The Magpies come out on top in an enthralling encounter at St James' Park thanks to an early Heitinga own goal and an incredible volley from the faultless left-back
Leon Best made a return to the starting XI for the Toon due to a hamstring injury which sidelined Shola Ameobi. He was partnered upfront by the currently prolific Demba Ba, who has already netted two hat-tricks for the his side this season.
The Toffees kept a team largely unchanged from their defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Saturday, with the exception of the return of Royston Drenthe – who has served a suspension for seeing red against Chelsea – in place of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, and Phil Neville replacing the suspended Marouane Fellaini.
The first real chance of the game fell to the Merseysiders just before the 10-minute mark, as Drenthe crossed from the left and Louis Saha’s flick on fell to Seamus Coleman at the far post. The young midfielder should have done better, but hit his shot wide, failing to test Tim Krul.
The deadlock was then broken when right-back Danny Simpson whipped in a dangerous cross from the right wing. A miscommunication between John Heitinga and goalkeeper Tim Howard saw the Dutch centre-back slice the ball into his own net.
The home side began to dominate possession and put real pressure on David Moyes’ men after the goal, and eventually their persistence led to another chance. Yohan Cabaye played a ball over the top of the Toffees’ defence to Demba Ba, but the striker’s poor touch allowed Phil Jagielka to recover and make a tackle.
Against the run of play, Everton then manufactured three chances in quick succession. The best by far fell to Saha who ran free of the home defence after an aerial ball beat the Toon defence. However, the Frenchman dwelt on the ball, allowing Steven Taylor to pressure him into squandering his shot.
Moments later, Moyes’ men were made to rue their missed chances after a failed clearance from a Newcastle throw-in fell to Ryan Taylor on the edge of the area. The left-back had no right to score, but after Drenthe failed to close him down he smashed an unstoppable volley, leaving Howard helpless.
In spite of the pressure from Newcastle, Everton refused to give up. On the stroke of half-time, they won their first corner of the match after a strong run down the right flank. Jack Rodwell ran to the front post to meet the ball and nod it past Krul.
Newcastle began the second half continuing to pile the pressure on Moyes’ men. The first chance came as the ball fell to Guthrie on the edge of the box, but the midfielder did not have time to settle and shot high and wide.
Moments later, Saha was presented with a chance to equalise after Drenthe found him on the edge of the box. The former Manchester United man hit a powerful, low shot but Taylor deflected it wide.
As ever, the Merseysiders refused to give up and were relentless in attacking the Magpies’ goal. But the equaliser failed to materialise; Saha missed a late chance and Cahill just failed to connect with a dangerous cross.
Newcastle United now move to second in the Premier League table ahead of Manchester United, who kick off later on Saturday, while Everton slip to 16th.
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