Everton profited from two Kieran Trippier errors to score late goals through Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Beto as they claimed a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Thursday to move out of the Premier League relegation zone. It was a deserved win for the Merseysiders, who had been in danger of dropping to the bottom three following their controversial 10-point deduction by the Premier League for breaching profitability and sustainability rules last month but have now moved above Luton Town into 17th place as they continue their appeal against the sanction.
Newcastle’s dreadful start to the season continued as they suffered their fifth defeat in six league games to erode further their slim chances of avoiding relegation. Everton were on top for large parts of the first half but could not turn their dominance into a lead, with both sides failing to score until deep into stoppage time.
It was a fractious affair, with both sides showing plenty of physicality and battling hard for every ball. Everton, who have won only one of their previous five home matches this season, looked more dangerous with the ball in midfield and created several chances. Joelinton and the lively Miguel Almiron were both denied by Jordan Pickford, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header went narrowly wide, and Alexander Isak blazed over from close range.
The Toffees were a more composed side after the break and took the lead in the 74th minute as McNeil pounced on another Trippier error to race through and fire past Dubravka from 10 yards. Doucoure was then on hand to volley home the third from another Trippier mistake, and substitute Beto sealed the victory with his first goal for the club as he latched onto Nathan Patterson’s through ball and held off two converging defenders to tuck under Dubravka.
Everton manager Sean Dyche praised his team’s mentality after the game and emphasized the importance of their connection. He said: ‘It was a significant victory for us because it’s psychologically vital. It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the team, but I feel a natural bond between the players.
Dyche, whose side had been booed during the Premier League anthem before kick-off and throughout the match in protest against their 10-point deduction, added: ‘I thought the performance was a good reaction to the difficult period we have been through. It’s an opportunity to show our character and resilience, and I felt that throughout the team.’
Everton remains on course to finish in the top half of the table, with 12 games remaining, but would need dramatic results in the run-in to avoid a repeat of their relegation struggles of the last two seasons. The Toffees, who have won just a single away game in the league this season and are without a win in their past five, travel to Chelsea on Sunday. Newcastle, who have lost as many games this season, five, as they did in the last campaign, are four points above the relegation zone, with seven games left to play.