Another game, another 3-2 defeat and another defensive horror show ensured United left Merseyside empty handed on Monday night.
An awful firs half performance put the game beyond doubt before the interval although Newcastle very nearly, and against any odds, managed to salvage something from the match.
However if you start a game in the Premier League so poorly and give up three soft goals away from home then you’re going to struggle and ultimately that was our downfall. Alan Pardew will shoulder a lot of the blame but some of the players in that side, especially defensively, should take a good, hard look at themselves and ponder if they are doing even the basics correctly.
The home side grabbed the lead after just five minutes through on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku who was on hand to apply the finish past Tim Krul who was left with little to no chance of stopping it.
Lukaku had a hand in the second goal also as Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa seemingly just ran away from the Belgian striker allowing him to tee up Ross Barklay who found the back of the net midway through the first half.
An awful defensive display was rounded off in some style on 37 minutes as Lukaku added a third after a long punt upfield from Tim Howard somehow eluded both Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul allowing the former Anderlecht man the privilege of dispatching the ball into an unguarded net.
Awful. Plain awful. All United could muster in return was a tame effort from Hatem Ben Arfa which Tim Howard comfortably pushed away and in truth the away side could probably count themselves rather fortunate to be just the three goals behind.
Half-time: Everton 3-0 Newcastle
A double change from Alan Pardew saw the hapless Hatem Ben Arfa and miserable Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa replaced by Yohan Cabaye and Mike Williamson respectively, and it was a double substitution which paid almost immediate dividends.
First Yoan Gouffran hit the inside of the post and moments later United managed to end Everton’s defensive robustness and score at Goodison Park in 687 minutes of Premier League action, and it wasn’t a bad goal either from Yohan Cabaye who beat Tim Howard with a screamer from outside the penalty area.
Loic Remy could have added another soon after but he was denied by Phil Jagielka before Cabaye wasted a chance from a free-kick by firing into the wall.
With time running out it looked as though Cabaye’s strike would prove to be merely a consolation, but in the closing seconds of normal time Mathieu Debuchy nodded the ball back to Loic Remy who prodded the ball home to make injury time very interesting indeed.
And the comeback was very nearly complete in stoppage time as Remy collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area before firing just over Tim Howard’s crossbar in what was to be the last real chance of the match.
Full-time: Everton 3-2 Newcastle
As I said at the start, if you give so much away so easily you’ll always struggle and that was the case here. I’m heartened by the second half performance which, in fairness, couldn’t have been any worse than the one witnessed in the first, but ultimately it meant nothing.
Unconfirmed reports surfaced after the match suggesting that Alan Pardew tendered his resignation although I wouldn’t know if it’s true and I very much doubt the people who started it all off know if it’s true either. However, much longer and I don’t think Alan Pardew will get the choice to leave.
Howay the lads!
Everton: Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas, James McCarthy, Gareth Barry, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku
Subs: Joel Robles, John Heitinga, Nikica Jelavic, Arouna Kone, Gerard Deulofeu, Steven Naismith, John Stones
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Cheik Tiote, Moussa Sissoko; Yoan Gouffran, Loic Remy, Hatem Ben Arfa
Subs: Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Mike Williamson, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Papiss Cisse
P.S: Apologies for the delay in getting this out. I’ve been working odd shifts starting at midnight!