A dogged Newcastle United performance earned a point against an Everton side that dominated on Wednesday night.
Salomon Rondon made it three goals in four games by opening the scoring at Goodison Park. Rondon fired home Jacob Murphy’s fine cross in the 19th minute, in one of Newcastle’s many counter attacks.
Everton, who dominated possession throughout the match, clawed themselves back in the game. Richarlison took advantage of Jamal Lascelles’ inadvertent flick-on from a corner with a fine finish seven minutes before half time. Newcastle also had Martin Dubravka to thank for keeping the Magpies in the game. The Newcastle ‘keeper was in fine form, pulling off a string of fine saves.
Despite being dominant, Everton failed to force Dubravka into a single save of note in the second half. It was clear that Rafael Benitez had set the Magpies up to counter the Toffees. That was indeed the case and Newcastle looked a real threat at times, with Christian Atsu causing problems. Atsu forced Jordan Pickford into a stunning low save when he struck a powerful 16-yard drive from DeAndre Yedlin’s knock down. Atsu perhaps should have won the game in the final minute when played through by substitute Ayoze Perez from a quick throw-in.
Newcastle’s defending was superb, only one lapse in concentration led to Everton’s equaliser. That will frustrate Benitez somewhat. Fabian Schar was the stand out player, the Switzerland international made an impressive five interceptions, five tackles and 12 clearances. Schar was also dominant in the air, winning six out of eight aerial challenges. Schar has become a very important player for Newcastle in recent weeks. His performance at Goodison Park will go a long way to cementing his place in the starting eleven.
Next up for Newcastle is a home game against Wolves on Sunday who impressively beat Chelsea on Tuesday night. There is confusion about whether to boycott the game on Sunday, as this was originally the plan. However, with fresh takeover talks appearing weeks before the January transfer window (We’ve been here before haven’t we?), The Magpie Group have decided to postpone the boycott until February. Some fans are still keen to go ahead with this, so Sunday will provide a very strange atmosphere at St James’ Park.