Bring on technology
As part of our new Premier League Snap-shots feature Lewis Rutledge looks at Everton's thrilling draw with Newcastle
Last Updated: September 18, 2012 1:02am
Everton and Newcastle played out a 2-2 draw full of incident and excitement at Goodison Park that will have left fans breathless and the managers bewildered by some of what they witnessed.
The hosts were firmly in control at half-time but the match really exploded into life after the interval as Newcastle came back strongly, while the issue of goal-line technology is now sure to rear its head again.
David Moyes had to tinker with his midfield due to the absence of the injured Darron Gibson, and opted to push Phil Neville forward alongside Leon Osman.
Steven Naismith also dropped to the bench and Kevin Mirallas was brought in for his first start, with Tony Hibbert occupying the right-back berth.
Mirallas certainly impressed on debut, showing plenty of neat touches as well as the physicality required for the Premier League
Missing several first-team regulars due to injury, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew felt the need to reinforce his midfield with an extra body and Demba Ba was the man to make way, with Sylvain Marveaux coming in for a rare start.
Fabricio Coloccini and Danny Simpson were replaced by Mike Williamson and James Perch at the back, with Steve Harper coming in for Tim Krul between the posts.
The new-look defence was given a torrid time in the first half, while Marveaux offered little in attack and was instead given the run-around by Everton left-back Leighton Baines.
Everton's dynamic and powerful midfield completely dominated proceedings in the first half, with fluidity of movement allowing players to switch positions seamlessly.
Pardew tried to set his team up to counter the threat coming down Everton's left-hand side, but Perch was given little help by the ineffective Marveaux as Baines linked up with Steven Pienaar to tremendous effect.
Marouane Fellaini again showed why he is one of the most formidable opponents in the Premier League, but Newcastle came out after the interval a rejuvenated side.
Playing to their strengths and showing a greater sense of adventure, the match developed into an end to-end thriller rather than a one-sided affair.
Cabaye started to get on the ball more in midfield and Ben Arfa posed plenty of problems, with Ba joining Papiss Cisse in a front two.
Two of the substitutes made telling contributions in a pulsating climax at Goodison Park.
Moyes was forced into a change just before half-time when Nikica Jelavic hobbled off with a knock to be replaced by Victor Anichebe, who had a massive impact as he continued his habit of scoring as a substitute.
The first-half performance of Marveaux left Pardew with an easy decision to bring on Ba and the Senegalese striker proved his worth within minutes as he slotted past Tim Howard, before snatching a late equaliser.
Another substitute, Shola Ameobi, flicked the ball on for Ba to net his scond after coming on as a late replacement for Cisse.
The decision set to dominate post-match discussion came in the 78th minute when Anichebe's header was knocked on to the crossbar by Harper and appeared to bounce down just over the line but was not given as a goal, although it was very close and is sure to lead to fresh debate about the use of technology.
Referee Mike Jones then decided to stop a dangerous Hatem Ben Arfa counter-attack just a few seconds later when he should have waved play on.
There had already been controversy earlier in the second half, when the linesman incorrectly raised his flag for offside as Fellaini put the ball in the net.
Jones had otherwise done well to let the game flow amid some strong challenges, while he resisted the temptation to book Anichebe after a late challenge on Harper, following a sporting gesture when the Newcastle keeper appeared to say the substitute had gone for the ball.
FIFA agreed in July to allow the introduction of goal-line technology after it was approved by the International FA Board.
There has since been talk about how quickly it could be implemented in the Premier League, with FA general secretary Alex Horne suggesting January as a possible date. Anichebe's 'goal' may ensure the process is speeded up and definitely does come in midway through this season.
Away from the technology, Everton will be full of confidence for the future after another impressive home display, while Pardew believes the point Newcastle gained could prove to be a springboard for the future after a much-improved second-half performance. He faces tough choices, though, with Ba looking in better form than Cisse at present.