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Everton Cleverley end Newcastle revival with last-gasp winner

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 26, 2015

Newcastle United 0-1 Everton

  • Magpies kicked off in bottom three despite recent revival
  • String of fine saves from Elliot preserves point for hosts
  • Everton end winless run stretching back to November 21st

Toffees take all three points from Toon trip

Newcastle United v Everton - Barclays Premier League - St James' Park

Tom Cleverley’s last-gasp header ensured Everton won their first Premier League outing in five attempts, and cruelly denied Boxing Day hosts Newcastle United a point.

Steve McClaren’s Magpies and their visitors from Merseyside, both sporting changes in attack, played out an entertaining affair but ultimately a stalemate by the banks of the Tyne.

Roberto Martinez’s men started positively on a St James’ Park pitch one again hammered by torrential rain, as last time out for the home team when drawing with relegation rivals Aston Villa.

Everton more adventurous in first-half

Toffees full backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman showed familiar adventure with forays forward. Such support allowed Kevin Mirallas to come infield the from byline on a rare start nowadays and draw a near-post save from Rob Elliot.

Vurnon Anita then had to get back and clear a goal-bound effort from Romelu Lukaku with Elliot later denying Everton’s in-form Belgian frontman one-on-one when fed by Aaron Lennon. The battle between Lukaku and home team captain Fabricio Coloccini proved key to this contest.

Newcastle United v Everton - Barclays Premier League - St James' Park

Newcastle showed adventure of their own with the Toffees struggling to deal with right-wing centres, and Aleksandar Mitovic – in for the injured Papiss Cisse – putting himself about up top.

Leading Magpies marksman Georginio Wijnaldum arrived late in the visiting box, but nodded wide from another right-hand side sourced by Moussa Sissoko.

Second-half snatched at death

More channel runs from Lukaku after the break saw him shrug off his marker and force Elliot into another save with an outstretched leg. A plunging palm from the Toon stopper then denied Lennon after Everton striker Lukaku chested a left-wing centre down to him.

Newcastle United v Everton - Barclays Premier League - St James' Park

For all the Toffees’ endeavour, Mitrovic missed a close-range header with Sissoko providing supply once more. Tim Howard’s fine reactions then prevented Wijnaldum nodding home from a Jack Colback cross at the back post.

Elliot at the other end also produced another reflex stop to thwart Ramiro Funes Mori from heading in a right-wing corner. Coleman then lashed wide on his weaker foot.

Both managers made changes, but no substitute could make a telling contribution to win this game. That was left to Cleverley, who headed into an empty net from just inside the area when Elliot palmed a corner to him deep into stoppage time.

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Everton stopped the rot after four Premier League games without victory and are now 3/1 with Coral for a top six finish, while Newcastle United return to the relegation zone.

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Our Everton winter window manifesto is well worth a read.

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For much more festive football, check out Coral’s dedicated Premier League page.

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