Everton at Newcastle - Player Ratings

Paul Thomas

Professional away performance steamrolls the Toon - here's how we rated them.

Tim Howard – 7

Newcastle United didn’t create much that tested the American, but he did prove he was sharp after a quiet night to pull off an excellent diving save when Papiss Cissé headed towards goal.

Seamus Coleman – 7

Coleman was superb defensively as Yoan Gouffran looked as if he was going to be the one to unlock the Everton defence, if it wasn’t for the Irishman. Nothing got past the fullback all night, I remember one instance when Cissé was clear on goal and Coleman come from nowhere to slide in and block. As far as going forward went for the 25-year-old, with Deulofeu having such a good game all he had to do was feed the Spaniard.

John Stones – 8

The youngster had another excellent game filling in for the skipper and it would be harsh to drop him when Jagielka comes back especially after another performance like Tuesday night. Stones was composed as ever on the ball and as far as the defensive side of his game is concerned he dealt well with Cissé who looked dangerous most of the night following his winner against Crystal Palace, obviously high in confidence. Stones’ Terry Butcher-like injury was a testament to his defensive bravery. Coped well with the early Newcastle onslaught after they came out of the blocks quickly which was actually their best spell – the first three minutes of the game.

Sylvain Distin – 8

I think I should just have a rolling comment for Distin each game automatically put in for his slot when I cover the player ratings articles, obviously being "solid as ever". Nothing was going to get past the Frenchman, even if they were still playing now. Apparently Distin is 36 years old, must be a lie though.

Leighton Baines – 7

Baines played well throughout the night and was given the license of the touchline without having a typical right winger to mark and with Osman ahead of him coming inside. However I don’t think we have used his crossing ability to the full extent, especially when Lukaku will win a lot of headers and last night was another example of that, having said that, the biggest threat for the Toffees was down the right throughout the night.

James McCarthy – 7/8

Helped control the midfield excellently, kept the ball and provided an excellent shield in-front of the back four with Moussa Sissoko not troubling the defence more than the occasional bursts. The Irishman was positioned well to brilliantly block in the opening stages and without that it could have been a very different game.

Gareth Barry – 7/8

Barry gave a faultless account providing the impenetrable shield that Newcastle couldn’t get close to breaking down. The anchor-man was also impeccable in keeping possession and both his and McCarthy’s simple but effective contributions were a key component in what was a complete away performance.

Gerard Deulofeu – 8

The Spaniard was a threat all night for the Magpies with his blistering pace and unpredictable trickery. With each game the youngster plays he is making the right decisions more and more often and I would predict that if he is allowed on-loan once more next season, it will be his last away from the Camp Nou. He gave Paul Dummett a torrid time throughout the night and his assist for Lukaku was inspired.

Ross Barkley – 8

I don’t think I can even go the first sentence in the Ross Barkley segment without mentioning his individual goal of the season contender. Showing pace and power to storm through three quarters of the long St James’ Park pitch and then having the composure to thunder into the roof of the net was a joy to watch and is surely a sign of things to come; and if it gets better than that – I can’t wait. On top of his goal that will be replayed for years to come, the 20-year-old also put in a flawless performance and Newcastle couldn’t conjure up a way of handling him, even by phone, from start to finish.

Leon Osman – 8

Probably one of the best Osman performances of the season capped off with an overshadowed decent goal in its own right. The Toon defence struggled to pick up Osman through most of the encounter with the veteran coming in from left into pockets full of space, linking up well with Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku.

Romelu Lukaku – 8

It seems Lukaku’s injury has done him the world of good, coming back off a well needed break he now looks like the player that first joined the club. The Belgian held the ball up expertly and hardly gave the ball away; feeding the three behind him and of course, showed excellent forward play for his goal.

Subs

Steven Naismith (Ross Barkley 82’) – 7

Naismith came on to shut up shop and provide fresh legs to chase down between their defence and midfield but found himself being a key cog in the third goal. The Scot kept the ball well and as usual put a good shift in when closing down – even if it was a ten minute shift.

Man of the match: Ross Barkley

The newcomer to first team football in the top flight has shown potential that cannot be measured and with seemingly a mature head, on young shoulders that limitless possibility should be reached. Even with what Barkley has shown this season, no one was expecting a Maradona-like highlight at such a stage in his career and in such an important victory to start to get the Champions League bid back on track. Taking ‘that goal’, which you would imagine it will be dubbed, aside it was an excellent performance from Barkley. Anyone of those in blue starting Tuesday night could have been given man of the match, notably Osman and Deulofeu going close for me, but I felt Barkley deserved it just that bit more.

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