The old refrain of “We shall not be moved” has sounded even more defiant since Everton were plunged into the relegation zone by the biggest sporting sanction in Premier League history. It was a fitting soundtrack to Everton clambering out of it at Goodison Park courtesy of a resounding defeat of shell-shocked Newcastle.
Eddie Howe’s side suffered their heaviest defeat of the season on a calamitous night for Kieran Trippier but a reaffirming one for Sean Dyche. Everton were at risk of being punished for another wasteful home display, with Newcastle finally growing into the contest, when the England international presented Dwight McNeil with a decisive breakthrough taken in style. Trippier’s head was buried in his shirt seven minutes later when a similar error resulted in Abdoulaye Doucouré scoring Everton’s second.
Having insisted his team just needed to add goals to otherwise strong home performances, Dyche got the comfort of a third when Beto registered his first Premier League goal in stoppage time. No prizes for guessing the unfortunate Newcastle defender who kept Everton’s summer signing just onside.
“Kieran has been absolutely magnificent since he signed for the football club, a big catalyst for what has happened,” said the Newcastle manager. “Collectively we were off our best tonight.”
Howe declined to use an extensive injury list as an excuse, although the visitors were lethargic in spells and had few answers to Everton’s punishing finale. Howe added: “Last year our away form was very good but we haven’t got going on the road this season, apart from Sheffield United. It’s a difficult one to understand.”
Dyche denied before and after the game that being out of the bottom three would be psychologically important for Everton. The crowd and perhaps his players might disagree. There was a determination and desire to the home side throughout. Their relentless pressing of Newcastle continued until the final seconds with 38-year-old Ashley Young pursing his man into a corner.
There was also a heated exchange between the outstanding James Tarkowski and Joelinton after the final whistle, with coaching staff and Jordan Pickford getting involved. “I’ve got no idea what it was over,” claimed Howe. “I think it was just emotions running high after the game. We were certainly disappointed with our performance.”
The Park End was a sea of green at kick-off, and in the 10th minute, when Everton fans held aloft cards bearing the Premier League logo between the message “Protecting the few, not the many” as part of ongoing protests against the club’s 10-point deduction for a financial breach. The home crowd was otherwise focused on pushing Dyche’s team towards only a second home league win of the season, breaking only to boo Anthony Gordon whenever he touched the ball on his return to Goodison.
Dyche was forced to change his team at lunchtime due to James Garner falling ill. The Everton manager responded by moving Doucouré into central midfield and pushing Young to right wing. At right-back in came the redoubtable Seamus Coleman for his first appearance since undergoing surgery on a serious knee injury suffered at Leicester in May. The return of the 35-year-old means he has played for Everton for a remarkable 15 seasons in succession. In financial terms, Coleman’s £60,000 transfer fee from Sligo Rovers now works out at £4,000 per season in Everton colours.
Coleman and Young were at the forefront of a bright Everton start that was only undermined by carelessness with the final pass and their usual profligacy in front of goal at Goodison this season. Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed a glaring opportunity to reward Everton’s pressure shortly before the interval. Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite both beat Newcastle defenders to a Pickford free-kick. The latter’s touch fell to Calvert-Lewin, onside, unmarked and five yards in front of goal, but having controlled neatly on his chest he turned and blazed a volley over.
Newcastle’s front three of Gordon, Alexander Isak and Miguel Almirón were frequently isolated and only threatened once the former Everton player switched wings with the Paraguay international. It took 36 minutes for the visitors to create a genuine chance from open play. Isak should have done better when Trippier’s first-time cross picked him out at the back post than to steer a header yards wide.
Howe’s team improved after the break with Gordon missing two decent chances in quick succession. But then came the finale Trippier will wish to forget. With 11 minutes of normal time remaining the right-back collected a pass from Jamaal Lascelles and stumbled over the ball while attempting to turn. McNeil pounced in a flash. Seizing possession, the winger sprinted from deep inside the Newcastle half to the edge of the area where he unleashed an unstoppable finish high into Martin Dubravka’s left-hand corner.
Everton’s wild celebrations were almost silenced immediately when Almirón charged down Branthwaite’s clearance and raced clear. Not for the first time, Newcastle were foiled by an immaculate interception from Tarkowski.
It was to get worse for Trippier. The experienced defender committed another error, gifting possession to Jack Harrison not once but twice. The on-loan winger darted down the left and, though McNeil missed his low cross, Doucouré dispatched it convincingly.
Goodison howled at the addition of 10 minutes but it afforded time for Beto to open his Premier League account. Sent clear down the right by Nathan Patterson, the summer signing held off the attentions of Fabian Schär to beat Newcastle’s stand-in keeper with another clinical finish.
“We’ve got a very authentic group of players,” said Dyche. “That doesn’t mean we are brilliant but it means we have a connected group of players who really care and I think the Toffees respect that.”