A huge win for Steve Bruce and a much improved display, with Callum Wilson’s brace grabbing the headlines in a game that saw every Newcastle United player play their part!
Here’s some comments on each player’s performance along with marks out of 10:
Darlow – 7 – Quick off line to cut out an early ball over the top for Calvert-Lewin but got nowhere near a set piece Mina headed over moments later. He did recover from a nervy start, however, palming a Rodriguez shot away and doing well to punch crosses clear when Everton threw balls into the box late on.
Manquillo – 9 – Outstanding today and proving why he comfortably our best right-back when fit. Pushed up whenever he could to give us an outlet down the right and carried the ball well early on as he tried to run at Everton. Also looked switched on defensively, reacting quickly to balls in and around the box, winning his battles and doing brilliantly throughout to keep the double-threat of Digne and Richarlison quiet. No NUFC player had more touches or made more tackles.
Lascelles (c) – 7 – Committed a cynical early foul on Richarlison to get him booked after just three minutes but recovered well from that, staying tight to Calvert-Lewin and cutting out several balls into the box before he limped off on the 54th minute. After a steady display, let’s hope the skipper isn’t out for too long.
Schar – 8 – Bruce and Benitez have both doubted his ability to play in a four-man defence, but he did it superbly today. Made more clearances than any other player on the pitch, made a few vital interceptions and gave us an air of calm in possession, too. He was brilliant in the second half against Leeds and took that into today’s game. Will be the next to be rewarded with a new deal if he can keep that up!?
Lewis – 8 – After a tough start to life on Tyneside, this much improved display could give his confidence levels the world of good! He looked much more competent going forward, putting in a few decent crosses and timing his runs well on the overlap, with his latest pass for Wilson a brilliant assist and well deserved reward. A few scruffy clearances and was beaten by Iwobi far too easily on one occasion, but this was his best display since signing last summer.
Hayden – 8 – A dominant display in the middle of the park, with him protecting our two centre-backs admirably throughout, showing calmness on the ball, nipping into tackles and winning his battles. He’s filled in well in defence recently, but he gives our midfield that added bit of steel when he’s at it!
Shelvey – 7.5 – Much better and benefited from having far more options to hit ahead of him. Moved the ball quickly, whether it be slick forward passes on the ground or spraying it wide into space. Benefited from us playing higher up the pitch – even if he wasn’t able to press as well as some – and grabbed an assist via the corner Wilson glanced in. Booked for three late fouls on Rodriguez and wasted the odd chance from set pieces, but that’s much more like it from him.
Hendrick – 7 – Tidy on the ball, linking up well with Almiron, Wilson and Manquillo down the right-hand side. He gave Digne too much space early on, but that improved as the game went on. He’s got stick for his limitations and lack of involvement in games, but he did a very solid job here.
Almiron – 9 – The non-stop Paraguayan started in his favoured No 10 role and was a thorn in Everton’s side from first minute to last, being our key man on the counter, our creative link between midfield and attack and the one player offering endless amounts of energy to press the ball in both halves. Created more chances than any other player on the pitch (3), with one coming from a lovely reverse pass into Wilson that saw him hit the post. An outstanding effort – that’s what you get when he plays in his preferred position!
Fraser – 8 – Created several big chances, with his whipped corner being headed off the bar by Wilson and his perfectly weighted ball across the box finding his former Bournemouth partner before he put it wide. His work off the ball was equally impressive, however, with his movement, pace and energy causing all sorts of problems.
Wilson –9.5* – What a striker! Not only did he take both his goals emphatically, he bullied two big centre-backs, linked the play brilliantly, gave us an outlet out wide AND a target to hit in the middle via his electric movement. Looks an absolute bargain at £20m and the full package, being much more than just a goalscorer. It would’ve been a 10/10 if it wasn’t for him missing that big chance early in the second half!
Clark – 7 – Replaced an injured Lascelles just 10 minutes into the second half and slotted in well. As ever with the Irishman, there was no fuss, solid defending and very little he did wrong!
Saint-Maximin – 7 – Gave us an outlet on the counter to keep Everton from overcommitting and played a key part in our second goal, with his smart pass to Lewis creating space for the left-back to set up Wilson. Also got a few fans off their sofas with a livel
About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.