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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premier League
 Sunday 15 March 2015; 4:05pm
Everton 
3 0
 Newcastle
 McCarthy (20'), Lukaku (pen: 56')  Barkley (90'+3)
Half Time: 0 - 0
 
Attendance: 38,806
Fixture 29
Referee: Martin Atkinson

Match Summary

Leighton Baines returns but John Stones hasn't recovered been deemed fit enough to start so Antolin Alcaraz continues in defence. There are starts for Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Aaron Lennon and Arouna Kone as Roberto Martinez opts for two strikers.

Steven Naismith drops to the bench along with Ross Barkley but Kevin Mirallas is not in the squad after apparently picking up an injury on Thursday.

Newcastle kicked off in a drab grey strip but with little by way of any pattern established in some scrappy opening moves until Ameobi crossed in and Jagielka cleared but the visitors won their first corner on 2 mins. It was frightening as they had two pops on goal from that Howard saving a direct shot from Obertan, before McCarthy blocked with his arm on the line (no penalty given!). At the other end, Lukaku had a weak shot poked toward Krul.

Everton shaped to attack a little better but the cross from Lennon was pathetic straight at Krul. Lukaku went on something of a run and produced a good-looking strike, this time forcing Krul to save low to his left. A little shouting from the crowd saw Jagielka launch an aimless hoof to no-one in particular... Gibson's ball forward seemed to be aimed at Kone, but that didn't come off either.

Lukaku looked to run at Newcastle again but his control was unconvincing and Colback snatched the ball off his toes. The Blues were definitely trying to get the ball forward earlier, but it wasn't really working all that effectively, allowing the visitors a period of pressure without coming close, Osman working hard in defence.

Some better movement on the left saw Kone and Jagielka combine nicely but Jagielka's cut back from the byeline was cleared. Lukaku then tried an ambitious cross in towards Kone. McCarthy was next to cross in low but it was telegraphed to Krul with Kone again lurking where a No 9 should ? in the 6-yard box.

The forward intent was definitely there, with Gibson trying to play in Kone, who timed his run almost to perfection. On the next attack, an excellent ball up from Jagielka picked out Lukaku with back to goal and a great layoff for McCarthy who strode into space and somehow sent Krul the wrong way for a surprisingly easy early goal!

Gibson was the difference for Everton, always looking to play the forward pass, and inspiring better movement that saw him picking out players better. But Osman gave away a soft free-kick on the corner of the Everton area, and it saw a dangerous ball delivered to the far post. However, the crowd were responding with full encouragement for the positive intent being shown, Lennon drawing a foul form another excellent ball through the middle. But Lukaku wasted the set-piece firing over from some distance.

More direct play saw a good move involving Osman and Baines but nothing came from the corner that saw Newcastle counter, great defensive blocks form Alcaraz and Jagielka protecting the hapless Howard, who was handling high balls with better command of his 6-yard box. Each attack by Newcastle, however, looked a little too threatening, as if there was a certain nervousness when Everton were forced to defend, Sissoko bursting through a little too easily...

Newcastle were benefitting from less accurate forward passing as half-time approached, Alcaraz and then Gibson failing to find their man and giving Newcastle additional opportunity to drive forward, looking for an increasingly inevitable equalizer, as the Blues struggled to clear their lines.

However, they won a corner in added time, Baines sending a good ball deep that was headed goalward by Alcaraz and almost convert but for a desperate goal-line block by Taylor.

P?rez replaced Obertan at the start of the second half, with Gibson getting called for a nothing trip on Taylor, who curled his free-kick just over Howard's bar. McCarthy, Lukaku and Kone seemed to have a fantastic opportunity to break but Lukaku's reception of McCarthy's pass was simply horrible and any chance went begging.

Some better play ended horribly when Kone though he was playing in Lennon who was nowhere near where the pass was made. Lennon went in a little high on Taylor who complained bitterly, Everton being a little more tentative, Lennon having only Lukaku to aim at as he beat Gouffran. But in the follow-up, Gouffran contrived to give away a penalty with a desperate lunge on Lennon, and Lukaku drove in the second goal with aplomb, to finally give the Blues a cushion.

Kone and Lukaku looked to break again, Coloccini drawn into a ridiculous two-footed lunge on Lennon that earned a straight red from Martin Atkinson. Baines's free-kick was deflected but not enough to evade Krul.

Everton with the extra man and the two-goal lead, Everton resorted to possession football but they relaxed a little too much with dreadful passes from Gibson and Osman gifting the ball away, and Perez almost getting in a scoring position. Lennon, free to dribble, could not get round Jonas. They then resorted to silly-bugger tika-taka around the Newcastle area that went nowhere, when the crowd were baying for more intent toward a third goal.

Baines teed up Kone for a tremendous shot but he could not have driven it more directly at Krul, who could not fail to stop it, as Everton were in danger of sitting back a little too much against the 10 men they should have been ripping apart.

Barkley replaced Lukaku, who had put in a decent shift. Barkley inspired a better move that saw a chance for Osman but Krul anticipated it well and saved down to his right. Then, a beautiful move put Lennon through and he picked out Barkley in acres of space and plenty of time to make it three but his lackadaisical attempt was maddeningly blocked by Taylor with the goal gapping.

Sissoko got sight of goal and Howard produced a vital one-handed save when he looked to have been beaten. A driven cross beat Howard but there were fortunately no takers in grey. Alcaraz then had to make a tremendous challenge to deny Perez, as the Blues seemed keen to cede a consolation goal to the visitors.

Barkley then scampered forward into space but he picked out Lennon instead of shooting himself, and the Spurs player made a complete mess of it, passing inside to a defender when he really should have taken the shot first time. Lennon, who was given generous applause for a rather mediocre performance, was replaced by Atsu.

 

Kone got past Williamson and had a great chance to score but totally messed it up, allowing Krul to come out and pick the ball off his toes. Finally, a great ball from Atsu to Barkley, who rounded Krul and slotted home neatly with the last move of the game.

A win was vital in this 'must-win' game to give Everton added breathing space, and that was delivered, with much more positive intent than seen in far too many recent games. It didn't really come off to the extent that it should have done, given the moments of luck that finally went their way. But that goal right at the death from Barkley will give all Blues tremendous pleasure to remember.

Michael Kenrick

 

Match Preview

On a high following another Thursday night triumph, Everton have another chance to translate their impressive form in Europe to the Premier League with the visit of Newcastle United this weekend.

For the third straight game in the Europa League, Roberto Martinez's men came back from a goal down to win but such resolve and potency has proved well beyond them on the domestic front this season.

There is a feeling that the visit of the Magpies, a team the Blues usually like playing at Goodison and Romelu Lukaku in particular enjoys scoring against – he has four in all against Newcastle over the past three seasons, three scored for Everton – could finally see the corner turned with respect to a dreadful run of League form that stretches back almost four months.

Since beating West Ham on the 22nd of November – 16 games ago, for those keeping count – the Blues have won just twice, all the while putting themselves in with a great shout of progressing to the last eight of a European competition for the first time in 30 years.

The disparity between the team's form between the two arenas remains a mystery but the gritty first-leg victory over Dynamo Kyiv, one that in itself felt different from the more convincing wins over Wolfsburg, Lille and Young Boys, could just be the one that bridges the gap.

Importantly, particularly after the Paraguayan's rocky first-half display against Dynamo, Everton expect John Stones to be fit enough to come back into the side in place of Antolin Alcaraz. The defender missed last Thursday's game with a stomach virus but should be fit after training on Friday.

Martinez confirmed to the media at his pre-match press conference today that the England international will be in the squad on Sunday despite losing a bit of weight during his bout of illness.

Aaron Lennon is also available again after being cup-tied for the match against Dynamo Kyiv and both players could be joined by another returnee in the form of Leighton Baines if he can overcome a groin strain.

The left back has been sidelined recently with a thigh injury but Martinez told a reporter at the end of his presser that Baines would undergo a late fitness test after straining his groin in training.

Aiden McGeady and Steven Pienaar have been stepping up their gym work and are close to resuming full training but neither will be ready for this weekend. Martinez also explained that Bryan Oviedo is about three weeks away as he recovers from the hamstring strain he picked up in the first leg against Young Boys last month.

The manager will be forced into at least one change in midfield to accommodate Gareth Barry's suspension. The 33 year-old begins a two-match ban for amassing 10 yellow cards for the season and, depending on how offensive Martinez wants to be from the outset, it could be a toss-up between Darron Gibson and Muhamed Besic for who comes in to deputise.

Newcastle manager John Carver, meanwhile, welcomes back Remy Cabella from injury and Jack Colback, the scorer of the decisive goal in the return fixture at St James' Park at the end of December, from suspension. Mehdi Abeid, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Siem de Jong and Paul Dummett are all ruled out through injury, however, and top scorer Papiss Cisse starts a seven-match suspension of his own for his role in the spitting incident with Manchester United's Jonny Evans.

Carver has struggled for consistency since being handed the responsibility of taking up the reins from Alan Pardew and has managed just two wins in six games. Everton would ordinarily be too much for his depleted side but the fact that the Blues will begin the day eight points worse off than Newcastle paints its own picture. The Blues have plenty to prove and it's the perfect time to start doing so.

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

Match Preview
Match Summary
Match Report
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Match Reports
2014-15 Reports Index
< Dyn. Kyiv (H) Dyn. Kyiv (A) >
EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Howard
  Coleman
  Alcaraz
  Jagielka
  Baines
  McCarthy (Besic 86')
  Gibson
  Lennon (Atsu 85')
  Osman
  Kone
  Lukaku (Barkley 74')
  Subs not used
  Robles
  Naismith
  Stones
  Garbutt
  Unavailable
  Barry (suspended)
  Baines (injured)
  Hibbert (injured)
  McGeady (injured)
  Mirallas (injured)
  Oviedo (injured)
  Pienaar (injured)
  Long (loan)
  McAleny (loan)
  Pennington (loan)
NEWCASTLE (4-4-2)
  Krul
  Janmaat
  Williamson
  Coloccini
  Taylor
  Sissoko
  Colback
  Obertan (Perez 45')
  Gouffran
  Riviere (Gutierrez 62')
  Ameobi (Cabella 58')
  Subs not used
  Ellliot
  Armstrong
  Satka
  Anita

  • Possession
  • Shots on target
  • Shots off target
  • Corners

Premier League Scores
Saturday
Arsenal 3-0 West Ham
Burnley 1-0 Man City
C Palace 3-1 QPR
Leicester 0-0 Hull City
Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa
West Brom 1-0 Stoke
Sunday
Chelsea 1-1 So'hampton
Everton 3-0 Newcastle
Man United 3-0 Tottenham
Monday
Swansea 0-1 Liverpool


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