MATCH REPORTS

Everton 2 Newcastle 2

Yohan Cabaye and Vurnon Anita

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At Goodison Park

 

 

Everton 2 (Baines 15, Anichebe 88)

Newcastle United 2 (Ba 49, 90)

 

 

Demba Ba came off the substitutes' bench to bag a brace and grab Newcastle an impressive 2-2 draw away at Everton on Monday night.

 

The Senegalese front man twice dragged the Magpies level after they trailed to goals from Leighton Baines and Victor Anichebe at Goodison Park.

 

Baines had given the home side a deserved half-time lead, but Ba was introduced at half-time and within four minutes had planted a left-footed strike beyond Tim Howard.

 

It seemed like Anichebe had handed the Toffees all three points when he netted with a minute remaining, but United promptly went straight up the other end for Ba to poke home.

 

The end to end game could have been won by either side, with Everton twice having goals ruled out for offside and a goalline clearance by either side saving certain goals.

 

But Newcastle will be delighted with a point on their travels in a tough fixture and a much-improved second half performance.

 

Everton thought they had broken the deadlock inside the opening two minutes. Kevin Mirallas' right-wing delivery was turned goalwards by Marouane Fellaini, and although Steve Harper kept out the low strike, Jelavic was on hand to turn the ball in from a couple of yards.

 

However, thankfully for United, the Croatian international had strayed offside and it was chalked off by the assistant's raised flag.

 

The hosts were doing all the early pressing, and on 11 minutes Steven Pienaar screwed an effort well wide when he should have done much better, having connected with a Baines pull-back.

 

It took just a further four minutes before they finally edged in front, as Baines turned from provider to goalscorer. Racing forward from his left-back role, the England man played a neat one-two with Steven Pienaar and duly drilled a low strike past Harper and into the far corner.

 

Mirallas was inches away from doubling the Toffees' advantage almost immediately, cutting in from the left flank before drilling an effort agonisingly the wrong side of the upright, and the same player was then denied by Harper when he turned and shot from 15 yards.

 

Completely against the run of play, United almost grabbed an equaliser in the 26th minute. Everton failed to properly deal with Sylvain Marveaux's free-kick and when the ball eventually reached Cisse - courtesy of a misplaced Phil Neville header - the striker's volley across goal flew a foot wide.

 

Normal service was soon resumed, however, as Jagielka fizzed a fierce drive a coat of paint away from putting the home side two up with just over half-an-hour played.

 

Another rare Magpies foray forward on 37 minutes almost produced a leveller, with only a goalline clearance from goalscorer Baines keeping the hosts in front. The full-back hacked clear a close range effort from Anita, who had been found by Hatem Ben Arfa's low delivery.

 

Straight back at the other end though, Mirallas skipped inside two challenges from his berth on the right-flank and pulled the trigger, only to find Harper equal to the strike.

 

At half-time, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew - serving the first of a two-game touchline ban - rung the changes in both personnel and formation.

 

Ba was introduced from the bench in place of Sylvain Marveauxm with the Magpies switching to a 4-4-2. James Perch moved into central midfield, with Anita swapping places to occupy the visitors' right-back role, and Jonas Gutierrez headed back to his more familiar position on the wing.

 

And the changes paid dividends immediately as Ba notched the equaliser within four minutes of the restart - United's 1,000th Premier League goal.

 

Cabaye picked up the ball in the middle of the park and threaded a through ball into the path of the Senegal international, who struck a first-time left-footed effort past Howard to send the travelling Geordie army into raptures.

 

Everton were visibly shaken by the goal, lacking the sort of confidence they displayed in the first half, but attempted a response and had the ball in the back of the net again on the hour mark.

 

However, for the second time of the evening an offside flag curtailed their joy - this time as Fellaini poked home from close range.

 

Leon Osman almost edged the hosts back in front on 75 minutes with a low shot, but curled his effort just wide having been found by Pienaar's intelligent cut-back. 

 

And Everton went even closer just a couple of minutes later. When a ball was pumped into the Magpies' box, Jagielka headed back across goal for Anichebe to apply a simple finish from a couple of yards.

 

The substitute connected with his head, but Harper made a stunning save to divert the ball onto the bar, with Williamson completing the clearance from underneath.his own crossbar.

 

Newcastle could - and maybe should - have snatched all three points with four minutes remaining when Ben Arfa raced onto Ba's through ball into the left channel.

 

The French international sped away from Jagielka, but found Howard equal to the resulting shot, with the keeper pouncing on the loose ball having initially saved with his body.

 

With a minute left on the clock it appeared as though the Toffees had taken the victory. Receiving a ball from Pienaar into his feet and with his back to goal, Anichebe held off Steven Taylor before driving a left-footed strike into the far corner.

 

However, Ba hadn't read the script as the visitors roared straight up the other end to level things up. Mike Williamson's lofted ball was flicked on by Ameobi into the path of Ba, who poked past the on-rushing Howard to snatch a dramatic point.

 

 

Everton (4-4-1-1): Tim Howard; Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Leighton Baines; Kevin Mirallas (Steven Naismith 83), Leon Osman, Phil Neville (c), Steven Pienaar; Marouane Fellaini; Nikica Jelavic (Victor Anichebe 44)

 

Subs not used: Jan Mucha, John Heitinga, Shane Duffy, Seamus Coleman, Magaye Gueye

 

 

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Steve Harper; James Perch, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye (Gael Bigirimana 90), Sylvain Marveaux (Demba Ba 46); Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79)

 

Subs not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan

 

 

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

 

 

Bookings: Everton - Neville (6), Pienaar (79), Fellaini (85); Newcastle - Anita (30), Perch (37), Ameobi (86)

 

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