So much to like about this Newcastle United 1-1 draw with Everton


Was it disappointing for Newcastle United to only draw with Everton? Of course.

Was it even more disappointing the way that the scouse mackems fluked a draw? Of course.

Did you feel frustrated when the final whistle went? Naturally.

However, that does not mean that there wasn’t anything to like about this Newcastle 1 Everton 1 match. Quite the opposite in fact.

Basically, football is a very simple game, it is all about creating as many scoring opportunities and restricting the opposition to as few of them as possible. That is at the heart of it, whatever level you play at, whether Premier League or Sunday League.

The vast majority of times, the team that creates the most opportunities wins the match, especially when there is a wide disparity between the number of scoring chances for the two sides.

Last night was one of those where that didn’t happen.

One team battered the other, dominated play, had far far more chances to score, but didn’t win.

It happens, we have all been there, whether watching or playing.

I thought Newcastle United played really well in the circumstances, we just didn’t take our chances.

To have a dozen of your first team squad not available is just crazy and even from Saturday, Eddie Howe was forced into four changes. Whilst on his bench he only had one viable option in Joe Willock. No disrespect to the other subs but what it meant was that if Newcastle had to make more than one sub, then it would guarantee a serious drop in quality in that position. Which of course is what happened.

The Paul Dummett daft penalty thing would have been irrelevant if Newcastle had been three or four up as we should have been. The simple fact is though that Eddie Howe was forced to play his fifth or sixth choice left-back (Burn, Targett, Hall, Trippier, Livramento… Dummett) in those final stages.

In contrast, Everton might have been rubbish BUT they were able to replace five average players with another five of the same ‘quality’ had same quality but gave them fresh legs.

This was always going to happen once you saw how few options Eddie Howe had, the final stages of this game would see Everton having an advantage in terms of ability to run around. So it was all about Newcastle United putting the game to bed with their better players.

As I said at the start, a lot to like about last night as NUFC’s makeshift team missing 12 first team squad players, yet they were still streets ahead in terms of quality when up against an Everton side that was pretty much missing no players.

Alexander Isak scored a goal of supreme quality on 15 minutes to set Newcastle on their way, yet from only seven or so yards out in the second half, when the ball was cut back to him he managed to hit the defender on the line with Pickford beaten. That is football, even the best players don’t take their chances at times. This was the story of the night, as a combination of poor finishing, Pickford’s saves, poor finishing, the woodwork and fine margins denied Newcastle, as Isak, Murphy, Barnes, Bruno and others all could and should have scored.

In contrast, apart from the penalty, Everton had one effort on target in each half, as United dominated the match. The closing stages they ran out of steam with nobody to bring on, though after Everton fluked the draw, it was still NUFC who were pressing for the win. All those earlier chances wasted though, that was what denied Howe’s side.

Loads to like though.

Schar and Burn were outstanding at the back against a predictable physical Dyche Everton side.

Bruno class in the middle, Isak sublime at times and whilst he might have had a hat-trick and was denied an assist by inches / VAR, that doesn’t change the fact that you wouldn’t swap him for any other striker if you could choose who to have leading the line next season.

Lewis Hall built on Saturday’s sub appearance and showed what quality he possesses at such a young age, his ability including taking set-pieces. A left foot alternative on them even when Trippier is back.

Harvey Barnes another to build on Saturday, so cruel that this goals and assist machine saw his season so cruelly ruined after signing last summer. He is class as well, a real asset looking ahead.

Same with Elliot Anderson, easy to forget he was top scorer and arguably our best player in pre-season, he could and would have had a massive season this time I think if not for that freak cruel back injury, especially with so many other players ending up unavailable. He is a very very good player and arguably our best performer last night until lack of games / match fitness, meant he was subbed with twenty minutes left.

His replacement Joe Willock another huge positive, still getting back to full fitness after a horrendous time with injuries, he came on and looked very good. If like Saturday NUFC had been able to bring on another couple of subs of his level, then no way we wouldn’t have gone on to win this one.

I suppose my message would be, yes we are all disappointed to only draw against the scouse mackems having battered them and let them off the hook with so many missed chances and gifting their equaliser. However, I think massively that this is a case of looking forward and what quality we do have at the club going forward. We know about all the quality players we were missing last night and what Bruno and Isak can deliver match after match. However, the likes of Anderson, Hall, Barnes and Willock all reminding us what strength in depth we have, with a massive bonus that almost all of the midfield and attacking options have their best years ahead of them.

Stats via BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Everton 1 – Tuesday 2 April 7.30pm

Goals:

Isak 15

Newcastle United:

Everton:

Calvert-Lewin 88 pen

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Everton 42% (38%) Newcastle 58% (62%)

Total shots were Everton 10 (4) Newcastle 18 (10)

Shots on target were Everton 3 (1) Newcastle 6 (4)

Corners were Everton 3 (0) Newcastle 7 (4)

Referee: Tony Harrington

Newcastle team v Everton:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Hall (Dummett 79), Longstaff, Bruno, Anderson (Willock 71), J Murphy, Isak, Barnes

Unused subs:

Karius, Gillespie, Ritchie, White, Diallo, A Murphy, Parkinson

(Newcastle 1 Everton 1 – Instant Newcastle United fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Everton 1 – The joy of Saturday gave way to the disappointment of Tuesday night – Read HERE)

Newcastle United confirmed Premier League matches to mid-April 2024:

Saturday 6 April 2024 – Fulham v Newcastle (3pm)

Saturday 13 April 2024 – Newcastle v Spurs (12.30pm) TNT Sports

Wednesday 24 April 2024 – Crystal Palace v Newcastle (8pm)

Saturday 27 April 2024 – Newcastle v Sheff Utd (3pm)

Newcastle United fixtures, including to be confirmed matches:

Saturday 4 May 2024 – Burnley v Newcastle

Saturday 11 May 2024 – Newcastle v Brighton

Sunday 19 May 2024 – Brentford v Newcastle (4pm)

***Man U v Newcastle waiting for rearranged date

Wednesday 22 May 2024 – Tottenham v Newcastle (at MCG – Melbourne Cricket Ground)

Friday 24 May 2024 – A-League All Stars team v Newcastle (at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne)




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