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Silva rues missed opportunity in Newcastle defeat

The Blues blew a 2-0 lead to go down 3-2 in the North East

Newcastle United v Everton FC - Premier League
Silva believes Everton should have killed the game before Newcastle responded
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Everton manager Marco Silva felt the Blues should have been out of sight long before they let a two-goal lead slip at Newcastle United.

Goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison sent the Toffees into half-time 2-0 up, with Jordan Pickford also having saved a Salomón Rondón penalty.

But three strikes in the final 25 minutes from the Toon, one from Rondón and a brace from Ayoze Pérez, condemned the Toffees to their fifth defeat in their last seven away games.

Speaking to Everton’s official website, Silva said:

“In the first 45 minutes we played good football, had good moments and were always aggressive.

“We had full focus. When we spoke at half-time, I said to them, ‘We did well but the game is not finished yet, we have to keep doing the same’. In that first 15, 20 minutes of the second half, we must kill the game.

“We had many chances to make good counter-attacks, we had many moments three against three, and two against two. Because of a lack of assertiveness in the last decision, in the last moment, we didn’t create more chances to score.

“We led 2-0 then we had four counter-attacks to kill the game. We kept giving belief to our opponent.”

Newcastle United v Everton FC - Premier League
Pérez’s 84th-minute goal proved the winner
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Silva added that he was disappointed with his side’s reaction after Rondón halved their lead on 65 minutes.

The manager opted to change the system by bringing on an extra central defender in Yerry Mina for Richarlison with a quarter of an hour remaining, but two goals in the final ten minutes condemned Everton to another away defeat.

It was particularly hard to take, he said, given how satisfied he was the Blues’ performance in the opening hour:

“After their first goal, they reacted stronger. We have to look to ourselves. Because I am sure if we keep doing as we did in the first half – and do what we must do in the first 15 minutes of the second half – we kill the match straight away with the third goal.

“It is a matter to be more aggressive against the type of challenge. In the second half, they put long, direct balls.

“It is a disappointing result for us. It is a big frustration because I saw what we did [in the first 60 minutes], it was what we had planned in our strategy.

“After what we did in the first half and the first 15 minutes of the second half, we had the game in our hands. First, we have to blame ourselves and what we didn’t do in that moment.”

Today’s performance is even more disappointing from a fans’ viewpoint because we have seen this long ball tactic work multiple times against us this season, especially away from home where we’ve let leads against Wolverhampton, AFC Bournemouth and Millwall slip late in the game.

Silva had confronted Lee Mason and the match officials after the games ended, and continued his rant on Sky Sports regarding Newcastle’s winner.

“When they scored the third goal it was a big mistake by the assistant, nothing more to say,” he said.

”It was a clear offside. If you see the image it’s not just one player or two players in offside positions, there were five Newcastle players in the same line in offside positions. It was a clear offside, five players in offside positions.

”If 2-2 for us at that moment was a big frustration, imagine when they scored the third goal in a clear offside position?”

Goalscorer Perez was in an offside position as the ball fell to Rondon, but looked to have been played onside again in the melee in the box leading up to the goal. What was significant though was that even with three centrehalves on the pitch, not a single one of them was anywhere near the two Toon goalscorers.