Everton 1-0 Newcastle: Theo Walcott strike sends hosts to eighth
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 24/04/18 8:48am
An early second-half strike from Theo Walcott was enough for Everton to beat Newcastle 1-0 in the Premier League on Monday and send the Toffees into eighth place.
In a game of few chances at Goodison Park, Walcott converted Wayne Rooney's cross in the 51st minute to give Everton their first win in four games.
Rafa Benitez was not able to fashion a victory in his 100th game as Newcastle manager, with Dwight Gayle - who started the game on the bench - going closest in the 64th minute for the visitors.
Everton: Pickford (7), Coleman (7), Jagielka (7), Keane (7), Baines (7), Gueye (6), Schneiderlin (6), Walcott (7), Rooney (6), Bolasie (6), Tosun (6).
Subs used: Davies (6), Calvert-Lewin (6), Niasse (n/a).
Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Yedlin (6), Lascelles (6), Lejeune (6), Dummett (6), Shelvey (6), Diame (7), Perez (7), Ritchie (6), Kenedy (6), Slimani (5).
Subs used: Gayle (7), Murphy (5), Merino (n/a).
Man of the match: Theo Walcott.
The win sees Everton leapfrog Leicester into eighth spot, although they are eight points behind seventh-placed Burnley, while Newcastle remain 10th.
Everton could have nabbed an early goal inside three minutes when Walcott darted into the box before his intended pass to Rooney was poorly intercepted, but Cenk Tosun was unable to capitalise on the loose ball as his effort flashed across the face of goal.
Everton named an unchanged side from their previous draw with Swansea. Newcastle made one change with Islam Slimani handed his first Magpies start, coming in for Dwight Gayle.
Everton went close for a second time 30 minutes later. Newcastle failed to clear a corner, allowing Rooney to whip the ball into the area which was headed towards the back post by Michael Keane. His effort found Phil Jagielka, but he could only put his stretching volley over the crossbar from close range.
But Everton did find the breakthrough six minutes into the second half, as Yannick Bolasie pumped a ball into the area from the right to pick out Walcott at the back post. The former Arsenal forward then found himself a pocket of space before lifting the ball over goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and into the roof of the net.
Newcastle could have scored an equaliser in the 64th minute in one of their rare chances in the game. Jonjo Shelvey's corner met the head of Jamaal Lascelles, who directed the ball towards the back post for substitute Gayle, but the striker could not get the right connection as his volley went over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors saw the better of the ball in the closing stages as they looked to snatch a point, and they nearly succeeded in the last minute of injury time, but Jacob Murphy's cross was headed behind strongly by Seamus Coleman as the Magpies' four-match winning streak came to an end.
Jordan Pickford had a good game for Everton and was solid when called upon. He was aided by Michael Keane, with a generally good display in defence although he was tested by Dwight Gayle later in the game.
Man of the Match Theo Walcott scored the only goal to increase his chances of being on the plane, although Jonjo Shelvey took time to grow into the game with better passing from the midfielder in the closing stages.
- Everton have won five consecutive top-flight games against Newcastle for the first time since January 1920.
- This is the first time that Everton have kept five consecutive clean sheets against a single opponent in the Premier League.
- Newcastle have won just one of their last 14 Premier League trips to Goodison Park (D3 L10).
- Theo Walcott has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last nine Premier League games against Newcastle (5 goals, 5 assists)
Sam Allardyce (Everton): "We completely dominated the game, out-passed the opposition in their half. We found it very difficult to break them down because they had all 10players behind the ball in their own half and you have to be patient. We were patient and got the winner. Some of our passing went astray but in fairness you can't really blame me for that can you? I don't pass the ball out there, the lads do."
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle): "We didn't take our chances and that is the difference when you have Walcott or Rooney or players on these wages that can make a difference. We did really well to be here to play against this team. To expect that we have to beat them easily is impossible. They have very good players and they can make the difference. We battled and we fought until the end so we had the chance to draw, but we lost against a good team and that's it."
Man of the Match - Theo Walcott
It was a well taken goal from Walcott that sees him take the man-of-the-match plaudits, and when Everton were on the attack, he was mostly involved as he played off the left wing in the second half as well as making the most sprints in the game (80).
His strike was his fifth Premier League goal against Newcastle, and he has only scored more against West Ham (six). His strike was the third goal he has scored since joining the club in January. After the game, Walcott said: "It was a much-needed three points after a disappointing run of results."
Everton will be in action again on Saturday when they travel to Huddersfield in the Premier League with Newcastle also playing on the same day when they welcome West Brom to St James' Park.