We’ve seen a lot over the years at Newcastle United, but I have NEVER seen anything quite like that.
With a minute left we were 2-0 down (honestly, you read that right!), but TWO stoppage time goals from Florian Lejeune has somehow earned us a point in a game we played awfully in for 93 of the 94 minutes. You couldn’t make it up!
The irony of it all is that we hadn’t had a shot on target up until Lejeune’s late double – a player who hadn’t score a single goal for Newcastle United in 44 appearances until tonight.
We were pretty awful all over the pitch and looked set to give Everton arguably their easiest 3 points of the season – but 90 seconds of utter madness has changed all of that, keeping our unbeaten run going in the most unlikely of fashions.
Here are the two goals:
The first half was a frustrating watch. Everton were pressing in numbers, meaning we had the chance to counter and get in behind midfield with a bit of quality and composure, but both Matty and Sean Longstaff were struggling to find our front three.
Almiron was lively and by far our best player and biggest threat in the first 45, but Atsu was anonymous and the ball wasn’t sticking to Joelinton.
Then, Everton’s opener arrived. The ball fell to Bernard 30 yards out, Fernandez got dragged out, lost his man Moise Kean and saw the Italian striker latch on to a clever lobbed through ball as a result. The 19-year-old’s first touch wasn’t great, but we didn’t react quick enough. His shot was straight at Dubravka, but the Slovakian got under it, with Hayden’s attempt to block appearing to leave him unsighted.
1-0 to Everton at the break and a scoreline we deserved for a shoddy first half display that lacked spark in attack or security at the back.
In the second half, the trend continued. Everton were in control and creating all of the openings while we struggled to string more than a few passes together – never mind emerge into the final third.
Then, Everton’s second arrived. Lascelles tried to intercept a Digne pass but overcommitted, allowing Dominic Calvert-Lewin to roll him and fire past Dubravka.
At this point the game felt over and, in truth, we showed no sign of coming back into it.
Bruce brought on THREE defenders (Krafth, Schar, Lejeune) for Joelinton, Atsu and Clark (who had been booked) – a move that baffled many as if we were accepting defeat – but little did we know what was about to unfold.
Lejeune’s first was an impressive overhead kick, although it felt like nothing but a consolation at the time. I’d say Everton then got twitchy, but I don’t think many inside Goodison believed there was time for another – especially when we’d looked so unlikely to score for the entire 90 up until this point.
Then, with us quickly regaining possession from the restart and lumping the ball forward, a goal mouth scramble saw Lejeune bundle it over the line once again!
The referee signalled that the ball had gone over the line and the away end erupted, leaving Everton fans gobsmacked and Jordan Pickford furious – although I don’t know what he was doing trying to save Lejeune’s effort from well behind the line!
A result our performance did not deserve, but it’s a brilliant point and one of the most bonkers finishes to a football match I’ve ever witnessed!
It must be said that we were VERY poor all over the pitch tonight, badly missing Carroll’s presence, Saint-Maximin’s spark and Shelvey’s creativity, yet we’ve managed to come away with another precious result.
The draw sends us up to 30 points and 7 clear of the drop zone, maintaining our unbeaten ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash at St James’ Park
Next up, Oxford United!