Belfast Telegraph

Rooney the hero for Everton while Shelvey sees red as Newcastle's awful run continues

Newcastle 0-1 Everton

By Damian Spellman

Wayne Rooney's tenth goal of the season condemned Newcastle to a seventh defeat in eight Premier League outings as the home fans prayed for Mike Ashley's exit from St James' Park.

Rooney pounced on goalkeeper Karl Darlow's 27th-minute error to stab home the only goal of the game in a first half which saw the Magpies, who had Jonjo Shelvey sent off in stoppage time, hit both posts.

Rafael Benitez's men enjoyed the better of the game for long periods in front of a crowd of 51,042, many of whom arrived having read reports that prospective owner Amanda Staveley is close to agreeing a £300million deal with owner Ashley to end his controversial 10-year-plus reign.

But they left having seen Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Ashley in 2008 after just eight months in charge, extend his unbeaten start as Toffees boss to four games with a 1-0 win.

The Magpies started positively and pinned the visitors back inside their own half. Midfielder Matt Ritchie saw a second-minute free-kick deflected just wide and both Javier Manquillo and Ritchie drilled crosses across the face of Jordan Pickford's goal.

Idrissa Gueye should have done better when he sliced a 12th-minute shot, but the momentum remained with the Magpies.

Ritchie was unfortunate not to open the scoring when he smashed a shot against the post.

His disappointment was compounded within two minutes when Rooney bundled the ball home from close range.

Suspicions that Newcastle's luck was out were confirmed with 37 minutes gone when Mikel Merino's 30-yard piledriver left Pickford grasping at thin air, only for the ball to come back off the other upright and fly across goal before running to safety.

The home side resumed in determined fashion and Gayle saw a shot blocked after Shelvey had broken down the right, and Newcastle's misery was compounded with Shelvey's dismissal deep into stoppage time after picking up a second booking.

NEWCASTLE: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Merino (Perez 86), Shelvey, Atsu, Diamé (Joselu 67), Ritchie (Aarons 74), Gayle. Subs not used: Elliot, Clark, Murphy, Hayden.

EVERTON: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Lennon (Vlasic 61), Rooney (Davies 77), Sigurdsson (Jagielka 85), Calvert-Lewin

Subs not used: Keane, Niasse, Lookman, Robles. Man of the match: Rooney

Match rating: 7/10 Ref: Martin Atkinson

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