Belfast Telegraph

Walcott is relieved to have Everton on the rise once again

Everton 1 Newcastle 0

Decisive say: Theo Walcott fires home the winner for Everton at Goodison Park to take the Toffees up to eighth in the table
Decisive say: Theo Walcott fires home the winner for Everton at Goodison Park to take the Toffees up to eighth in the table

By Liam Blackburn

Theo Walcott's second-half winner against Newcastle moved Everton up to eighth - their highest position in the Premier League table since August.

In the first match since Everton fans were asked by their club to rate manager Sam Allardyce out of 10, Walcott's strike six minutes after the interval at Goodison Park elevated them to a place they had not been since the second game of the season.

The 1-0 victory also ended Newcastle's four-match winning streak and prevented Rafael Benitez's side from leapfrogging the Toffees in the standings.

"We were under a lot of pressure at the end and held on," match-winner Walcott said. "We did allow a lot of pressure, we started to get deeper and deeper.

"It was a much-needed three points after a couple of disappointing results. We need to focus on ourselves and start to trust each other a bit more and play with a bit more confidence."

Despite the upturn in form under Allardyce, there was a visual indicator of the fan feeling towards him when a banner was unfurled before kick-off that read "Our survey says... get out of our club."

There were 31 minutes on the clock before either side registered a shot on target and, when it did, Ayoze Perez's tame effort was underwhelming.

Walcott blazed over the top with the final act of an opening 45 minutes where the home side failed to get a shot on target.

However, after Perez had fired wide early in the second half, an effort was finally directed on Martin Dubravka's goal and Walcott made it count.

It came from Yannick Bolasie's cross and, though Walcott was unable to bring the ball under control originally, it came back off DeAndre Yedlin and the ex-Arsenal winger smashed into the roof of the net.

Newcastle turned up the heat, but the Toffees were able to hold on and secure the three points.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin (Davies 52), Rooney, Walcott, Tosun (Niasse 85), Bolasie (Calvert-Lewin 59).

Goal: Walcott 51

Subs not used: Martina, Funes Mori, Robles, Baningime.

Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 79), Shelvey (Merino 83), Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Slimani (Gayle 63).

Subs not used: Clark, Hayden, Manquillo, Darlow.

Man of the match: Walcott

Belfast Telegraph


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