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Everton 2-3 Newcastle: Second half collapse sees Toffees blow two-goal lead

Three thoughts from Everton’s abysmal loss

Newcastle United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Pickford lucky, until he wasn’t

Jordan Pickford was certainly not performing at his peak in this match against Newcastle United. He was lucky not to receive a red card for his reckless challenge against Salomon Rondon in the first half. It did lead to a penalty, but one that he was able to stop. Everton came out of that nervy situation with their goalkeeper still in the match and would soon take the lead from Newcastle.

However, the issues didn’t stop there. On more than one occasion there was a breakdown in communication between Pickford and his center backs. Rondon almost chipped the goalkeeper on a weak clearance and there were a number of other occasions where Pickford seemed unsure of what to do.

Like the Everton squad as a whole, Pickford’s luck eventually ran out. Newcastle’s second goal comes to mind, where Pickford blocked a tough shot only to see it fall to the feet of Ayoze Perez. The forward slotted it through the arms of Pickford and the game was basically lost at that point.

Ruthless attack, for one half

It must be said that Everton’s attack was sublime in the first half. Crosses were flying into the box and the interplay was gorgeous. Bernard and Lucas Digne were dominating the left side of the pitch while Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison each netted themselves a goal.

There was a level of aggression in this match that we also saw in the draw against Liverpool. The passing in the attacking third seemed to be working, Gylfi Sigurdsson was hustling all over the pitch and Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were finally scoring again. If the team we saw in the first half can show up again, then that would certainly be a positive sign moving forward.

Complete and utter collapse

Everton lost this match in the most Everton way possible. Giving up three straight goals in the second half to a team just hovering above the relegation zone. The side that was dominating the ball in the first half must have stayed in the locker room because what was seen in the second half was a debacle.

Newcastle, to their credit, came out of the gates ready to play in the second half. Marco Silva was clearly looking to secure three points and subbed on Yerry Mina in the 75th minute. With Newcastle only down one goal at this point, it wasn’t a terrible decision to go defensive. However, this Everton team has largely been unable to withstand constant attacking pressure this season.

Instead of remaining aggressive like they did against Liverpool, the team retreated into their shell and prayed for the final whistle. Unfortunately before that final whistle, two more goals would follow and the lead had vanished.

This was a failure at all levels, Marco Silva’s conservative substitutions didn’t help and the players completely gave up. Once the lead was secured this team just seemed to go into cruise control, thinking they were good enough to just ride this match out. They are not good enough to do that and this loss should be a serious reminder that they have a long way to go.