Everton 3-1 Newcastle: Jelavic and Pienaar score as Toffees kill off visitors' Champions League dream
Alan Pardew's men finish fifth after a disappointing performance at Goodison Park, whilst win for Moyes' men ensures they will finish the Premier League season ahead of Liverpool
By Husmukh Kerai
Everton beat Newcastle United 3-1 on the final day of the Premier League season to end the visitors’ Champions League hopes and ensure the hosts finish above local rivals Liverpool for the first time in seven years.
The Toffees went ahead from a deflected Steven Pieenar effort in the first half and doubled their lead soon after through Nikica Jelavic. Johnny Heitinga added a third for the hosts before a Tony Hibbert own goal gave Newcastle a consolation.
Everton welcomed back Leighton Baines, Phil Neville and Darron Gibson into the starting line-up for the final match of the season in place of James McFadden, Tim Cahill and Sylvain Distin.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew named an unchanged line-up for the third game in a row.
The visitors nearly got off to the perfect start as Tim Howard was forced to make a save from a Fabio Coloccini header inside two minutes. The Argentine defender got on the end of Hatem Ben Arfa’s left-footed free kick but a combination of Howard and Papiss Cisse kept the ball out.
However, Marouane Fellaini headed over soon after from inside the box after being picked out by a fine cross from Phil Neville in the 13th minute as Everton began taking control of the match.
Three minutes later and the Toffees were ahead courtesy of a deflected effort from Pieenar. The South African tried his luck from distance and his effort took a crucial touch off Williamson before flying over Tim Krul’s head and into the back of the net.
Pieenar came close to doubling the hosts lead soon after when he drove his shot onto the outside of the post after Baines’ free kick into area caused havoc in the Newcastle box.
Everton were well on top of the Magpies and their domination was rewarded with a second goal just before the half hour. Newcastle were disorganised in defence, but Jelavic’s first effort was superbly stopped by Tim Krul only for the Croatian to react first and swept home the rebound to double the Toffees’ advantage.
The visitors’ best chance of the half fell to Jonas Gutierrez, he received the ball and the possibilities opened up for the wide-man on the edge of the area but he only managed to screw his shot wide.
Leon Osman was inches away from completing a truly miserable first have for the visitors in the 37th minute when he picked the ball up on the left flank, wandered across the pitch before cutting back onto his right foot for a shot which rolled narrowly wide of the post.
Cisse had a volleyed effort from the edge of the area, but the in-form striker was out of sorts in the first half and sent it wide of the mark.
Fifty seconds in to the second half and it Cisse again who was presented with a glorious chance after being threaded through by a brilliant pass from Cabaye and with only the keeper to beat the Senegalese forward side-footed his effort wide of the near post.
Everton came back into the match following that early second-half scare and the visitors rarely looked like threatening Howard in the goal.
When suddenly after an hour Demba Ba found a way through to goal and forced Howard to make a superb stop to keep Everton two ahead.
Straight from that save, Everton went back on the attack and earned themselves a free kick. It was swung in by Gibson and nodded home from close range by Heitinga, putting the Champions League beyond Alan Pardew’s men.
However a moment of miscommunication between Tony Hibbert and Tim Howard handed the visitors a lifeline with 20 minutes still to play. Hibbert headed the ball back to the keeper from Cabaye’s long pass but only realised that Howard had already come to collect after the ball was past the American and rolled over the line.
Newcastle hadn't given up hope of getting back into the match but were again denied by the brilliance of Howard, who somehow kept out Cisse's header with the visitors protesting that the ball had crossed the line.
Tim Cahill was shown a late red card for raising his hands on Cabaye as members of both sides were involved in a scuffle at the end of the match.
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