Everton finally won one, and it was under the most dramatic of circumstances too. A second half pitch invader meant a minimum of eight minutes were to be added on, and then another half a dozen tacked on after referee Craig Pawson harshly decided Allan needed sending off after having consulted with VAR in charge Stuart Attwell.
However the Toffees needed just nine of those minutes added on to score an excellent team goal with Seamus Coleman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and goalscorer Alex Iwobi all involved, and grab all three points in a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
VAR, Why Do You Hate Us So?
Seriously though, how many of these egregious errors are we going to face?
Another day, another horribly wrong refereeing decision, and now another red card with Allan facing three games on the sidelines for what is at best a professional and tactical foul and nothing more than that.
There won’t be an apology from Mike Riley for this one, and now Everton join Arsenal at the summit of most red cards in Premier League history with 101.
A strong showing from the Irishman
Club captain Coleman has had more no-good, terrible days than not during this season, but Thursday night was not one of those, especially in the second half. He was at his marauding best when he took on Allan Saint-Maximin to win the ball in the centre circle, finding Iwobi whose nifty one-two with Calvert-Lewin set-up the winner.
3 - Séamus Coleman has ended on the winning side in all three of his Premier League appearances on St. Patrick's Day (2018 vs Stoke, 2019 vs Chelsea, 2022 vs Newcastle), the most wins on this day of any Irish player in Premier League history. Charm.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 17, 2022
Iwobi Scores A League Goal!
And it wasn’t against Wolves either
Iwobi simply hasn’t lived up to his pricetag for long periods of his time with the Toffees, and certainly not in the goals for department. The winner against Newcastle is only the first time he’s scored a league goal for the Blues against a team that is not Wolves.
He put in another solid shift out on the right side and was fresh enough to find the legs to make that late run to seal all three points.
Interestingly enough, he scored the winner on St. Paddy’s Day, and the patron saint of Nigeria is.. Saint Patrick!
Alex Iwobi's stats against Newcastle:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) March 17, 2022
Touches - 33
Goals - 1
Shots - 1
On target - 1
Successful passes - 13
Successful attacking third passes - 5
Pass accuracy - 81%
Successful tackles - 2
Interceptions - 1
Clearances - 1
Recoveries - 1#EFC #EVENEW
Let’s focus on the beleaguered defence for a bit here, and acknowledge the part they played in sealing those three points with a clean sheet. First off, goalie Asmir Begovic.
Asmir At The Ready
The backup has been solid whenever needed
Jordan Pickford’s illness was ill-timed, but as has happened multiple times this season, Begovic has been ready to step in and looked calm and assured in goal. The England #1 has had his issues especially when playing against Newcastle, but the veteran Begovic has no such issues and was unflappable making key saves, especially in the first half when it was mostly one-way traffic coming at him.
Asmir Begovic's stats against Newcastle:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) March 17, 2022
Touches - 41
Goals conceded - 0
Saves - 6
Shots from inside the box saved - 4
Aerial duels won - 3
Clearances - 2
Punches - 1
Recoveries - 1
Successful long balls - 8
Long ball accuracy - 27%#EFC #EVENEW
The much-maligned defender played like a man reformed
The senior defender has faced a lot of criticism this season more than many others as he has been found wanting a number of times, losing the ball in key areas, failing to win key tackles and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After being dropped for the game against Wolves, he came back into the side against Newcastle and needed to be at his best against the aerial threat of Chris Wood. He wasn’t perfect, but was very good and definitely a reason why the Blues got a clean sheet.