By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Goodison Park
Everton 3 (Lennon 23, Barkley 88pen, 90pen)
Newcastle United 0
Ten-man Newcastle United suffered a 3-0 defeat away at Everton in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday night.
Aaron Lennon's first half strike and a pair of late Ross Barkley penalties were enough to separate the sides at Goodison Park, and it was no less than the hosts deserved, having dominated large parts of the contest.
In fact, the Magpies had goalkeeper Rob Elliot to thank for keeping the scoreline down, as - not for the first time this season - the Republic of Ireland stopper made a string of fine saves.
Elliot denied Tom Cleverley, Lennon and Barkley at different times throughout the game with some brilliant stops. But he could do nothing aout the Toffees' goals.
Lennon broke the deadlock midway through the first half, having been given the time to pick his spot with a low, placed effort from the edge of the area.
And while United were always in the game at 1-0, Everton always looked the more likely to score next. And so it proved, although they had to wait until the final two minutes to do so.
First, Rolando Aarons fouled Lennon inside the box, with Barkley sweeping home the resulting spot kick. And then with almost the last kick of the game, Barkley was brought down by Jamaal Lascelles when through on goal.
It meant a red card for the United centre-back, another penalty and another successful conversion for Barkley.
Newcastle will look to bounce back on Saturday as they entertain West Bromwich Albion at St. James' Park.
Cleverley scored an injury-time winner when the sides met on Tyneside on Boxing Day, and the former Manchester United midfielder almost broke the deadlock with less than five minutes played at Goodison Park.
The chanced owed much to some fine work down the left from Barkley, who evaded a couple of tackles before pciking out Lukaku inside the area. The big Belgian opted to lay the ball off into the path of Cleverly and, although his first-time shot was destined for the bottom corner, Rob Elliot got down brilliantly to make a one-handed save.
That aside, it was a tame opening period as both sides failed to get a grip on proceedings.
In fact, it took until the 22nd minute for the next chance of the evening. Lukaku, having been felled by Chancel Mbemba just outside the area, brushed himself down to take the resulting free-kick but bent his strike agonisingly wide of the upright.
However, that was not to matter as Everton broke the deadlock seconds later.
When Aaron Lennon picked up the ball 18 yards out he was given time to take a couple of touches and set himself before pulling the trigger, dragging a clever low shot into the bottom corner past a helpless Elliot.
It was one-way traffic and took Newcastle 34 minutes to muster a shot of any kind - but Paul Dummett's ambitious long-range effort was going to have to be something pretty special to trouble Joel Robles and instead flew wildly off target.
But the Toffees were soon back on the front foot and, with half-time approaching, only a brilliant block from Mbemba prevented Lennon doubling his - and the hosts' - tally.
However, that was Mbemba's last action of the night, as the Congolese centre-back limped off before the break and was replaced by Jamaal Lascelles.
Head coach Steve McClaren made another change at the interval, introducing Rolando Aarons in place of Dummett, and the Magpies made a bright start to the second half, with Georginio Wijnaldum's looping header gathered underneath his own crossbar by Robles.
Shelvey was next to try his luck but found Everton's keeper in the way of his speculative 25-yard drive.
Everton responded and should have scored their second of the night in the 51st minute. Again, Lennon found himself in space on the edge of the area but this time Elliot denied the former Spurs winger with his feet, and substitute Arouna Kone somehow shanked the rebound wide.
If that save was routine, Elliot's next save was outstanding, flying full-length to his left to tip Barkley's top-corner-bound curler onto the bar and away to safety.
The Toffees had the bit between their teeth again and, just minutes later, Elliot produced another great stop to claw away Cleverley's free-kick which looked set to sneak into the bottom corner.
Elliot's saves - and Everton's inability to put the game to bed - was always going to give United hope, and just past the hour mark they spurned a glorious chance to level.
Aarons and Sissoko combined down the left, and the latter's inswinging cross was met by the unmarked Mitrovic, but it almost seemed to take the big Serbian by surprise and he contrived to volley wide when he should have at least hit the target.
Suddenly, Newcastle were applying some pressure. As Everton failed to clear Daryl Janmaat's deep cross, Perez struck a bouncing half-volley goalwards which Robles could only awkwardly beat away.
But the game was finally put to bed in the 88th minute via the penalty spot. Lennon was the architecht, skipping in off the right flank, and being brought down by Aarons' clumsy challenge.
Referee Craig Pawson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Barkley did the honours, sending Elliot the wrong way.
And despite the clock ticking away, there was still time for one final goal, deep into three minutes of stoppage time.
Again it came from the penalty spot, and again it came from Barkley. Bundled over by Lascelles when through on goal - for which the defender received his marching orders - the England midfielder cheekily dinked his penalty down the middle to complete the scoring.
Everton (4-2-3-1): Joel Robles; Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka (c), Ramiro Funes Mori, Bryan Oviedo; James McCarthy, Gareth Barry; Aaron Lennon, Ross Barkley, Tom Cleverley; Romelu Lukaku (Arouna Kone 46)
Subs not used: Jindrich Stanek, Leighton Baines, Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Gerard Deulofeu
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Rob Elliot; Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba (Jamaal Lascelles 44), Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett (Rolando Aarons 46); Moussa Sissoko, Henri Saivet (Aleksandar Mitrovic 55), Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend; Ayoze Perez
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)
Bookings: Everton - Coleman (73); Newcastle United - Shelvey (61), Lascelles (88)
Sendings-off: Everton - none; Newcastle United - Lascelles (90)