Everton 2-2 Newcastle | A Statistical Perspective
Newcastle’s 1001st Premier League goal sealed a hard earned point at Goodison Park in a game covered in controversy. Demba Ba celebrates his first goal in typical fashion. The goal line technology debate is sure to raise its ugly head again after Everton were not awarded a clear goal late on, however the referee then pulled play back ten seconds later with Ben Arfa racing clean through. Both sides will feel hard done by but no one can deny a point was a satisfying end, to a thrilling contest.
The Toon Army started the first half in a similar fashion to their other Premier League games this season – terribly. Everton were dominant from the off and deservedly took the lead after 15 minutes through Leighton Baines. The Toffees kept the pressure on towards half time, with Newcastle struggling to keep the ball in the final third of the field, with Cisse unable to hold up play with the powerful Jagielka and Distin on his case. At half time, Pardew made arguably one of the best substitutions in his time as the Magpies manager, bringing on Demba Ba for the disappointing Marveaux. Newcastle had been so poor in the final third that Steve Harper was our joint most successful attacking passer (3). Cabaye also had a particularly poor half with just one of his five attacking passes successful.
In the second half Newcastle looked a different side and scored their 1000th goal in Premier League history (only 4 other clubs have done this) to level on 49 minutes through Demba Ba. Cabaye redeemed himself for his first half display, showing off his talent with a sublime inch-perfect pass into the striker’s feet. Newcastle pressed on and after 15 minutes of the half, had already completed more passes in the attacking third (16) than they had in the whole of the first half (15). Then enter the controversy. Anichebe’s header was pushed onto the bar by Harper and bounced down just over the line. The officials were clearly unsure so decided not to award a goal as Ben Arfa broke away through the middle. Newcastle were in a three-on-one situation only to see play pulled back for a slight tug by Pienaar on the Geordie’s number ten. Two of the worst decisions you will see all season in the space of ten seconds.
Newcastle responded the strongest as sub Shola Ameobi played Ben Arfa clean through, only to see his shot saved by Howard. However in the 88th minute, a superb turn and swivel by Anichebe ended in a fantastic finish, putting Everton 2-1 ahead at a time when Newcastle were looking the more likely to edge the game. Newcastle showed great team spirit as they levelled two minutes later through Demba Ba again. A long ball by Williamson was sublimely chested into the path of Ba by big Shola, leaving the striker with the easy task of slotting the ball under the advancing Tim Howard, showing impressive composure.
A fantastic second half fight back means Newcastle were well worth a point at Goodison. A special mention must go out to the long-serving Ameobi, for creating the most chances for the toon in the game along with Ben Arfa (2) despite only a brief cameo. An area Pardew will certainly look to improve upon in the next game is passing. His side were out passed by Everton – 404 (80% accuracy) to 317 (73% accuracy), as they have been all season. Newcastle now travel to Portugal on Thursday for our Europa League tie, key players are again expected to be rested for the next Premier League game against Norwich on Sunday.
Author: Fraser Bell, a journalism graduate currently living in Darlington and Newcastle United season ticket holder. You can follow his Twitter here.
Article courtesy of Newcastle Stats: http://newcastlestats.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/everton-2-2-newcastle-match-review/
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