The Blues were easily the better side both on paper and on the pitch, but struggled to get through their defensively resolute opponents and Marco Silva cut a frustrated figure at the end of the game.
“I made three changes but could’ve made more because in the second-half I felt some of my players more tired than normal, but that is a normal situation when we play Sunday and then Wednesday.”
Ademola Lookman and Cenk Tosun didn’t seem to add much in their time on the pitch while Kurt Zouma seemed to fit in seamlessly alongside Yerry Mina. Lookman drifted in and out of the game while Tosun appeared aimless and when he got his chance from point blank range just before the break, saw his nudge parried away by goalie Dubravka who had an excellent outing.
”He (Cenk) had a fantastic chance in an important moment for us, two or three minutes before half-time, to make it 2-1.
”If we score then the game will be different and our opponent will play differently because they came here with one thing in their mind, to play on our mistakes and keep strong defensive organisation with nine or 10 men behind the ball.
“They achieved what they want.”
The Blues have often turned it on in the second halves of games, but found themselves bereft of inspiration and even Silva’s late substitutions did little to change that.
“In the first-half we were better but in the second-half, not so well. Even in the first-half we created enough chances to score the second goal.
”Our players were a little bit anxious in the second-half and we didn’t create enough chances to score the second goal.”
Lookman appeared to have been fouled a couple of times in the middle of the park in the build-up to Newcastle’s goal, and Silva was unhappy with Lee Mason’s decision to play on, and the defence letting Solomon Rondon sneak in to score.
“Yes, it’s a foul. If not, at least one is a foul but, of course, it is not an excuse for us because we should show a different reaction in our box but it is true the referee did not give the normal foul in that moment with Lookman.
”But with the goal we have to defend differently in that moment because we had two against one in the box.”
Silva was pleased with Jordan Pickford, who saved Everton’s bacon with an excellent save late on.
“I think it is a normal situation for Jordan and we saw his quality.
“I didn’t see anything different in the previous game at home or even away. It is normal to see him perform with this quality. He helped the team again – nothing new.”
The manager defended his decision to hand Lookman his first Premier League start this season.
“Since the first day I was here, Lookman has shown me every time [in training] and when he has come in during games that he deserved the chance to start.
“Not because Theo Walcott or Bernard weren’t performing well - but because we had a game just three days ago, a tough, intense match. I made three changes and could have made more, because I thought in the second half some of the players were more tired than normal.
“Lookman performed like I expected. He had some good moments – some others not so good, like the team. Cenk was the same and he worked hard for the team.”