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Instant Reaction Everton 3 - 0 Newcastle United

In the buildup it felt like we were going to need a misstep from Everton today to take anything from this match. That did not come.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

There are recurring story lines with Newcastle United these days.  One of those is John Carver and his desire to distance himself from Alan Pardew (at times) in order to ear the job on a permanent basis.  Frequently he falls short on the first and ultimately should fall short on the second.

With Papiss Cisse taking an extended vacation late in the season and Ayoze Perez "showing signs of exhaustion", the return to a 4-2-3-1 was potentially the train that Johnny Cash sang about in the Folsom Prison Blues.  Because that's what Pardew would have done... and Carver is pretty much Pardew in disguise.  Although there was some consternation in reaction to Yoan Gouffran starting yet another match, Newcastle started fairly brightly looked like they were intending to take the match right at Everton.  It was encouraging and we all felt just a little hopeful.  In fact, Newcastle perhaps should have found themselves up 1-0 in those opening moments as Howard saved from a Gabriel Obertan shot and Williamson's followup was blocked by James McCarthy.  There were shouts for a handball call as the shot did strike him on the elbow, but it always seemed a bit more ball-to-arm than the other way around.  Regardless, it was not called and the match went on.

It didn't take Everton nearly as long to get going as it did against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday, and they began a steady diet of feeding Romelu Lukaku to collect and distribute in the attack.  He did exactly that as he back-heeled into the path of James McCarthy who ran into space created by Coloccini closing on Lukaku and Ryan Taylor not collapsing inside.  McCarthy scuffed a speculative shot from some 24 yards out which Krul responded to by falling down and conceding the opener.

After that point, hopes for a 1-1 draw seemed like the best-case scenario even after Newcastle managed to look interested as the first half came to a close.  The second half would have been much more enjoyable had it not even occurred at all as Carver persisted with very odd personnel decisions, leaving a poor Yoan Gouffran on the pitch as he brought Ayoze Perez on at halftime for Gabriel Obertan.  Gouffran would end up turning the ball over near his own 18-yard box then tripped Aaron Lennon to concede a penalty from which Romelu Lukaku made no mistake.  It was all over but the crying at that point, and the crying essentially was Fabricio Coloccini getting himself a straight red so he could join Cisse on the late-season vacation list.  Ross Barkley added a third with the last kick of the game, but as evidenced by the balance of the match, Newcastle didn't give about as much of a damn about that as they will have done that they were trounced yet again in a meaningless match.