The Toon Army used to worry no one would be able to fill Shay Given's shoes but the young Dutchman showed how wrong their skeptics were with another assured display. Great last line of defense but needs to work on distribution.
It is surely only a matter of time before the homegrown center half finally gets an England call-up and he produced a typically no-nonsense display to keep Everton at bay but needs to cut out lapses of concentration.
Hardly gave Royston Drenthe a look-in thanks to his tenacity and set Newcastle on their way with an enterprising run and cross that Heitinga diverted beyond Howard.
Any more of this and the makeshift left-back will be banging on England head coach Fabio Capello's door because he continues to go from strength to strength in unfamiliar territory and capped a strong performance with a cracking decisive goal.
Liverpool have been linked with the Argentine and he showed why Newcastle should get their captain tied down with a new contract with a typically calm and collected performance to frustrate Everton as they raised their game in the second half.
First-team opportunities are few and far between for the former Liverpool player thanks to the presence of Cheik Tiote but he made the most of his absence to pull the midfield strings for Newcastle with a tidy display.
That Newcastle lost their way when he went off injured after dominating midfield just about says it all over how influential the former Lille playmaker is to the Magpies.
There can be no faulting his work-rate and his defensive efforts but for the umpteenth time in a Newcastle shirt Gutierrez failed to thrill supporters when it came to attacking the Everton goal. Disappointing.
This was his first Premier League start but his display suggested he might take a while to get up to speed because he was a peripheral figure and hardly got the better of Baines before limping off injured.
This was his sixth game without a goal and while he never really seemed likely to get on the scoresheet he did his best to make life tough for Everton's center halves but struggled once Distin entered the fray.
He might not have added to his eight goals this season but he made up for that by making a nuisance of himself, working his socks off as he gave the Everton back four the runaround before Distin beefed things up for the visitors.
There was nothing he could do about the two Newcastle goals but otherwise the American produced a solid display as his defenders struggled to cope with Ba and Best.
It is to be hoped that England head coach Fabio Capello was not watching the first half because he was all over the place but improved when Sylvain Distin replaced the hapless Heitinga at center half.
The last thing Everton needed was to give Newcastle a helping hand but that's what the Dutch international did with a shocker of an own-goal and he never looked uncomfortable thereafter, especially when he moved into midfield when Neville went off.
There was nothing particularly fancy about the right-back's display but then again no one would have been complaining because he was rock-solid in defense and easily snuffed out the threat of Jonas Gutierrez.
On a day when chances were always going to be few and far between for Everton he will kick himself for wasting a very decent early opening before Newcastle took control and looked very much peripheral.
He hardly put a foot wrong in defense and dominated full debutant Sylvain Marveaux but failed to trouble the Newcastle back four with his trademark pinpoint crosses.
He offered little as an attacking force down Everton's left as he was bullied by Danny Simpson but looked happier after switching flanks as he invigorated his team but still his defensive deficiencies proved very costly.
This was no place for old men as the Toffees skipper found himself routinely out-played in central midfield by Guthrie and Cabaye before hobbling off after making a negligible impact.
He gave England head coach a timely reminder of his goal-scoring prowess but that was only after a first-half spent chasing shadows and he struggled to exploit Cabaye's injury-enforced absence after the break.
He kept trying to make things happen in the hole between midfield and attack but try as he might little came off for the diminutive Everton stalwart. This just wasn't his day.
The Newcastle old boy will not look back on his return to his old stamping ground fondly because he squandered three great opportunities to show the Toon Army what they are missing.
- 35 R. Elliot
- 14 J. Perch
- 3 D. Santon
It was a hard act to follow when the former Everton man replaced Cabaye but he produced an efficient performance to suggest his injury woes could be behind him.
H. Ben Arfa
Hardly got going after entering the fray late on as Pardew tried to regain the initiative from Everton.
He is a cult figure in these parts and it showed why as he combined the sublime and the ridiculous.
- 11 P. Løvenkrands
- 1 J. Mucha
If only he had been fit to start the game then Everton might have gained at least a point because the visitors defense improved immeasurably when he came on as a first-half substitute.
- 7 D. Bilyaletdinov
- 11 D. Stracqualursi
The Scot failed to make an impact after being sent on by David Moyes as a late substitute.
- 27 A. Vellios
He used to strike fear into the hearts of Newcastle defenders but the Australian appeared a shadow of his former self when he joined the action as a second-half substitute