After a busy January, Matt Targett was the only debutant in the ‘Magpies’ starting line-up, while Frank Lampard – taking charge of his first PL match since January 2021, left Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli on the bench. The latter was introduced midway through the first half in place of the injured Demarai Gray, in a tetchy first half that showed why both teams were struggling at the wrong end of the table.
There was little in the way of clear-cut chances until two own-goals in the space of two minutes sparked this contest into life. Everton took the lead in the 36th minute when Anthony Gordon’s free kick created havoc inside the box, and the ball took an unfortunate ricochet off Jamaal Lascelles before beating Jordan Pickford. But the ‘Magpies’ skipper went from zero to hero just a minute later, as his header struck the bar, hit Mason Holgate and rebounded into the net to level the scores.
Ryan Fraser turned the game on its head 11 minutes into the second half, after the tireless Allan Saint-Maximin clipped in a brilliant cross from the byline to pick out the midfielder, whose shot beat Jordan Pickford despite the best efforts of Andros Townsend to clear the ball off the line. It was only Fraser’s second-ever Newcastle goal, and his first for the ‘Magpies’ in the PL. Chris Wood thought he had scored his first goal in the black-and-white stripes, when Saint-Maximin’s strike bounced off the New Zealander before beating Pickford, only to be denied by the assistant’s flag.
But that frustration didn’t last long, as Kieran Trippier scored the Magpies’ third, finishing the game off with an outstanding free-kick to beat Pickford in the 82nd minute and send St James’ Park into raptures, capping off a fine individual performance from the England full-back.
The result moves Howe’s men up into 17th, while the scale of the job at hand for Lampard was laid bare, as his ‘Toffees’ side have now won only one of their 11 PL away games this term, a run that leaves them just three points clear of the relegation zone.