Newcastle United emerged victorious at St James’ Park after Callum Wilson scored a brace to defeat Everton.
After being saved by Jacob Murphy’s free-kick heroics in their last Premier League game, Steve Bruce’s side was looking for their 3rd Premier League win of the season after 2 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses.
Everton came into today’s game without many of their key players, with James Rodriguez out injured, both Richarlison and Lucas Digne suspended and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford dropped by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Little happened in the first half, as each side struggled to create chances for much of the first 45 minutes. The best chance came from a swift Newcastle counter-attack, launched by Miguel Almiron, who passed it to Callum Wilson on the left-wing, before threading the ball through to Allan Saint-Maximin. Though the Frenchman failed to score in a one-on-one with the debuting Robin Olsen.
The home side took the lead in the 55th minute, after Wilson was fouled in the Everton box following Sean Longstaff’s corner. A debatable call on whether it was or wasn’t a penalty, what wasn’t debatable was Wilson’s clean strike from the penalty spot to make it 1-0.
Everton, ever-dangerous on set pieces, almost found themselves level in the 64th minute. A swinging cross found the head of the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but the striker’s header was caught by Karl Darlow.
Ryan Fraser was brought on for Saint-Maximin late in the 2nd half and made an instant impact. Blistering on the counter -attack, he combined with his former Bournemouth teammate Wilson to assist the latter for his 2nd goal of the afternoon and to put the game to bed.
Calvert-Lewin pulled one back for the visitors after a lucky deflection from Alex Iwobi’s cross. Both teams’ fan will remember the incredible events when these sides met back in January, when Florian Lejeune scored two in the space of a minute to rescue a point for Newcastle at Goodison Park. This time, the Toon held on for all 3 points after 6 minutes of stoppage time.
It may not have been the prettiest or enthralling game of football played on the hallowed turf of St James’ Park, and critics of Steve Bruce will point to the performance as the manager being lucky once again. Yet Newcastle are exceeding the expectations of many, as they have now moved up to 10th in the table, though many teams around them have only played 6 games compared to Newcastle’s 7.