Oh, how the blue half of Merseyside roared… for about 10 minutes at most.
Blue smoke, fireworks, and an atmosphere that promised so much but delivered very little.
Everton had the best of the opening period of the first half, winning the second balls and pressing Newcastle which forced some sloppy mistakes.
Newcastle began to grow into the game and scored the opener through Callum Wilson in the 28th minute, an instinctive finish as he popped the ball into the net following Jordan Pickford’s parry on Joelinton’s shot.
Everton thought they had equalized on the stroke of half-time when Dominic Calvert-Lewin latched onto Dwight McNeil’s pass but his lofted finish over Nick Pope was ruled out by VAR for offside.
The in-form Joe Willock skipped past Ben Godfrey down the left to present Joelinton with a simple downward header into the far corner to double Newcastle’s lead.
Before that, Willock had almost made it two himself, producing a stunning dipping volley that forced Pickford into a spectacular save.
Newcastle were celebrating a third two minutes later, as Everton’s capitulation continued.
Bruno Guimaraes drove forward unopposed and calmly set up Wilson for a fine finish high into the net beyond Pickford.
Dwight McNeil reduced the deficit in bizarre fashion as his corner-kick missed Abdoulaye Doucoure at the near post.... only for the attempt to surprise Pope and crept into the net.
Fear not said Alexander Isak, fuelled by the annoyance of being left on the bench, Isak took possession of the ball just over the halfway line, skipping by Godfrey and Michael Keane—turning them inside out in the process.
Isak then clipped the ball to Murphy who couldn’t miss.
This Alexander Isak assist is in the top two assists of the season and it's not 2nd. pic.twitter.com/XcOJUl4rgq— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) April 28, 2023
Fabian Schar thought he had scored a magnificent fifth in stoppage time but his long-range effort was ruled out for offside against Dan Burn in the build-up.
Murphy then spurned another chance at the death. That was more than enough punishment for an Everton side staring relegation in the face.
Much was made of the atmosphere in the build-up to the game but Newcastle handled it expertly and shrugged Everton off with ease.
It has been an outstanding season for Eddie Howe’s side, and the job the former Bournemouth manager has done on Tyneside is nothing short of incredible. Something special is happening at Newcastle and the players and fans are loving every second of it.