Everton 1 Newcastle United 0: Theo Walcott ends winning run at Goodison Park
Newcastle United's four-game winning run was brought to an end by Everton tonight.
Rafa Benitez's previously in-form side was beaten 1-0 at Goodison Park.
Theo Walcott scored the only goal of a scrappy game which left Newcastle United 10th in the Premier League table ahead of Saturday's home game against West Bromwich Albion.
The game was Benitez's 100th in charge of the club. However, his team couldn't match the impressive performances of previous weeks.
Benitez changed a winning team and handed Islam Slimani, on loan from Leicester City, his first start, but the striker was taken off in the second half without having had a shot on goal.
Everton had the better of the first half, but they couldn't hit the target with a series of chances. For their part, United just couldn't keep hold of the ball.
The home side's breakthrough came in the 51st minute. Yannick Bolasie delivered a ball from the right, which was picked up at the far post by Walcott, who turned and beat Martin Dubravka from just outside the six-yard box.
Benitez replaced Slimani with Gayle just past the hour-mark, and Jacob Murphy and Mikel Merino – two players who have hardly played in recent months – were sent on late in the game.
But there was no way back for Newcastle, who have four games left to play.
EVERTON: Pickford, Coleman, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin (Davies, 52), Walcott, Rooney, Bolasie (Calvert-Lewin, 59), Tosun (Niasse, 85). Subs not used: Robles, Martina, Funes Mori, Baningime.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett; Diame, Shelvey (Merino, 83); Ritchie (Murphy, 79), Perez, Kenedy; Slimani (Gayle, 63). Subs not used: Darlow, Clark, Manquillo, Hayden.
Goals: Walcott 51
Bookings: Keane 75, Gueye 90, Kenedy 90
Referee: Robert Madley (Wakefield)