Newcastle United comeback stuns Everton after shocking Lee Mason blunder

Newcastle United pulled off a stunning comeback against Everton to edge closer to Premier League safety.

Saturday, 9th March 2019, 3:55 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 8:08 am
Almiron, top, and Ayoze Perez celebrate. (Pic: Martin Swinney)
Almiron, top, and Ayoze Perez celebrate. (Pic: Martin Swinney)

Trailing 2-0 at the break, Rafa Benitez's side went on to win 3-2 thanks to two goals from Ayoze Perez and a strike from Salomon Rondon.

The result, United's fifth successive home win, lifted the club into 13th place in the Premier League.

Jordan Pickford, far left, and Lee Mason, right.

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Newcastle are now six points clear of the relegation zone with eight games left to play this season.

However, the game's biggest talking point was a first-half foul by Jordan Pickford on Rondon, who went on to spark the team's second-half comeback with his ninth goal of the campaign.

Referee Mason pointed to the spot – but didn't dismiss Pickford.

And the former Sunderland goalkeeper – who wasn't even booked by the Bolton official – saved Matt Ritchie's penalty. Everton, already leading through a Calvert-Lewin goal, went 2-0 up through a strike from Richarlison.

However, United fought back after the break and claimed all three points.

Newcastle made a promising start, but they didn't test Pickford before Everton got their 18th-minute breakthrough. Lucas Digne delivered a ball from the left which was headed past Martin Dubravka by Calvert-Lewin from close range.

The game's moment of controversy came in the 29th minute when Pickford crudely brought down Salomon Rondon after spilling a shot from Matt Ritchie.

Mason pointed to the spot, but the official, inexplicably, didn't send off Pickford, who wasn't even booked.

Pickford, off his line, stopped Matt Ritchie's penalty, and Everton were level a minute later. Martin Dubravka palmed a low cross from the right to Richarlison, and he tapped the ball home.

Mason further angered fans before the break and he left the pitch to a chant of "you're not fit to referee".

Benitez replaced Lascelles, booked for a shoulder barge on Richarlison late in the first half, with Paul Dummett for the second half.

Rondon went close with an effort early in the half, but the striker didn't miss in the 65th minute after playing a one-two with Ayoze Perez. Rondon volleyed the return ball past Pickford to give United some hope.

Benitez sent Kenedy on for the last 17 minutes, and Jonjo Shelvey, making his comeback from injury, followed him on to the pitch.

Perez levelled with an 81st-minute shot after Miguel Almiron had a shot saved, and the forward netted a close-range winner three minutes later after Everton failed to clear a corner.

The strike, Perez's sixth league goal of the season, lifted the roof at St James's Park, and there were chants of "dodgy keeper" as Pickford picked the ball out of his net.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles (Dummett, 46), Lejeune, Ritchie (Kenedy, 73): Perez, Hayden, Ki (Shelvey, 79), Almiron; Rondon. Subs not used: Darlow, Manquillo, Diame, Joselu.

EVERTON: Pickford, Digne, Zouma, Keane, Kenny (Walcott, 87), Andre Gomes, Gueye, Richarlison (Mina, 75), Sigurdsson, Bernard (Lookman, 82), Calvert-Lewin. Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Davies, Schneiderlin, Tosun.

Goals: Calvert Lewin 18, Richarlison 32, Rondon 65, Perez 81, 84

Bookings: Lascelles 42, Kenny 53, Schar 70, Shelvey 89

Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton)

Attendance: 52,242