Miguel Almiron outshines Newcastle United target Anthony Gordon
Had Eddie Howe had his way in the summer, then Anthony Gordon would have been a Newcastle United player.
Gordon, however, won’t win any popularity contests on Tyneside tonight after a 1-0 defeat for his Everton team at St James’s Park.
The winger angered Newcastle’s players and fans after taking a tumble in the box in an attempt to win a penalty. Thankfully, referee Tony Harrington wasn’t taken in by Gordon, who had been the subject of an enquiry from United in the last transfer window.
And Eddie Howe’s team won thanks to Miguel Almiron’s stunning fifth goal of the season. Almiron, like Gordon, lined up on the right wing.
The team, which has the best defensive record in the Premier League, also kept another clean sheet, and remains sixth in the table.
Howe, without Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak for the foreseeable future, had named an unchanged starting XI, despite the fixture coming just three days after a tough goalless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The first few minutes were punctuated by boos aimed at visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who’s had some forgettable appearances against Newcastle since joining Everton from Sunderland. Pickford won’t won’t this game fondly either.
Jacob Murphy, starting a third successive game, fizzed an early 25-yard shot over Pickford’s goal after cutting in from the left.
United supporters were also encouraging their team – and Pickford was soon picking the ball out of his net.
The ball was rolled to Almiron on the edge of the box by Bruno Guimaraes in the 31st minute after a good move involving Murphy and Joelinton, and the midfielder flighted the ball over a helpless Pickford with a first-time shot.
Newcastle pushed for a second goal in the minutes after the striker, and Guimaraes rolled the ball narrowly wide.There was a melee late in the half involving a number of players after Kieran Trippier confronted Gordon after he went down in the box under pressure from Dan Burn. Gordon, back from a one-game suspension, was booked by Harrington.
Joe Willock replaced Joelinton – who had a knee injury earlier in the month – at the break.
United were again dominant, but the all-important second goal eluded them. Newcastle fans attempted to rally the players for the last 20 minutes
Howe sent on Elliot Anderson and Ryan Fraser – they replaced exhausted wide players Murphy and Almiron – in an attempt to force a breakthrough. Chris Wood replaced Callum Wilson late in the game.
Everton – who didn’t have a shot on target all game – were dogged and determined out of possession. The only moments of quality came from United, but they were few and far between in a scrappy half.
Newcastle deservedly claimed all three points, but Howe’s players will know that they’ll have to be better on the ball if they are to maintain their position in the Premier League.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Murphy (Anderson, 72), Almiron (Fraser, 72), Wilson (Wood. Subs not used: Karius, Lascelles, Shelvey, Lewis, Targett, Willock.
EVERTON: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Onana, Gueye, Iwobi, Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Gordon.