Romelu Lukaku inspired Everton to rise to fourth place but their victory was nervier than it should have been
Like all games, it was a game of two halves and at the end of it, Everton have three goals to Newcastle's two. Everton were 3-0 up at half-time, with Newcastle abject, but Alan Pardew might be able to put a positive spin on his side's dreadful defending by pointing to an improved second-half performance. Too little, too late, though. As for Everton, it was nervier than it should have been but they go fourth. Fans of Alanis Morissette will appreciate the fact that two goals and an assist from Romelu Lukaku have taken Everton above Chelsea. Thanks for reading. Bye then.
The comeback is off.
90 min+6: Deulofeu is in behind but he can't beat Krul.
90 min+3: Newcastle are pressing. Remy rams a volley not too far over from the edge of the area.
90 min+2: Stones replaces Leon Osman.
90 min: There will be four minutes of added time. Could they? Phil Jagielka is feeling woozy after taking a blow to the head. John Stones will be on for Everton shortly.
Oh my. A high ball is hung up to the far post from the left by UNDETERMINED NEWCASTLE PLAYER and Debuchy does well to nod it down to Remy, who bundles past his way through and prods past Howard from close range. Newcastle were 3-0 down at half-time.
88 min: Steven Naismith replaces Ross Barkley, who is also the future of football.
87 min: One thing that's noticeable with Lukaku is that he rates his trickery a bit too highly. He's rarely been able to beat defenders with nifty footwork when he's been one-on-one with them.
86 min: Is Gerard Deulofeu the future of football? Hard to say but I'll go with yes.
85 min: Cabaye's free-kick hits the wall and runs away for a throw-in on the left. "Surely accusing Moyes of mistrusting young players is a little wide of the mark?" says Harry Tuttle. "Even in the midst of his present little omnishambles, Januzaj is being given opportunities by Moyes. Moyes has a very good record of man management. He brought through Coleman and Rooney; he gave players like Jagielka, Cahill and Lescott their big break and he has got the best out of players like Pienaar and Osman who would struggle to get opportunities at similar-sized clubs. Moyes real problem is setting up a team to attack through the middle. It should be no surprise that he sees Kagawa as a winger. Similarly, he clearly doesn't trust Cleverley to start in the centre of midfield; like Barkley, an attack-minded player who loves to go through the middle. Perhaps the case is that Martinez's style suits Barkley more."
83 min: Cabaye lines another one up. Barry blocks it with his hands and isn't shown a second yellow card. Why? Newcastle have a free-kick in a central position and around 25 yards out. Well then.
81 min: A brilliant spell from Everton. Deulofeu goes back Santon so easily, as if he wasn't there, and then does the same to Coloccini, wriggling past the Argentinian and into the six-yard box. Krul gets something on his cross, sending up into the air and Lukaku ends up heading it to Barkley, outside the area and with his back to goal. He produces a backheel, apparently to no one, and then Baines comes steaming into view to rattle a low left-footer wide.
80 min: Gareth Barry marks his 500th Premier League appearance with a yellow card for a foul on Tiote.
78 min: Baines fails to score with a free-kick - rubbish! Useless! He got the curl but he couldn't persuade the ball to stay low and away it flew, high over the bar.
77 min: Tiote fouls Coleman just outside the Newcastle area. Which could spell trouble with Leighton Baines about. It's to the right - but quite wide.
76 min: Baines injects some life into Everton and finds McCarthy, whose quick feet sets up a shooting opportunity for Barkley. It's still rising.
75 min: The passing from both sides is increasingly shoddy. Everton just need to use their heads.
73 min: Everton bring on Gerard Deulofeu for Kevin Mirallas.
72 min: It's been a bit of a shapeless mess in the last few minutes, perhaps in tribute to the Newcastle defence.
69 min: Papiss Cisse replaces Vurnon Anita.
68 min: A superb pass from Cabaye dissects the Everton defence but it just sits up badly for Remy, who slashes wide on the run. He was stretching to reach the ball as he hit it.
67 min: Lukaku wants that hat-trick. He really wants that hat-trick. Mirallas chips a pass down the right flank for Coleman, who again finds Lukaku. He drops the shoulder to give himself a clear sight of goal but his first touch is poor and Coloccini does enough to put him off, forcing the striker to slice an awkward shot high and wide. But the Everton fans still love him.
66 min: Everton are pressing again, with Coleman influential. Lukaku turns on the edge of the area and shoots. But straight at Krul. His wait for his hat-trick goes on.
65 min: Worryingly for Newcastle, Cabaye is holding his thigh.
64 min: Barry releases Coleman on the right and the full-back shows great endeavour to dash inside and then lay off a pass to Lukaku. His fierce shot is blocked. There was the slightest hint of handball. The ball comes back to Coleman, but his shot is also blocked.
63 min: Remy isolates Jagielka on the left and sends a cross into an empty Everton area.
61 min: Everton have slightly lost their way here. Perhaps a substitution will perk them up. By which I mean I'd like to see Deulofeu. "How is Tiote not suspended for every match?" says Gary Naylor. "He plays like it's 1974."
59 min: It turns out Cheik Tiote, who I didn't realise was playing, was booked for a foul on James McCarthy a few minutes ago.
58 min: Another chance for Newcastle. Gouffran finally wins a duel with Coleman on the left but wastefully shoots from a ludicrous angle instead of crossing.
57 min: It's all Newcastle at the moment. Anita shows good strength to win the ball back, hold off a challenge and fire a shot straight at Howard from the edge of the Everton area.
56 min: Suddenly there's a spring in Newcastle's step. Everton just need to watch themselves here. Santon cuts inside and curls a cross towards the far post, where Remy is lurking. Jagielka rises just high enough to head away.
55 min: Mirallas turns a pass round the corner for Osman, whose attempted curler from the left side of the area drifts wide.
52 min: Ross Barkley has a dig from the edge of the area. It's straight at Krul.
The comeback is on! Gouffran rolls an innocuous pass to Cabaye, standing 25 yards from goal. He's not closed down adequately and he achieves, pace, dip and swerve with a right-footed shot that flies into the top-left corner. Tim Howard didn't have a prayer of reaching that. It's on.
48 min: Everton hit back in kind. Mirallas is found by Barkley on the right of the area. He spanks a low cross-shot into the six-yard box, which is pushed out by Krul and Osman, falling over, can't quite turn in the loose ball from close range. "To me the a huge difference between Moyes and Martinez is trusting Barkley," says Brad Wilson. "There were many times last season when Everton needed his pace and touch and tempo and he was chained to the bench. Moyes did very well at Goodison but he didn't trust younger players the way Martinez seems to. And Mr. Roy has to be happy to, Barkley can really help England with more experience."
47 min: This is already better from Newcastle. Gouffran speeds through on goal, running on to a fine pass from Anita, and he dinks the ball delicately over Howard, only for the ball to hit the inside of the post and fall kindly to Jagielka to clear.
46 min: Newcastle have made two substitutions at half-time. Mike Williamson replaces the execrable Yanga-Mbiwa and Yohan Cabaye replaces ... Hatem Ben Arfa. Mull over that one for the next 45 minutes. Newcastle at least start positively but Santon sends one too high from 25 yards.
"Further to your justified criticism of the loan system, I was working myself up into a rage today over the Willian situation," says Martin Gwynn Jones. "We all wondered where Mourinho would play him, and now we have the answer...he bought him so that Spurs could not. The business reasoning is probably sound, but the sporting and ethical implications are abhorrent. Think what that 33 million could do for an education board, a hospital or a cultural centre. And a player we were all looking forward to seeing."
Jamie Carragher just ran out of words, so aghast was he at the state of Newcastle's defending for the third goal. "There's no way Alan Pardew sent his team out to do that," says Gary Neville. Well, no. You'd have to question him if this was the gameplan.
"Why is Moyes taking heat when the team he built is cruising into 4th; while the team he inherited from Ferguson is struggling?" says Alan Hawley. "Moyes has an eye for talent & that will take time. Fun times on Merseyside!"
Because the team Ferguson built had the league won before the end of April?
Well done, Newcastle. Well done indeed.
45 min+4: Ben Arfa almost gives Newcastle a smidgen of hope right on half-time. He works the ball on to his left foot and rakes a low curler towards the bottom-right corner from 25 yards. But there's Howard to push it away and there's Lukaku, randomly turning up at right-back, to complete the clearance.
45 min+2: A tactical suggestion for Newcastle: put some pressure on the Everton players when they have the ball.
45 min+1: There will be four minutes of added time. Santon begins it by curling a free-kick tamely into the Everton wall. "Lukaku has now scored more than Torres, Eto'o and Ba combined," says Cormac O'Connor. Well, yes - none of them have scored.
45 min: Alan Pardew talks a lot about what a fantastic squad he's got, especially now everyone's fit. I wonder what the problem could be, then.
44 min: Mirallas is booked for a foul on Anita. That was painful.
43 min: "Sylvain Distin, not the cheapest of Moyes' signings, but he's played hundreds of premier league games, he's so reliable, still quick," says Duncan Smith. "Have France been so inundated with really good centre backs over the past ten years? He's not had a single cap."
42 min: Lukaku has his second goal of the first half disallowed. He could have had four! He was inches off."Oh Debuchy is rubbish all right," says Hubert O'Hearn. "This is the third match I've seen him play and...yes indeed I have never, ever seen a worse right back. Claude Debussy would be better than Debuchy."
41 min: Sissoko decides he might as well have a shot from 25 yards out. It has just about enough pace on it to reach Howard.
40 min: You have to laugh. Because it was funny.
As I was saying. You will rarely see a simpler or more embarrassing goal than this. Tim Howard's got the assist, with helpful contributions from Krul and Coloccini. Howard punted a long ball up the pitch. It should have been dealt with by Coloccini. Instead, he decided not to bother and ran around in the manner of a defender on Fifa who's gone doolally. He let the ball bounce, allowing Lukaku to run in behind and then head past a dozy Krul, before jinking inside the hapless Coloccini, completing his misery, and tapping into an empty net from two yards out. Good God, Newcastle are a disgrace.
37 min: Anita crosses to no one in particular. This is truly pathetic from Newcastle.
36 min: "A number of times on the radio they've mentioned how such-and-such Everton player was a really good, and relatively inexpensive signing by Moyes," says David Wall. "I wonder to what extent United's indecision and lack of success in the transfer window was partly due to Moyes's reticence to spend money having had to be so careful with signings for so long at Everton. You get the impression he is more Angela Merkel (who still lists her favourite meal as the frugal pepper stew letchko from her youth in East Germany) than Floyd Mayweather. How difficult is it for someone with such a mindset to break that, say as Wenger was able to do when splashing-out for Ozil?" Basically, you can't be cautious at clubs like Manchester United.
34 min: Maybe the best thing Martinez has done at Everton is not to mess with their defence. They're playing lovely ball but Newcastle also haven't been allowed a sniff.
33 min: Baines has the left flank all to himself. Where's Debuchy gone? Is he ever about? Is he actually rubbish? A poor touch from Baines slows the move but Yanga-Mbiwa helpfully fouls him to concede a free-kick. It's cleared.
32 min: "I may have missed it but has there been any justification from Chelsea for letting their best striker leave?" says Niall Mullen. "Although, after the Mata & De Bruyne questions, Mourinho might explode if asked about Lukaku." Not that I've seen, though the loan system stinks in this format. Chelsea get to give a £20m striker to a team who can't afford to buy him and then hope he'll take points off their rivals, aware that he can't play against them.
31 min: Actually that could be schadenfreude. What a silly boy I am.
30 min: "Are you watching, David Moyes?" hubris the Everton fans.
28 min: "Carrying on the Irish love in Coleman is absolutely superb," says Duncan Smith. "He looked terrible defensively when he arrived, but what a full back he's turned into. He's got Hibbert's tackling and Baines attacking ability. Cost about two hundred grand!" The first time I saw him was in 2009 when he came on against Tottenham with Everton losing 2-0. He changed the game and it ended 2-2.
27 min: Please join me in feeling sorry for Alan Pardew. And Mike Ashley. Newcastle have been woeful.
Romelu Lukaku is a good footballer and so is Ross Barkley. Newcastle can't handle these two, not that they're making it especially difficult. The ball comes to Lukaku, who's dropped deep and has been given so much space, around 30 yards from goal. Instead of running at the Newcastle defence, he spots Barkley making a clever dart in from left to right and he plays an astute reverse pass through the middle to him. Barkley takes a touch to get the ball on to his right foot and with Yanga-Mbiwa not bothering to get tight, he gives Krul the eyes and strokes a confident into the bottom-left corner. There was a Bergkamp-Ljungberg vibe there.
24 min: "We got Mirallas because apparently his 'want away' attitude stank whilst in Greece (where he was top scorer), he was perpetually crocked and Olympiacos didn't have two Drachmas to rub together," says Rob Jenkins. "And of course because Moyes excelled at such talent spotting."
23 min: Remy and Gouffran are doing a fairly awful job of holding the ball up for Newcastle, especially in comparison to the excellent Lukaku.
21 min: At times, Everton are exceptional. Lukaku, skillful and strong, rolls away from two Newcastle players in the centre circle and romps off into the distance. He plays it to the right to Coleman who, despite being tugged back, manages to overcome that hurdle, beat one man, drive into the area and eventually force Yanga-Mbiwa to hack behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.
18 min: Newcastle are making problems for themselves. Moments after Krul had the ball, it's soon back with Everton, deep in Newcastle territory. McCarthy runs at a backtracking Coloccini, ignores Mirallas to his right and clunks a low effort goalwards which Krul blocks. Osman scampers on to the rebound and, from an angle on the left, chips the ball into the six-yard box, where Coloccini heads clear. From there, there's another stoppage as McCarthy and Remy bang heads near the centre circle. They're both seeing stars, though it's a free-kick to Newcastle.
17 min: Gouffran slides the ball down the right, looking to set Remy in the clear. He's offside. Once the whistle goes, Phil Dowd goes back to an earlier incident in which Baines sent Debuchy flying with a late and dangerous tackle. He's booked. Debuchy's not pleased.
15 min: Everton's toffee-taka is most pleasing on the eye. "As Lieutenant George once requested, "Permission to shout "Bravo" at an annoyingly loud volume, sir'," parps Gary Naylor. "18 years ago, on the same weekend and in the same fixture, we had Tony Grant and John Ebbrell as our creative players. Bill Kenwright has his critics, but, well..."
14 min: Goodison Park is quiet. "To echo your McCarthy-ite stance ( who'd have thought it in the guardian eh!) , & leaving aside the fact it was a friendly on a baseball field, but against Spain this summar Evertons two Irish international, McCarthy and Coleman, looked like they belonged on the field unlike most of their compatriots in green," says Robert Lowery. "Coleman even "did" Alba a few times while McCarthy was just short a few teammates to add "taka" to his "tiki"......."
12 min: Newcastle are enjoying an extended spell of possession without threatening much. When the ball is eventually launched in Remy's direction, it ends up in the custody of Tim Howard.
10 min: Ben Arfa takes the corner but a free-kick is awarded to Everton for a spot of pushing and shoving, which is no way for gentlemen to behave.
9 min: Here's the first real warning from Newcastle. Ben Arfa outmuscles and outpaces Jagielka on the left but Coleman steams in to concede a corner.
8 min: Everton are rampant and Newcastle are breathing heavily. From a Newcastle throw, deep inside their own half, Everton nab possession again, the ball finding Lukaku inside the area. He chests it back to Barkley, who fizzes a swerving volley past Krul's right post from 20 yards. That was close and an extremely confident effort from an extremely confident young player.
7 min: Santon isn't slow. Mirallas made him look slow. He is such a good player. How did Everton manage to get him when they did?
Alan Pardew was talking before the game about how Newcastle could hurt Everton on the break. Not quite. It's worked the other way round. Oh Al! From a Newcastle attack, Everton broke with Mirallas on the right. He had plenty of ground to make up but he suddenly changed the mood with a stunning burst past Santon, who was left trailing in his take. Mirallas cut the ball back cleverly, his cross eluded Coloccini and there was Lukaku to sweep a low shot underneath Krul from close range. The Belgian connection works again for Everton, just as it did against West Ham last week.
3 min: "Having seen McCarthy play for Everton this season and not especially for Wigan last, what does he do?" says Duncan Smith. "Not in a derogatory way, in his fleeting appearances he's not really created much and bar a penalty conceded he doesn't seem to tackle much." He's brilliant. He keeps the ball. Arsenal and Chelsea also had a look.
2 min: The ball is in the Newcastle net but the flag is up for offside against Lukaku after a neat interchange with Barkley. The decision is correct. An easy one to make, really. Ben Arfa has started on the left for Newcastle, which is a surprise. Coleman, of course, is a threat from right-back for Everton but so is Baines on the left.
Peep! Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku get the ball rolling for Everton, who are kicking from right to left in the first half. They're in blue shirts and white shorts. Newcastle are... you know what Newcastle are wearing. You also knew what Everton were wearing. The Newcastle fans are making themselves known.
Here come the teams. Oh huzzah!
"I'm a Geordie in Germany waiting to see whether Dr Jeckyll's Newcastle or Mr Hyde's United will turn up tonight," says Raymond King. "My money is on a Dr Jeckyll first half with Leighton Baines and Lukaku giving us the potion to turn into Mr Hyde. The head you want on a platter is Gilbert O'Sullivan's. The "tune" in the advert is from Gilbert's 70s hit "Ooh wacka doo wacka day"."
Alan Pardew says that Yohan Cabaye, who hasn't trained for a couple of days isn't quite match-fit, which is why he's on the bench. Papiss Cisse, he says, needs a rest. Loic Remy is also better than Cisse.
Bring me the heads of the people who wrote this song.
Who likes teams? We do. Everton give first league starts to Romelu Lukaku and James McCarthy, while Newcastle name Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse on the bench.
Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Osman, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Kone, Deulofeu, Naismith, Stones.
Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon; Tiote, Anita, Sissoko; Ben Arfa, Gouffran, Remy. Subs: Cabaye, Williamson, Cisse, Elliot, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Hello. Football, at the end of the day, when all's said and done, at the end of the day, is supposed to be fun. Sometimes people forget that. Sometimes people think it's a serious business but it's not, it's a game, it's sport, there to be enjoyed and laughed at and cried about. Yes, it's about winning and winning brings money. But, even now, all these years on, Danny Blanchflower's assertion that the game is about glory still Winning is good, everyone likes winning, they get annoyed but there's winning and then there's winning with style. Realistically the majority of clubs are never going to win anything, even in this brave new egalitarian Premier League, so the least they can do is entertain their fans and MBM writers.
Roberto Martinez understands that. If there can sometimes be a religious zeal to the way that purveyors of passing football see the game, a feeling that their approach is indisputably the most wonderful and beautiful, it is also the case that Everton are most likely on to a winner with Martinez, a manager brimming with ambition and style. Martinez wants us to dream with him and he wants us to believe that Wigan can beat the richest side in the country in the FA Cup final. Attack! Attack! Attackattackattack! Everton twice fell behind at West Ham last week and although they were twice reliant on the left foot of Leighton Baines to get them back into the game, Martinez's positive alterations at half-time were also pivotal. They might not have happened under David Moyes, at least not until it was too late. The top four isn't beyond this squad. Belief is the key - often the way with Everton in recent years, especially last season.
Alan Pardew must envy Martinez's ... joie de vivre, let's say. He has also been the bright young thing, the star of the future, but he has been written off as yesterday's news as well. At the moment, no one is quite sure where Pardew stands; at the very least, hopefully not with his back facing JFK. But that's Newcastle, a club perennially one defeat away from a crisis. They started the season with a hammering at Manchester City, they were drab in a draw with West Ham, then they won two in a row and then they lost at home to Hull. Most people will expect them to lose tonight. But, as Martinez, has pointed out, Pardew has a squad that boasts Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa, a bona-fide genius with a left foot to rival Baines. This fixture, a 2-2 thriller in September, was a doozy last season. It should be tonight.