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Season 2018-19
Everton (h) Premier League

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Saturday 9th March 2019, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Astonishing


Newcastle United


3 - 2




18 mins Matt Ritchie's thumped clearance from left back dropped to Lucas Digne towards the middle of the field and he out-jumped Ayoze Perez to find Bernard ahead of him. The Brazilian's neat control and reverse pass set Digne away down the Everton left and his excellent cross allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to get ahead of Jamaal Lascelles to glance a header inside the far post. 0-1

(30 mins Matt Ritchie penalty saved)

32 mins In the aftermath of the penalty incident, the ball was pumped forward well into the home half and Calvert-Lewin beat Isaac Hayden to a header, leaving the Newcastle man on the floor with an apparent head injury.

Play continued with Bernard threading a pass through to Calvert-Lewin on the right of the United box and he had time and space to send over a cross that Lascelles headed out. Gomes won the tussle with Almiron before shrugging off Matt Ritchie and pinging a low ball across the six yard box. 

Martin Dubravka dived and got a hand to it, but succeeded only in placing it on the boot of the onrushing Richarlison, who poked it into the net from close range with Fabian Schar looking on.

The time between the penalty save and the goal was 71 seconds.

Half time: Magpies 0 Toffees 2

65 mins A fine backheel from Ritchie inside the United half robbed Bernard and set Isaac Hayden away down the right. He picked out Perez, who got between two defenders on the edge of the box to win a header that was directed back towards Rondon.

The Venezuelan then hesitated for a second before returning a pass to Perez, who had moved away from his marker. The Spaniard's next act was decisive; taking one touch with his right foot to make an angle before a superb flicked pass picked out Salomon Rondon, who had both feet off the ground when he memorably volleyed home at the Gallowgate End. 

81 mins Florian Lejeune's upfield ball towards Rondon was met with a downward header from Curt Zouma that Hayden's first-time pass diverted into the path of Miguel Almiron. Taking one touch to steady himself, the Paraguayan then unleashed a fierce shot from 30 yards out that Jordan Pickford could only knock down with a two-handed parry above his head.

Following in was Ayoze Perez and when the ball appeared in front of him, he tucked it under the goalkeeper with a first-time effort from 10 yards out. As the scorer celebrated in front of the Strawberry Corner with his trademark fingers in ears alongside Paul Dummett and Almiron, Isaac Hayden appeared and urged his team mates to restart the game. He knew this wasn't over.

Jordan: the comeback

84 mins An aimless defensive header following a corner cost the Toffees dear as DeAndre Yedlin's miskick prompted Hayden's hopeful looped return into the box. Rondon reacted and cushioned the ball on his knee, allowing Ayoze Perez to crash in a volley from six yards and provoke further scenes of mass hysteria. TV Pictures later showed four or five United players, including Rondon, standing offside as Hayden played the ball back in. Good. 3-2

Full time: Magpies 3 Toffees 2

We Said


"Today, you could see something I’ve been saying from day one: these players, they care, they work really hard, they fight for each other. 

"And in a difficult game like this one, they stayed calm and kept pushing. That is what the fans are expecting from these players.

"As always, it’s the reaction of the players. At half time, we were talking about staying calm, don’t concede another goal. I told them if we scored one goal, we’d be back in the game. We kept pushing - stopping them playing and creating chances.

"If it’s a penalty, it could be a yellow card - but that’s it. We cannot change anything with that situation. The only thing is, we miss the penalty and concede a minute after - that is my problem.

"The link between Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon - if Lionel Messi was doing that everybody would be talking about the goal.

(Lascelles) was complaining about his knee so we had to do it (substitute him). We had the four in the back and put another body in the middle. 

"We were winning those second balls and, from that, we were creating more chances.

"The players were a little bit down (at half time) but the main thing was to stay calm.

“It was quite difficult because we didn’t play as badly as you think when you’re 2-0 down at half-time. The team was OK. We made some mistakes, we missed the penalty, but still we had chances - Ayoze (Perez) had a chance.

"To go in 2-0 down after missing a penalty, you have to keep the players believing they can do it. I told the players to stay calm, analyse what we have to do, and that if we score one we’ll be back in the game.

"Later on we were fine, controlling the game but not creating too much. Then we changed to four at the back, moved Ritchie to more of a winger, and we had more control of the second balls and created more.

"We need two more wins now, but I had thought one would be enough.

"To see the reaction of our players in front of the fans was amazing. Before, we were losing at home, but now we’re winning - and, to win five [in a row] at home, we have to be delighted."

Responding to comparisons of his half team talk with Liverpool's Champions League final:

"It was similar, in terms of the team talk because you have to give them something to believe.

"In Istanbul we changed and put three at the back, we had problems with players between the lines. 

(Today) we changed later but the main thing was that we were doing something to switch play and then come from behind.

"They were winning, they were passing the ball, they’re a good team. We needed to be more on top of them, to have more control, otherwise they would be passing the ball for a while. We needed to do something different.

"It was important for the players to feel the support of the fans, and also for the fans to see the players believing, running and working so hard, so both things were really positive.

"Scoring the first goal, they believed that we could score and I think they (Everton) were a little bit scared at this time and then were we were maximising our attacks and our pressing and everything."

They Said

Marco Silva said:
"When they scored the third goal it was a big mistake by the assistant - it was a clear offside.

"If you see the image it's not just one or two players in offside positions, there were five Newcastle players in the same line in offside positions.

"If 2-2 for us at that moment was a big frustration, imagine when they scored the third goal in a clear offside position?"

[Nothing compared to seeing a keeper stay on the pitch, save a penalty and then go 0-2 down seconds later. Imagine that, Marco....]

"Jordan (Pickford) is an expressive player. Two seasons ago he made a big step in his career coming to us and, then, playing at the level he played for the national team in the World Cup and he is able to cope with all atmospheres in all stadiums around the world.

"I'm not thinking that the good and not so good things he did in the game were because of the crowd.

"It is really difficult for us and me as a coach when we prepare everything so well and I can see what our players did for 60 minutes only to give it away so easily.

"It is a lesson for all of our players, starting with Jordan, because we have to have enough experience to take the right decisions at this level and we have had a lack of that in some moments during season and again, on Saturday, it was really difficult for us. 

"It is not just about Jordan, it is about the whole team.

"When something wrong happened for us in the game everything changed so fast. We have to realise why and found out why this has happened to us so many times this season.

"Even when they score to make it 2-1, we had to keep doing what we had planned, what is our way and what we have the capacity to do.”



You have to go back to October 2003 for the last time that United recovered from going two goals behind in the PL to win. That was a 3-2 victory over Fulham at their temporary Loftus Road home. 

(Rafa's side did repeat that feat against Norwich City at SJP in the Championship during September 2016, trailing 1-3 on 69 minutes but winning 4-3).

In terms of coming back from trailing by two goals but winning in the PL at SJP, the only previous example we can find is the 4-3 conquest of Leicester City in February 1997, when the Magpies trailed 1-3 as late as the 76th minute. 

Newcastle recorded a first win over Everton since beating them 3-2 at SJP in December 2014, ending a six game winless run (five losses, one draw).

United have now won five successive home games in the Premier League for the first time since Bobby Robson's side do so between January and April 2004 (and went on to make it six in a row).

Victory today gives Newcastle 22 home points, equal to their worst-ever PL tally, set in 2008/09.

With three home games remaining United are still in danger of recording their highest number of PL home losses in a season and lowest number of goals scored on our own patch.

Beaten eight so far, we're close to the figure of nine losses recorded in 2012/13 and a goal total of 19 still needs adding to if we're to match or exceed last season's record low of just 21 placed in the opposition net.  

The Magpies last scored three PL goals in one half against Spurs at SJP back in May 2016 and hadn't done so when facing Everton since rattling four in the second period of a 6-2 PL home victory over them here in March 2002.

Salomon Rondon netted his ninth goal for United and eighth in the PL. The Venezuelan now has 32 PL goals, having managed nine, eight and seven in three seasons at West Bromwich Albion.

Ayoze Perez made it seven for the season, six of which have come in the PL - and all of those at SJP (the other was at Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup). The Spaniard now has 42 to his name in all competitions for United, including 27 in the PL, a tally putting him twelfth level with Craig Bellamy.

NUFC after 30 games - selected seasons:

2008/09 29 points, 18th, goal difference -13
2015/16 25 points, 19th, goal difference -26
2017/18 32 points, 13th, goal difference -10
2018/19 34 points, 13th, goal difference -9

Toffees @ SJP - Premier years:

2018/19 Won 3-2 Rondon, Perez 2
2017/18 Lost 0-1
2015/16 Lost 0-1
2014/15 Won 3-2 Cisse, Perez, Colback
2013/14 Lost 0-3
2012/13 Lost 1-2 Cisse
2011/12 Won 2-1 og(Heitinga), R.Taylor
2010/11 Lost 1-2 Best
2008/09 Drew 0-0
2007/08 Won 3-2 Butt, Emre, Owen
2006/07 Drew 1-1 Ameobi
2005/06 Won 2-0 Solano 2
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2003/04 Won 4-2 Bellamy, Dyer, Shearer 2
2002/03 Drew 3-3 Dyer 2, OG (LC - lost on pens)
2002/03 Won 2-1 Shearer, Bellamy
2001/02 Won 6-2 Shearer, Cort, O'Brien, Solano 2, Bernard
2000/01 Lost 0-1
1999/00 Drew 1-1 Shearer
1998/99 Lost 1-3 Shearer
1998/99 Won 4-1 Ketsbaia 2, Shearer, Georgiadis (FAC)
1997/98 Won 1-0 Lee
1996/97 Won 4-1 Ferdinand, Lee, Shearer, Elliott
1995/96 Won 1-0 Ferdinand
1994/95 Won 2-0 Fox, Beardsley
1993/94 Won 1-0 Allen

PS: Everton captain Seamus Coleman was unwell during the warm-up and dropped out of the starting line-up shortly before kickoff, Jonjo Kenny stepping up from the bench. Kenny's place among the substitutes was taken by Tom Davies, who remained unused.



On the eve of his third anniversary as Newcastle manager, Rafa Benitez saw his side complete the most unlikely of second half comebacks on a momentous afternoon at St. James' Park in a game that contained almost a season's worth of goals and controversy over 95 minutes.

Had VAR been in operation, fans might have struggled to get their last metro home while countless camera angles were consulted in an attempt to unravel just what the hell went on here today. 

Before that televised torture becomes the norm though, this was a rare opportunity to revel in the unadulterated delight of turning tragedy to triumph - just weeks after a similar once in a blue moon feat against the reigning champions. 

If you weren't here today, perhaps the best comparison is with the 4-4 against Arsenal eight years ago, but with a winning goal. Maybe Theo Walcott (who faced us in both games) knew what was coming at 1-2, but his team mates and his manager didn't seem to have an inkling though. 

Trailing 0-2 at the interval and with Matt Ritchie having missed a penalty kick, the Magpies looked condemned to a second successive defeat until the 65th minute.

At that point Salomon Rondon halved the deficit after smart work by Ayoze Perez and the Spaniard then conjured up a late brace to give United a fifth successive home win amid scenes of sheer joy.  

Victory was made even sweeter by the sight of mackem-loving 'keeper, Jordan Pickford, retrieving the ball from his net three times in 20 minutes - although he shouldn't even have been on the field. 

The England international custodian was taunted from the first whistle for his wearside slackjaw tendencies, but somehow escaped censure after man-handling Rondon when he was about to tap the ball home to equalise Dominic Calvert-Lewin's headed opener.

A tackle more suited to Twickenham than Gallowgate was punished by a penalty but bungling referee Lee Mason inexplicably chose not to show a card of either colour to Pickford despite his clear and deliberate action. In no sense could he claim to have been going for the ball. Cojones maybe.....

Inevitably the 'keeper saved Ritchie's poor spot kick and misfortune turned into disaster within seconds,  Everton going
up the other end where some comedic defending saw them double their advantage through Richarlison amid scenes of fury both on and off the pitch.

A second half comeback seemed massively unlikely, although the missed penalty and a clear chance for Perez just before the interval could well have sent us in level. Paul Dummett replaced ascelles for the second half as United reverted to a back four and worked the ball forward with greater urgency. 

Rondon came close on 56 minutes, beating the offside trap and poking a goalbound effort beyond the advancing 'keeper, only to see it skid agonisingly wide of the unattended Gallowgate net. TV pictures of this later revealed Pickford laughing and sticking his tongue out at the crowd, which prompted yet more verbal abuse of him - and support for the home side, which would prove vital.

There were 25 minutes left when a combination between Ritchie and Hayden provided the basis for Perez and Rondon to interact in devastating fashion, the latter volleying
in to kickstart a comeback that was fuelled by a sense of injustice across both the field and the stands.

Kenedy and Jonjo Shelvey were added to the mix and Mason's decision to leave Pickford on the pitch ultimately worked in our favour, his presence keeping the crowd alive. That the blundering mackem's howler presented Perez with the chance to make it 2-2 was even sweeter of course.

A constant threat to the opposition all game (the benefit of staying on his feet rather than making amateurish attempts to win free kicks), Ayoze then completed the revival with six minutes remaining.

Pickford blocked Dummett's rising shot following a corner at the expense of another flag kick, the ball eventually ending up in front of goal, where Rondon teed it up for Perez to gleefully lash home and rattle windows in Gateshead.  

It seems so obvious that it's not worth mentioning, but Perez having some proper support up front in the shape of Rondon and Almiron has turned his career around. Even last season he gained some reward for the physical presence of Islam Slimani, albeit fleeting. The ball needs to be in the box.  

Five minutes of added time saw a crestfallen Toffees side fail to mount a serious response before Mason blew for full time to prompt another full-throated roar across Tyneside.

Huddersfield and Fulham are gone, but with Southampton and Cardiff both winning today, defeat here would have left Rafa's side anything but safe with eight games remaining. 

For 2018 read 2019: positive transfer window activity, a redoubling of efforts by the squad and a l resurgence of home form putting us well on the way to emulating their successful survival bid.

The prospect of contract talks between the club and the manager once relegation is mathematically avoided remains, but after three years it seems unlikely that the emotion of days like this will outweigh the reality of a club that continually and willfully inhibits itself. 

As our opponents showed, it's not just about chucking money at a problem. In Tosun and Walcott, Everton had £47m of assets sitting on the bench. At least Everton had those options though; our back-up to a striker loaned from a Championship club was Joselu. A failure to alter that mentality is what threatens to make Benitez go elsewhere, no matter how loud the songs of praise are.  


Page last updated 13 March, 2019