Tuesday 12 December 2017

Toon charge ends in whimper


Jon Culley

In the end, it was all a bit of an anti-climax for Newcastle. Results elsewhere condemned their dream of playing in next season's Champions League to being no more than that.

In any event, they never looked good enough to secure the basic requirement of a win. From the moment a deflected shot from Steven Pienaar put them on the back foot after 16 minutes, the Magpies needed to break new ground by winning from a goal behind -- an incredible statistic given the season they have had.

Nikica Jelavic, taking his chance at the second attempt after Tim Krul had defied his first with a superb save, doubled Everton's lead before the half-hour to put the hosts in complete control.

John Heitinga, unmarked, added a third with a header 20 minutes into the second half, Newcastle getting one back only because Tony Hibbert was generous enough to head the ball past his own 'keeper.

Even a red card for Tim Cahill following an altercation with Yohan Cabaye after the final whistle, did not dampen Goodison's celebratory mood as they finished above Liverpool.

Newcastle were poor, as if the Herculean effort that had enabled them to stay in the top seven all season had left nothing in the tank. By contrast, Everton were full of running and ambition. (© Independent News Service)

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