Allardyce defends Everton style in win over Newcastle

Theo Walcott

Everton manager Sam Allardyce defended his side’s style of football as the Toffees laboured to a 1-0 victory over Newcastle on Monday.

Theo Walcott scored his first goal since January as the hosts moved up to eighth in the Premier League.

Some fans have criticised Everton’s performances under Allardyce, but the ex-Newcastle boss felt his side played well against his former team.

“What was wrong with our style?” he said to Sky Sports.

“You can’t knock our football. You can knock some of our passing that went astray, but you can’t knock me for that. I don’t pass the ball.

“Apart from the last 10 minutes we dominated the game and there was only going to be one winner.”

A dull first half bore all the hallmarks of an end-of-season mid-table encounter with goalscoring opportunities at a premium.

However, the deadlock was broken soon after the break when Yannick Bolasie’s cross deflected off DeAndre Yedlin to Walcott, who took a touch before driving the ball into the roof of the net.

The game briefly opened up after that and Newcastle substitute Dwight Gayle should have done better when he hooked a shot over from close range before Seamus Coleman made an important headed clearance in stoppage time.

Ultimately, a lack of quality in the final third proved Newcastle’s undoing as they spurned several other opportunities to create something and Everton recorded a first win in four games to move onto 45 points.

Newcastle remain 10th on 41 points and need just one more point to be mathematically safe from relegation.

A win, but is it enough for Everton fans?

Allardyce has taken Everton to mid-table safety from just above the relegation zone, but there has been growing discontent among some supporters at what they perceive to be a negative playing style.

There were calls for Allardyce to be sacked during the 1-1 draw at Swansea earlier this month, with some fans unhappy with their side’s display, and his critics were unlikely to be appeased by this performance.

Everton seemed uncertain how to break down a disciplined Newcastle side, while Cenk Tosun found himself far too isolated from his team-mates in attack.

Everton captain Phil Jagielka carrying a robot mascot on to the pitch

The hosts failed to manage a shot on target in a drab first half and it was one moment of quality from Walcott that proved decisive in a game both sets of fans will be keen to forget.

Everton are now on course for a top-eight finish and Allardyce added: “I think eighth in the league compared to fifth from bottom tells you we’re getting the players better.

“We’ve moved up the league one place again, so we’re on the right track and moving in the right direction.”

But former Toffees midfielder Leon Osman, commentating on the game for BBC Radio 5 live, said: “This may be a victory but it is hardly an exciting one.

“Sam Allardyce sends his teams out to win, he is not always fussed about performances. He will be delighted with a win and a clean sheet.

“People expect a standard of performance. The three points will be important but the crowd come to be excited. There was hardly a chance in this game but not enough excitement. That is the story of the season for Everton.”

Man of the match – Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott

‘Final ball missing’ – what they said

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: “I am pleased with the effort of the players but this final pass in the final third can make the difference.

“We are really strong. Just to stay in the Premier League was the target and we are really pleased with that.”

A first in 98 years for Everton – the stats

  • Everton have won five consecutive top-flight games against Newcastle for the first time since January 1920.
  • This is the first time that Everton have kept five consecutive clean sheets against a single opponent in the Premier League.
  • Everton scored with their only shot on target of the match against Newcastle.
  • Newcastle have won just one of their past 14 Premier League trips to Goodison Park (D3 L10).
  • Theo Walcott has been directly involved in 10 goals in his past nine Premier League games against Newcastle (five goals, five assists).
  • This was Rafael Benitez’s 100th game in charge as Newcastle manager in all competitions (W48 D21 L31).

What next?

Everton travel to Huddersfield on Saturday, 28 April (15:00 BST), while Newcastle host West Brom at the same time.

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Pickford
  • 23Coleman
  • 6Jagielka
  • 4KeaneBooked at 75mins
  • 3Baines
  • 17GueyeBooked at 90mins
  • 2SchneiderlinSubstituted forDaviesat 52′minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 11Walcott
  • 14TosunSubstituted forNiasseat 85′minutes
  • 7BolasieSubstituted forCalvert-Lewinat 59′minutes

Substitutes

  • 15Martina
  • 19Niasse
  • 25Funes Mori
  • 26Davies
  • 29Calvert-Lewin
  • 33Robles
  • 54Baningime

Newcastle

  • 12Dubravka
  • 22Yedlin
  • 6Lascelles
  • 20Lejeune
  • 3Dummett
  • 11RitchieSubstituted forMurphyat 79′minutes
  • 8ShelveySubstituted forMerinoat 83′minutes
  • 10Diamé
  • 15KenedyBooked at 90mins
  • 17Pérez
  • 13SlimaniSubstituted forGayleat 63′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Clark
  • 7Murphy
  • 9Gayle
  • 14Hayden
  • 19Manquillo
  • 23Merino
  • 26Darlow
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
39,061

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 1, Newcastle United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 1, Newcastle United 0.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Seamus Coleman.

Attempt missed. Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Diamé.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Leighton Baines (Everton) because of an injury.

Offside, Newcastle United. Ayoze Pérez tries a through ball, but Dwight Gayle is caught offside.

Theo Walcott (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kenedy (Newcastle United).

Booking

Kenedy (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Idrissa Gueye (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Everton).

Kenedy (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Michael Keane (Everton).

Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Everton. Idrissa Gueye tries a through ball, but Oumar Niasse is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Oumar Niasse replaces Cenk Tosun.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Wayne Rooney.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Michael Keane.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Mikel Merino replaces Jonjo Shelvey.

Offside, Everton. Seamus Coleman tries a through ball, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Jacob Murphy replaces Matt Ritchie.

Foul by Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton).

Florian Lejeune (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Michael Keane (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Michael Keane (Everton).

Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Cenk Tosun (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United).

Attempt saved. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Kenedy with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Michael Keane (Everton) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Michael Keane.

Seamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kenedy (Newcastle United).

Attempt missed. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jamaal Lascelles with a headed pass following a corner.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Dwight Gayle replaces Islam Slimani.

goal

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