Newcastle produced a rip-roaring comeback from 2-0 down to bulldoze Everton 3-2 and make it five wins on the spin at St James’ Park.
On Rafael Benitez’s three-year anniversary as boss, Newcastle fell two behind at the break as Dominic Calvert-Lewin (18) and Richarlison (32) put Everton in control. Richarlison’s effort came 71 seconds after Jordan Pickford saved a Matt Ritchie penalty after the goalkeeper hauled down Salomon Rondon with the goal gaping but survived a straight red card.
Fuelled by that apparent injustice, Benitez’s men staged a remarkable second-half fightback with Rondon (65) and an Ayoze Perez double (81, 84) blitzing a crumbling Everton defence.
It takes Newcastle to the brink of Premier League safety as they move six points clear of the drop zone.
Everton have now lost 10 of their last 17 games in all competitions as the positivity from last weekend’s Merseyside derby performance disappeared with a woeful defensive capitulation.
But it was the visitors who took the lead with 18 minutes gone.
Bernard – Everton’s standout player – linked brilliantly with Lucas Digne and his cross was flicked home by Calvert-Lewin at the near post.
Ki Sung-yueng replaced the injured Sean Longstaff for Newcastle while Jonjo Shelvey was on the bench. Meanwhile, Andre Gomes and Richarlison returned for Everton.
Newcastle responded when Pickford spilled a cross from the left and rugby tackled Rondon in a desperate attempt to retrieve the situation. Referee Lee Mason awarded the penalty but there was no further punishment despite calls from the home crowd.
However, the former Sunderland player made up for his error by saving Ritchie’s penalty which kick-started an Everton counter.
Andre Gomes powered past Ritchie down the right and his cross was tapped home by Richarlison to leave Everton in a seemingly strong position.
Pickford avoided further embarrassment when Rondon looped a shot over the crossbar when the goalkeeper was caught in no man’s land but they did get their goal with 25 minutes left.
Perez headed the ball down to Rondon and the pair linked superbly to allow Rondon to strike past Pickford.
Everton seemed in control of the situation but lost their focus in the final 10 minutes.
Pickford could only a parry a fizzing strike from Miguel Almiron which allowed Perez to stroke home before the home fans as Perez grabbed a quickfire double three minutes, prodding home from close range after yet more suspect Everton defending.
Man of the match: Ayoze Perez
In Benitez’s tenure as Toon boss, Perez has made the most appearances of any player in that period (120), so it was fitting he came to the fore with a monstrous second-half display. His assist for Rondon’s opener showed his creative talents before his poaching skills came to fore with two smart finishes to stage a miraculous fightback.
- Newcastle United came from two goals down to win a Premier League game for the first time since October 2003 against Fulham under Sir Bobby Robson.
- Everton lost an away Premier League match having led by two goals for only the second time, also doing so in September 2000 away at Tottenham.
- Pickford has saved three of the last four penalties he has faced in the Premier League.
- Rondon has been involved in 13 Premier League goals for Newcastle United this season – five more than any other player (8 goals, 5 assists).
- Perez both scored and assisted in a Premier League match for the first time since April 2018 against Arsenal.