Ten-man Everton stole the show late on as they snatched a 1-0 victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park courtesy to a 99th-minute winner from Alex Iwobi.
Everton got off to a better start than the visitors, buoyed by a raucous Goodison crowd as they showed intensity and enthusiasm in the opening exchanges. However, Newcastle settled into the game and soon took control of proceedings, although they lacked the cutting edge in front of the goal.
Chris Wood fashioned a couple of headers straight to Asmir Begovic, while Fabian Schar failed with an audacious 40-yard lob to catch the Everton keeper off-guard. The second half spiralled into chaos when a protester tied himself to a goalpost and caused a ten-minute delay.
Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes had the next chance, and his smudged attempt had Begovic scrambling, but the goalkeeper ultimately cleared his lines. Everton responded, naturally, through Anthony Gordon as he tested Martin Dubravka with a thunderous strike.
However, the big moment came in the 81st minute when VAR helped hand a red card to Allan for a cynical challenge. Unsurprisingly, Newcastle piled on the pressure with Joe Willock, Schar and Allan Saint-Maximin all going close. The Magpies were punished for their wastefulness, though, as Alex Iwobi linked with Dominic Calvert-Lewin before the former Arsenal starlet fired past Dubravka to send the Everton faithful in raptures.
That’s what Iwobi’s winner meant to Everton. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/k91SzxvtTW
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 17, 2022
It was an intense, frantic and dramatic game of football in which Frank Lampard’s side emerged as scrappy winners, but they would not mind that one bit as the Toffees earned vital three points to take a step towards safety. As for Newcastle, they missed a great opportunity to pull themselves further clear of the dreaded drop zone. The Hard Tackle runs the rule over both sets of players.
Asmir Begovic: 7.5/10
Begovic was brought in to make just his second league appearance in over three years due to an illness to Jordan Pickford. His distribution was decent; he communicated well with the backline and did a good job of keeping Newcastle out. He made some great saves to deny Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock and Fabian Schar. Still, he was not tested much by Newcastle in the latter stages of the second half.
Seamus Coleman: 6.5/10
The skipper put up a determined performance as he was made to work really hard, but he stood firm and showed some solid pieces of defending. He made a huge last-ditch tackle to deny Ryan Fraser a clear pathway to goal in the first half. He did not offer much in the attacking sense, and his influence faded as the game progressed. Still, he dug deep when Everton were a man down and made some crucial interventions in the end.
Michael Keane: 7/10
Michael Keane won nine aerial duels against Newcastle, the joint most by an Everton player in a Premier League game this season.
It’s what happens when you face Chris Wood. 😊 pic.twitter.com/12EYr4Azap
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 17, 2022
Keane was put under a lot of pressure in a physical battle with Chris Wood but dealt with most of it quite well. He stepped up aerially after some shaky moments and also made a match-high seven clearances. This was a positive comeback for him after his nightmare performance against Tottenham Hotspur while suffering from a fever.
Mason Holgate: 6/10
A very assured performance from Holgate in a back-three, as he typically stayed calm in possession, although some of his more adventurous passes were way off the mark as he struggled to build attacks from the back. Overall, it was an encouraging performance from him as the Toffees kept Newcastle at bay.
Ben Godfrey: 6.5/10
Four minutes in, Godfrey mustered Everton’s only shot in the first half. Almiron seldom appeared to be a threat to him except once when he was beaten in a ground duel. Everton sorely missed his physicality in the last few games. And while he struggled to create anything meaningful on his weaker foot, it was an overall decent display.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 6/10
Doucoure was the midfield powerhouse for Everton, putting in the hard yards, closing down opponents and keeping his discipline in the middle of the park, although his leggy runs forward were restricted at large. He also looked fatigued towards the end of the game.
Wild, wild night at Goodison Park. One hundred and fourteen minutes. Boltcutters. Farcical Allan red card. Anthony Gordon heroics. But none of it mattered other than an Iwobi bit of class as Lampard’s Everton beat Newcastle, horrendous refereeing and VAR madness. The fight is on! pic.twitter.com/x0dtFT3Qsb
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) March 17, 2022
Operating in a midfield double-pivot, Allan always fell short and largely looked off the pace at times. The combative Brazilian midfielder did have that bite about his performance and finished the game with a match-high five tackles but lost all composure in the reckless challenge on Allan Saint-Maximin, though he was unfortunate to receive his marching orders.
Demarai Gray: 4/10
Everton’s biggest underperformer on the day, Gray, looked a shell of the player who was Everton’s most-consistent attacking threat in the first half of the season. Still shaking off the rust from his recent injury, he was sloppy in possession, never really got a run at the defence, and his touches seemed a little heavy at times.
Anthony Gordon: 7/10
Gordon set the tempo for a relegation battle with genuine intensity, aggression and several crunching tackles. Everton’s brightest spark once more, he created their best opportunity with a powerful 20-yard drive that Martin Dubravka deflected around the post. He also electrified the home crowd by winning a committed 50/50 duel with Fraser.
Alex Iwobi: 7/10
Alex Iwobi has scored at Goodison Park for time since September 2019.
What an important goal that could be for the Toffees! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/hAsrc9U31G
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 17, 2022
Iwobi was a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup and was isolated for the best part of the game, although he made up for it with an incredible goal. Prior to that, he had put up a hardworking performance but took the goal brilliantly, which could be a defining moment for Everton’s season.
Richarlison tried to make things happen but could not get to the grips of the game. He constantly pressed from the front, chased down lost causes, dribbled, and held onto the ball. He was relatively quiet in the second half as he found himself with his back to goal much too often than running in behind the defences and could have done without spending that much time on the deck.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 7/10
Even though he did not have much time on the field to grab his elusive first goal since recovering from his injury, Calvert-Lewin showed class with a lovely through pass for Iwobi’s winner and provided a focal presence for Everton’s attack up top.
Andre Gomes: 5/10
With Everton down to ten men, Gomes worked hard and dug deep to maintain defensive shape and reduce the opposition threat.
Andros Townsend: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Martin Dubravka: 7/10
Dubravka had very little to do in the first half but did make some vital saves in the second period, including a spectacular stop on the 77th-minute mark to deny Anthony Gordon from breaking the deadlock. He could not have done much about the goal and was perhaps unlucky not to come away with a clean sheet for his overall display.
Emil Krafth: 6/10
Krafth was the weak-link in Newcastle’s lineup and was unsurprisingly targeted by Everton. The Swede was strong in the air, battled hard and had a few nice moments surging forwards before going off with an injury.
Fabian Schar: 7/10
The stand-in skipper marshalled the backline pretty well with some valiant defending while posing a threat on the other end. Indeed, he attempted the audacious lob midway through the first half with a free-kick from his own half as Begovic scrambled to catch the ball. Overall, the Swiss centre-back was composed, solid and tried to build attacks out from the back.
Dan Burn: 7/10
Dan Burn single-handedly kept Richarlison at bay and made multiple clearances, huge headers at the back and even blocked a couple of goal-bound shots. That said, he could not keep a clean sheet and could have done better for Iwobi’s winner.
Matt Targett: 7/10
Another elegant, classy and steady display from Targett. The Aston Villa loanee performed his defensive duties well and kept the Everton wingers incredibly quiet. He also delivered some dangerous set-pieces into the opposition box in the second half but could not impact in the forward areas as much as he would have liked.
Bruno Guimaraes: 8/10
Bruno Guimaraes looked a class above the rest in the midfield on the day. He was a composed presence and dictated the flow of the game, and most importantly, never shrugged away from the ugly side.
The Brazilian star attempted 64 passes at 97 per cent accuracy, had the most touches in the game (84) and won 7/9 of his duels. It was a really tidy display from the midfield maestro, but he did not utilise his ability to make line-breaking passes up here.
Bruno Guimarães vs. Everton
97% Pass accuracy
8/8 Accurate long passes
1/1 Dribble completed
1/3 Shots on target
4/4 Tackles won
7/9 Duels won
He’s just really really good.https://t.co/Qa1zXssdXe
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) March 17, 2022
Joe Willock: 4/10
Willock did not have much of an impact on the game, but his shots were on target and caused issues for Begovic. He found those pockets of space, but the quality in the final third was never there.
Joelinton overcame a groin injury to play at Goodison Park, and it reflected in his inability to impose himself in the middle of the park. He played with a lot of enthusiasm, worked hard, and had the occasional forward burst, but he clearly was not at his best as he lost the ball a fair few times and contributed little going forward.
Miguel Almiron: 6.5/10
As usual, he ran his socks off but lacked quality in the attacking zones. His biggest contribution came seconds before his removal when he outmuscled Godfrey before passing to Bruno Guimaraes, whose shot was deflected. It is hardly surprising that he is withdrawn.
Chris Wood: 6/10
Wood, as usual, was aerially supreme and won a whopping 11 aerial duels. He also flashed a few headers wide, but overall, he was lacklustre in front of the opposition goal and had the fewest touches of any outfielder, showing his lack of involvement.
Ryan Fraser: 6/10
Fraser had some nice moments with the ball but was guilty of a few clumsy passes. There has been a slight drop-in form of Scotsman following the recent games. Still, he worked hard down the left, but the quality was lacking.
Allan Saint-Maximin: 5/10
Saint-Maximin did not offer the enigmatic energy after coming off the bench for Fraser, but it was his run on the counter-attack that resulted in Allan’s dismissal. The Frenchman was also largely to blame for the home side netting a stoppage-time winner after he lost possession in midfield. This was not his best performance in a Newcastle shirt.
Jacob Murphy: 5/10
Murphy tried to help Newcastle create overloads late on down the right, which worked quite well, but the Magpies could not utilise the width enough in the final 15 minutes.
Javier Manquillo: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.