It was certainly one for the neutrals, but Everton’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle ended in frustration for players and fans alike as they saw two goals questionably chalked off.
Leighton Baines had given Everton the lead their first half dominance deserved but the impressive Demba Ba restored parity shortly after the break. Newcastle were much improved in the second period but David Moyes side still managed to carve them open only for Marouane Fellaini’s to be denied a goal with a harsh offside decision.
There was further frustration for the Blues when Victor Anichebe’s scored with a header but the referee and the perfectly placed linesman failed to acknowledge that the ball had crossed the line.
With two minutes remaining Anichebe looked to have given Everton the three points with a neat turn and shot but as the game entered stoppage time Shola Ameobi’s clever knock down found Ba who salvaged a draw for the Magpies.
The two disallowed goals rightly dominated the headlines. The first was perhaps more understandable. Fellaini looked to be onside, marginally. But surely most people can sympathise with the linesman. As Gary Neville rightly pointed out after the game, the speed at the defender stepped up meant the situation had changed in the blink of an eye.
However, Anichebe’s phantom ‘goal’ deserves no such sympathy as Everton became the latest side to suffer at the expense of goal line technology. This time the linesman seemed perfectly placed but failed to give the decision.
Everton should have won, but what is concerning was the disparity between their first and second half performance. The Blues dominated the opening period. They moved the ball well and controlled the game in Newcastle’s half.
Yet after the break it was a different story. Admittedly Newcastle improved but the Toffees really struggled to maintain control of the game. While Anichebe took his goal well, Everton carried less of a threat once Nikica Jelavic went off. That said, it can only be a good sign that even when not at the best they managed to create to clear cut chances.
It will certainly be seen as two points dropped for Everton but there remain a number of positives to take from the game. Below we rate how the Blues performed.
Tim Howard- 5
- Had very little to do in the first half and made a fine stop to deny Ben Arfa late on. But could have done better with both goals.
Tony Hibbert- 7
- As dependable as ever. Was rarely troubled defensively and the majority of his crosses were good deliveries.
Phil Jagielka- 6
- Was solid enough but not at his best and was caught out by Ameobi for the equalising goal.
Sylvain Distin- 5
- Like his partner, was solid in the first half but struggled to get to grips with Ba in the second. Allowed the forward to get the run on him and was nowhere near him as he equalised.
- Everton’s best player. Outstanding in the first half, delivery was excellent and created/took his goal very well. It’s a testament to his attacking ability that if he plays well Everton usually do.
Kevin Mirallas- 7
- Was perhaps not as involved as he would have liked but looked a real threat when he was on the ball. Was a constant threat to the Newcastle defence and with Everton struggling to make an impact in the second half he looked the most likely to produce.
Phil Neville- 3
- When the chips are down you want your ‘leader’ and your holding midfielder to perform well. Anonymous in the second half.
Leon Osman- 4
- Played well in the first half when Everton were on top but faded badly in the second and offered very little. Uncharacteristically gave the ball away in the build up to Newcastle’s first goal.
Steven Pienaar- 7
- Like Baines, when Everton play well he is usually at the heart of everything that’s good about them. Failed to be as influential in the second half as the away side got on top.
Marouane Fellaini- 7
- Unfortunate to have a goal disallowed. Gave a solid performance without being outstanding and at times in the second half seemed determined to win the game on his own as Everton struggled to create.
Nikica Jelavic- 6
- A hard working performance saw the forward take a few knocks before going off injured. Didn’t have a big impact whilst on the pitch but his movement, link up play and the goal threat he provides were so obviously missing in the second half.
Victor Anichebe- 7
- Showed his good and his bad side. Was brought on to score goals and he took his goal very well. But he can be so inconsistent within a game. Prior to the goal he offered very little. His movement, link up play, touch and even his aerial presence for a big lad were poor and he failed to give Everton an outlet.