Rooney secures first away win in 11 months

Wednesday, 13 December, 2017 0comments  |  Jump to last
Newcastle United 0 - 1 Everton

Mason Holgate is rewarded for his recent displays by keeping his place in the defence despite Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane both being fit

A solitary Wayne Rooney strike earned Everton victory at St James's Park in what was a mostly dire encounter against a poor Newcastle United side.

The veteran striker celebrated his 100th appearance in all competitions for the Blues by scoring, albeit in fortuitous circumstances, when he react quickly to knock home a loose ball following a howler by goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Newcastle twice hit the woodwork in a first-half which they largely dominated and Darlow had to be at his best to prevent Ashley Williams from killing the game with a second-half header, but the home side ran out of ideas and steam allowing Everton to see out the win in fairly comfortable circumstances.

Sam Allardyce named a slightly changed line-up from the one that started the Merseyside derby, with Aaron Lennon and Morgan Schneiderlin replacing Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies.

At the back, Mason Holgate kept his place alongside Ashley Williams while Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane were on the bench.

Everton started on the back foot, with Newcastle hoping to avoid a fourth successive home defeat by putting some early pressure on the visitors.

Rooney sold Martina short with a headed pass with just a minute gone that was intercepted and the defender tripped his man right on the edge of the box. Mark Ritchie's low shot deflected off Schneiderlin and behind, however.

Though they kept the ball much more than was the case at Anfield, Everton offered very little going forward in the early minutes. Sigurdsson tried to release Calvert-Lewinbut an apparent block off by Lascelles on the young striker wasn't deemed a foul by referee Atkinson.

A decent passing move ended with Sigurdsson laying Lennon's cross off to Gueye but he fluffed a shot with his weaker left foot.

Ritchie then had a low shot in the 20th minute saved by Pickford after the ball ricocheted off Schneiderlin on the edge of the box but the contest would pivot on a couple of incidents, one at either end.

Sigurdsson's cross in the 24th minute just eluded the straining neck of Calvert-Lewin and Newcastle countered, with Ritchie going on a slaloming run before slamming a shot off the post.

A minute later, Lennon popped up on the end of a cross from Calvert-Lewin following a neat interchange just outside the box that was spilled by Darlow and Rooney reacted quickest to stab the loose ball home.

Newcastle responded and Merino cracked a shot off the inside of the post while Ritchie had an effort saved late in the half but Everton managed to get in at the break ahead at 1-0.

Lejeune went close for the Magpies when his header bounced wide of the post but chances remained few and far between for either side.

Nikola Vlasic replaced Lennon on the hour mark before Holgate deflected Shelvey's speculative drive behind for a corner that Pickford punched clear.

Great work by Vlasic opened things up for Gueye to prod into space for Sigurdsson but the Iceland international miscued his shot badly and it flew high over the crossbar.

Vlasic was on the ball again when he was bundled over, handing Sigurdsson a free kick from a deep position from which he picked out Williams unmarked but Darlow made an excellent save diving to his right to push the Welsh international's header behind.

Davies came on to replace Rooney with a quarter of an hour to go as Allardyce's second change of the night.

Newcastle continued to struggle to make chances but Atsu had a sight of goal with eight minutes to go but it made for a routine save for Pickford.

The final change for Everton followed shortly afterwards as Jagielka was introduced in place of Sigurdsson as Allardyce bolstered his defensive unit in an attempt to see the game out.

With less than three minutes of the regulation 90 left, Davies was fouled by Yedlin setting up a free kick wide on the left which Schneiderlin took short to Davies to take into the corner flag.

Four minutes of added time went up on the board as Shelvey hoisted a high ball that Williams managed to head behind but the resulting corner was cleared.

Gueye tried to carry the ball clear in the final minute of added time and was scythed down by Shelvey who was shown a second yellow card.

The victory, Everton's third in four matches since going down 4-1 at Southampton, closes the points gap between the Blues in 10th and Watford in 9th and sets Allardyce's men up nicely for consecutive home games before Christmas.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday 13 December 2017
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Last Time: Newcastle 0 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Lennon, Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Robles, Keane, Jagielka, Davies, Vlasic, Lookman, Niasse

Full details: ToffeeWeb Match Page

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