Newcastle continued their superb start to the season with a well fought 2-1 in over Everton at St James’ Park which moved them ahead of Manchester United and up to second place in the Premier League table.
Toffee’s defender Johnny Heitinga turned in a whipped Danny Simpson cross on 11 minutes before Ryan Taylor crashed home an unstoppable volley just before the half hour mark to double the lead. Jack Rodwell pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time for the visitors and they should have had a penalty in the second half with former Evertonian Dan Gosling handling in the penalty area. The Magpies were made to work for all three points with David Moyes’ side knocking on their door several times but failing to really test goalkeeper Tim Krul. Newcastle are now unbeaten in 14 games and haven’t tasted defeat in the league since they were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool in May. They went into this fixture knowing they could rise into second for a few hours and came racing out of the blocks with Taylor testing Howard after six minutes with a low shot after a neat one two with Yohan Cabaye. Everton couldn’t get close to the home side and were unable to get to grips with their quick movement and swift passing early on. Danny Guthrie, standing in for the injured Cheick Tiote, was instrumental in the Magpies opening goal with his neat interchange with Cabaye creating space in the midfield allowing him to spread a wonderful ball out to Simpson on the right. The former Manchester United defender steadied himself before curling the ball into the area which Heitinga stabbed home at the near post with Leon Best lurking behind.
The Merseysides responded to going a goal down with Moyess switching Royston Drenthe over to the right wing and it almost paid instant dividends as he latched onto a punt from Phil Jagielka before setting up Leon Osman who shot straight at Krul from 18-yards. The Toffee’s continued to crank up the pressure with Louis Saha blazing over after beating the offside trap before dragging a shot wide after Drenthe teed him up. Those misses would come back to haunt the Frenchman as Newcastle doubled their advantage in style through Taylor on 28 minutes. The full back’s long throw from the left found it’s way back to him on the edge of the area and he didn’t hesitate before smashing a blistering half-volley in off the cross bar giving Howard no chance of keeping it out. Once again though the away side responded and Saha was again denied this time by the post after superbly controlling Phil Neville’s scuffed shot in the area with Drenthe blasting the follow up into the side netting. They did finally manage to find a route to goal just seconds before the half time whistle as Rodwell stole in at the near post to power Drenthe’s right wing corner in with his head.
After a pulsating first half the game began to ebb away after the restart with Everton seeing a lot of possession but not really doing much with it. Tim Cahill, who has failed to score in 2011, came on mid-way through the half and forced Krul into a low save after bringing the ball down superbly in the area. Newcastle had a chance of their own with the industrious Guthrie teeing up Demba Ba but the striker could only shoot straight at Howard on 69 minutes. The Magpies were then happy to sit back and soak up the pressure from the away side who feel they should have had a penalty after Gosling blocked Saha’s shot with his arm much to the annoyance of Moyes on the touchline. However the Alan Pardew’s men held out for a win to continue their unbeaten start to the season going into the international break full of confidence ahead of a daunting set of fixtures against both Manchester clubs and Chelsea starting with City in two weeks time.