle up in the first half with football that just oozed class at times. In Lukaku, Everton have a genuinely top-class striker who could, on this evidence, easily reach the 20-goal mark if he stays fit and the team keeps giving him the kind of service he received tonight. He still has elements to learn to add to his game and he still looks a little short on full match fitness and sharpness but he is a joy to have in the team.
Equally, though, with six goals conceded in the last three games, the defence is looking a little too porous for comfort and that is an area for the manager to work on lest supporters grow more uncomfortable with the reputation his Wigan teams earned for defensive generosity.
Despite the close scoreline, though, Everton were significantly better than Newcastle overall and thoroughly deserved the win. Six games unbeaten and fourth in the table is a great start to the campaign under a new manager and new methods and while handing out a battering tonight would have sent the Blues off the Etihad this coming weekend with real adrenaline in their veins, the fact that they secured the victory and leap-frogged Manuel Pellegrini's side in the process should stand them in good stead for what should be their sternest test of the campaign so far.
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
775 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:37:30
Impressive? Yes! That first half I almost cried over, the football from us was so brilliant.
Impressive? Yes. I give you the excitement generated by Lukaku (what anticipation now for seeing him in future games - well signed Roberto); by Barks (such a rapid development - well done Roberto); Coleman (a slightly more slowly nurtured development - well done the Scottish manager); by Mirallas (well signed by the Scottish manager); by Barry and quite possibly McCarthy (well done etc...).
And while the second half was an anti-climax, it was always going to be after that first half. And I give you second half "grit", as our man has said.
777 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:49:53
Seb, please be aware that if Newcastle had of won they would have gone above us in the table, that puts us in that cannon fodder category – don't think so.
On Saturday, we are taking an anti-tank gun (Lukaku) to a gunfight...
779 Posted 01/10/2013 at 07:33:23
Now I'm quite prepared to this new Foreign Bloke a chance, but it has to be said that this would not have happened under the regime of OFM.
Yes he has gone but at his new club the results show quite clearly he has lost none of his magic and still has the nouse to get a club in with a shout of the coverted 7th place trophy.
I know it's only 6 games in but I for one am thoroughly sick of all this rapid passing, length of the field - Goal, long ball shite
Lukaku; what can you say, if that's the best Chelsea can give us well he can fuck off back now.
Stats; everybody seems to love quoting stats, well lets have a look at some of his...He was only Offside TWICE and if he ran a channel or was in his own 6yd box defending, well sorry I must've blinked and missed it.
Jelavic would've helped defend all night, ran his heart out up and down the channels AND been offside every other ball.
Barry and McCarthy; wtf did they do all night? One trick ponies the pair of them, all they are is the 3G's, Get it, Give it, Go...Who was doing all the pointing, Who was doing all the hand clapping encouragement? Fuckin no one that who.
Taxi for Moyes ( back )
Disengage Irony Font.
Seb you're and idiot
784 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:17:19
789 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:31:58
Nothing fishy, I am just going to take a lot of convincing that, in the long term, Martinez is going to be anything but a disaster for us. And for 45 minutes last night, I saw the presage of what I think is to come. I've never yet had a good word to say about Martinez and on the evidence of what I have seen so far, he still has a long way to go to to tease one out of me yet! :-)
792 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:35:05
It took a wonder goal for Newcastle to get anywhere near us. The scoreline flattered them greatly.
794 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:39:17
795 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:39:06
Fantastic performance from the lads - yes, the second half lowered the tone a bit, but as Jamie said, Cabaye's goal was something special to get them back into the match.
There was always likely to be goals in this match, Newcastle have quality attackers, but they're a bit suspect at the back. I didn't expect them to be as porous at the back as they were, but ultimately the ball still has to go into the back of the 'ole onion bag, and we certainly did that with some style in the first half.
There's a lot for us Blues to smile about today, so lets enjoy it till Saturday.
796 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:00:01
By my reckoning, every result this season has been better than the equivalent game last season with the excpetion of the home draw against West Brom. Last season we lost at Norwich, drew at West Ham, lost at home to Chelsea and lost away at Reading (whereas we drew at Cardiff).
I've always said that a team who retains the ball and attacks with purpose will win more than they lose.
Sure, we might not be about to win the league but I for one am excited about Everton games again and that's not something I could say very often under OFM.
798 Posted 01/10/2013 at 08:58:28
It certainly was a game of two halves. That first 45 was some of the best stuff I can remember us playing, and the players really look like they starting to get used to the Martinez style. And the commentator on Sky said it all last night - the second half was all about going back to the Everton of the last few seasons and showing grit and determination.
What do some people expect from this team? They we will steamroll past everyone? That teams will simply sit back and let us walk all over them. In a weekend when Man City lose to Aston Villa and Man Utd lose to West Brom, then I think certain fans need a reality check!
This is a bloody tough league, yet so far we are the only unbeaten team in the league and have a bag full of players on form. We'll lose sooner or later, but if we lose playing like last night then so be it. I'd call that progress.
I still think Europa League would be a great shout for us considering the spending power of those around us, and my only real fear after watching that game last night is a) I hope we sign Barry up at the end of the season and b) what the hell are we going to do when we send Lukaku back next year?!
But for the time being I am just going to enjoy it, and I reckon potential investors will certainly be attracted a lot more to us if we keep playing like this!
801 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:26:48
802 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:03:05
It's all a con .... unbeaten and 4th and Howard launching it for Lulu's second goal??
What about the fillosofee??
A win without fillosofee what good is that?
803 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:24:49
804 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:33:12
As I said elsewhere were unbeaten, 4th, new manager getting to know the players yet, new system, new players bedding in, what more did you expect.
If we could keep the first half form up for 90 mins we'd be racing certainties to win the league!
808 Posted 01/10/2013 at 09:48:17
814 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:03:45
Seb you're a clown - been said before, in words or substance; but get used to it, it'll be said again.
Derek, I'm going to read #779 again (worthy of Eugene Rouane that!)
815 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:05:58
816 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:09:02
818 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:19:20
I'm completely missing your point.
819 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:32:54
As the great man once said "Seb you're an idiot".
820 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:32:42
821 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:27:57
It's School of Science, Young and Vernon of my youth, Ball, Kendall and the magnificent Colin Harvey a little later, Sheedy, Steven, Bracewell and Reid in the 80s. We are back to being a football team, rather than just being hard to beat. Barkley looks an outstanding player, not a prospect, but a player. Do you think he would have been trusted to play in the key no 10 role under the old regime?
Martinez, whom I was dubious about, has won me over. He wants our team to play football and that gets my vote.
825 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:58:26
831 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:21:14
Yeah, it's gonna take a little time to gel but in that mix you have aggression, pace, creativity, shape, youth, experience and dogs of war when needed.
With a supporting crew of Pienaar, Osman and Naismith, how can anyone here be in the slightest bit negative?
832 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:30:04
833 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:32:10
835 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:37:23
Congratulations on the most ridiculous post of the morning.
836 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:47:30
You said "Take Coleman for example, he's now an outstanding full back, under Moyes he was a right sided mid-fielder while Hibbert or Neville were his preferred choice right backs". i.e. he is now an outstanding FB but wasn't under the Scottish manager. Some history is bunk.
837 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:52:22
839 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:53:17
841 Posted 01/10/2013 at 11:54:20
Ridiculous anyone who claims that we allowed a relegation fodder Newcastle back into the match. Look at their players, even with that muppet in charge they'll still be around the top 10 and when it all clicks they showed how good they could be a couple of seasons ago. We absolutely demolished them but this time the ref wasn't there to save them. No one could do anything about that wonder goal and who cares about a consolation that was the luck of the bounce. If Cabaye's doesn't go in that match finishes 4 or 5-0.
Cabaye for me though shows perhaps the one ingredient this squad doesn't have since Arteta left. No matter how well you are playing a class creative midfielder can come on and change the complexion of any game. I still remember that Villa game in the cup run of 09, Arteta played in a midfield with Neville and a young Rodwell behind him, Gosling and Anichebe on the flanks, and Cahill up front by himself, despite the dross around him he singlehandedly detsroyed a bang in form Villa side including Petrov Milner Young Downing Agbonlahor. Perhaps we're moving away from an individual based midfield to one of many cogs that is perfectly balanced but for me there is no substitute for creative class in the middle of the park. Hopefully McCarthy or Gibson can step up to this role for us now that Barry has finally replaced Carsley in our midfield.
Who's missing Fellaini? No one.
845 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:10:42
846 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:07:18
James 841, I don't think Fellaini entered my thoughts for a single moment during yesterday's game.
847 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:13:50
849 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:16:48
2-2 on Saturday, I reckon. We'll probably go 2-0 up, too.
850 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:22:32
All credit to this manager, it's only taken 3 months for him to improve the squad above levels Moyes was ever capable of.
852 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:20:41
I mean, get real — when did you ever last see an Everton side be so devastating? That first half, the football was superb, and it was the best since the 80s. Sure, Newcastle where poor... but we made them look poor.
In the second half, there was bound to be a reaction; if it wasn't for that wonder strike, I think we would've added to the scoreline.
As RM said after the game, we will learn from that; we conceded two goals but no points. Arsenal and Man Utd used to gain big leads and then take the pace out of the game, obviously our players weren't used to be leading three-nil at half-time, its' a transition and it's going rather well... in fact, I fancy us to get a result at Man City,
So please for once can some of you actually enjoy watching the Blues play beautiful football!!!
855 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:23:13
On another, very positive, note, I thought we could have, should have bagged a few more second half. Deulofeu looks class and it surely won’t be long till he gets a starting berth. The way he dances around defenders to get into the box is fantastic to watch. Barkley and him together is a mouth-watering prospect.
856 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:38:10
We need Gibson in there but is he even fit?
Back on track, I couldn't give a fig about how we win, I just want 3 points every game and that's what we managed last night.
857 Posted 01/10/2013 at 10:52:30
Onto more important matters, 4th and only side unbeaten after 6 games, can't really have asked for much more results wise from the new manager.
The first half was similar to Fulham, only much better due to the fact that we thumped in 3 goals and could have had more. Admittedly the barcodes defending was not even of schoolboy standard - and to think these defenders earn millions a year to play! As Fulham, Newcastle could not be as bad in the second half and came back a lot stronger. The addition of Cabaye at half time gave them a lot more class in the midfield and it was not a surprise when he scored to be honest. If I remember, McCarthy was guilty for backing off him but that was also a wonder striker none the less and Howard could do nothing. The blues were worryingly a bit rabbit in headlights in the second half but generally held their own. Was a nervy finish but their second came in the 89th minute so we didn't have to hang on that long.
All in all a great game for the neutrals and made up for Lukaku - that guy is a beast and will score 20+ this season. Just gives you so much more confidence having a genuine class striker. Also glad to see RB on the scoresheet as well and Mirallas getting an assist. We can't dominate a game for 90mins and I'll take a 3-2 win any day of the week. I wont criticise any of the players as the first half performance and the win supersedes everything else for me.
Well done RM and well done the team - just wish I could have been at GP myself.
I'm still waiting to read more (idiotic) posts about Lukaku 'only' being on loan and 'taking up' a permanent players place!
Fourth 'till the weekend for now and the sun's shining - Roberto's army marches on.....Come on Donetsk!!!
858 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:42:42
860 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:47:45
862 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:47:04
The second half could possibly be wide open against City, as their mid-week game catches up with them.
It may well be the perfect time to play them, and would be great to head into the International break as the only team unbeaten in the League.
I know one thing, they won't be looking forward to playing us!!
863 Posted 01/10/2013 at 12:53:42
866 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:04:35
869 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:25:14
For once we have a manager who can engage positively with the media as well. First time since, erm, well, first time really.
Of course there are going to be horrible results at some stage. If, however, he can field a team that starts with a positive outlook and is properly prepared to give anyone a game, then good on the bloke.
870 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:04:10
Their first goal will go very close to winning 'the goal of the season', the second was scored by a very good forward in Remy, so I don't attach any blame to either of those.
As far as fitness levels go, could be were not as fit as last year, I remember one of the players saying that all the running was done with the ball & intimated that training wasn't as hard physically as with him that shall be nameless.
Maybe its something Roberto needs to look at.
Saturday will tell us a great deal about our prospects, City's players are sure to have had a rocket up the 'ass' & we will be going into a cauldron.
RM found a way to beat them at Wembley, maybe he can do it again, being the pessimist that I am, I'll take a draw now, just hope we don't take a drubbing!
I've only seen highlights of him but that Aguero is some player, very difficult to keep quiet!
871 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:44:12
874 Posted 01/10/2013 at 13:55:28
Everton are not Wigan, they will not become Wigan.
We are setting out our stall tactically, to utilise the talents of the players we have. Other teams will try to limit our opportunities as much as they can.
The Newcastle game was a good example, in the first half we were irresistable and scored three. in the second half they changed their formation and upped their game and we seemed less impressive, however we still created chances and looked as though we could score again, it was by no means a 'backs to the wall' performance.
Forget the drivel about we will become Wigan and start getting Wigan type results.
I have no idea how you reached your conclusions, particularly on last nights performance.
875 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:09:28
The second Newcastle goal was shambolic defending, but you're suggesting that because Remy is a decent striker there's nothing to worry about?
876 Posted 01/10/2013 at 14:02:26
'Only' 3 issues;
a) Do Chelsea want to sell
b) Does he want to come
c) Can we even afford him if the above are a yes
Unfortunately even if a & b are both yes, I don't see c happneing. This guy is going to be worth at least 30m+ come the end of the year if he carries on like this. If he also does well in the WC, he could be valued at 40m!
If that turns out to be the case, you can forget it - we may be able to scratch together 20m but we'll never get near 30m, nevermind 40m.
Unless we qualify for the CL........
897 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:08:10
Just hope he's tied to a long-term contract.
900 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:22:57
904 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:40:29
I immediately had a mental image of him getting his ironing board out in the changing room pre-game to give his shorts a final going-over. And Jags getting his Marigolds on to give the loo a bit of a scrub.
906 Posted 01/10/2013 at 15:41:00
Even the 'money clubs' defenders ship the odd horror goal!
916 Posted 01/10/2013 at 16:05:18
1. Something going very pear shaped at Chelsea, such as them having such a rotten first half of the season that Mourinho is panicked into busting the bank for a top striker in January, or them imploding to the point that Mourinho walks out
2. Lukaku loving it at Everton so much that he actively wants to stay
We have some say in the second, and should pray for the first
The first half yesterday he looked like potentially the best 9 we've had in my 30 years of watching the blues - as good as Sharp and Ferguson on their best days
917 Posted 01/10/2013 at 16:30:51
920 Posted 01/10/2013 at 16:48:44
I shall now hide until the next match and you'll never, never find me.
923 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:01:33
In short, sad as it is, I just don't see him staying. Enjoy it while it lasts.
926 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:14:59
If Chelsea are falling behind in the pecking order, they will spend big in January. Lukaku may be back to square one if that happens.
Offer the £20 million surplus for him in January. [He said, laughing quietly to himself...]
927 Posted 01/10/2013 at 17:06:29
So how we can still in criticising the team after a great 45 mins last night I don't know. Sure, we let them back in the game because we didn't retain our intensity in the second half. That is part of the development process for this team.
Also, as big a challenge as it has evidently proved for OFM to emulate SAF, wasn't it equally a challenge for Martinez to replace a manager who ran this club for 11 years? So I will hopefully have the chance to continue to eat lots of humble pie in the coming months if we can keep this up.
947 Posted 01/10/2013 at 19:28:46
Hopefully Romu would love to sign for us next season, especially if Chelsea do buy a big name striker in January. I'm sure all the Everton players are making him more than welcome at Goodison Park.
950 Posted 01/10/2013 at 18:52:27
957 Posted 01/10/2013 at 19:34:01
968 Posted 01/10/2013 at 20:48:44
973 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:04:59
978 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:13:47
You're probably right there. Maybe "susceptible" (to conceding) is a better term; certainly Gouffran got in far too easily and should have scored right after half time and Remy's goal was defended sloppily.
I don't see much change there from last season, though, so I'm not sure it heralds the much-feared Martinez effect on the back line that some are expecting to take hold. After all, we conceded a number of very late goals with poor aerial coverage, including the 2-2 with Newcastle.
986 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:41:13
Through to Christmas, Lukaku is on fire and has scored 25 goals.
So... In January, they buy him from us!!!! For 100 squillian pounds.
Has anything like that happened before? As I understand it, he is Everton's player for the season.
990 Posted 01/10/2013 at 21:55:46
992 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:09:35
000 Posted 01/10/2013 at 22:41:27
001 Posted 01/10/2013 at 23:16:56
Let's hope he receives the award after the City game, it always puts a curse on the next League game! Maybe Hull won't present such a challenge.
005 Posted 01/10/2013 at 23:22:44
We have some exciting players, some new and some old but unleashed.
We are trying to play football, scoring goals and winning games. What is there not to like?
Doesn't it feel good to be a blue right now. I for one am thoroughly enjoying the ride so far.
108 Posted 02/10/2013 at 14:43:23
112 Posted 02/10/2013 at 15:14:50
Just curious though, can anyone who was at the game tell me was the crowd a bit quieter than usual, or was it just where Sky Sports had the microphone's positioned?
It certainly didn't seem to be the atmosphere that we have come to expect..
116 Posted 02/10/2013 at 15:32:54
207 Posted 02/10/2013 at 21:27:30
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.