The St James’ Park crowd roared their side on but were quickly silenced as Everton asserted their dominance on the game early on. What followed was so much like last season here. The Blues controlled the game, dominated possession, created chances and Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave the Blues the lead, poking home from a scrum in the box.
Moise Kean looked lively and the Blues should have doubled their lead before Steve Bruce moved his players around. Joelinton and Andy Carroll went out wide and started winning possession against Leighton Baines and Djibril Sidibe, and the half ended with both sides wondering how Newcastle hadn’t scored.
However, that did happen early in the second when once again Everton were exposed from a set-piece. Gylfi Sigurdsson was left to mark Carroll, got beaten in the air easily and Fabian Schar hammered home the downward header and the stadium was rocking.
With Blues starting to prepare for the inevitable collapse they have grown used, Ancelotti struck. He pulled off Kean who had been playing well, and brought on Fabian Delph. Blues were dismayed, was he giving up? Well, the switch to 3-5-2 gave the Blues better shape and structure and almost immediately Richarlison ran deep on the right and his pinpoint cross was somehow converted by DCL, top of the bundle to ya’!
CALVERT-LEWIN SCORES AGAIN pic.twitter.com/ZbKJTtTay7— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 28, 2019
Welcome to the Calvert-Lewin show pic.twitter.com/hXJdWQWqd3— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 28, 2019
Newcastle looked to hit back right away so once again Ancelotti made a change, bringing on Seamus Coleman for the tiring Theo Walcott, and the club captain’s energy again stiffened the ranks. With the Mapgpies continuing to press, Don Carlo threw on Yerry Mina and took off Baines, and the big Colombian mopped up anything that came into the box after that.
A big shout out to Michael Keane and Mason Holgate too. The former started the game awfully but grew back into it and did decently enough after that facing the aerial assault. His younger counterpart was composed again throughout, tidy on the ball and made a couple of critical interceptions.
Finally, Jordan Pickford kept his composure at the stadium where they love tormenting him, that is exactly what the Toffees needed from him.