A stunning first-half performance by Everton, and striker Romelu Lukaku in particular, helped Everton beat Newcastle 3-2 on Monday and maintain thePremier League’s only unbeaten record.
Everton started brightly, Lukaku putting the ball in the net in the first minute only to see the flag raised for offside. Just three minutes later, he put Roberto Martinez’s men ahead, as his Belgium team-mate Kevin Mirallas beat Davide Santon to a loose ball before delivering a right-wing cross that Lukaku duly placed past Tim Krul.
The Toffees continued to push forward following the goal, and they twice came close to doubling their lead. Barkley fired wide from the edge of the area before Krul denied McCarthy after the visitors had given the ball away inside their own half.
Newcastle could not get to grips with the hosts’ high-tempo start, with Lukaku heavily involved in almost every attack. The 20-year-old had a key impact once again as Everton went two up. The striker played a clever pass into the path of Barkley, who coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Alan Pardew’s men were reeling and the home side looked to have sealed the three points eight minutes before the interval when Lukaku bagged his second of the game, latching on to a long kick from Tim Howard, collecting the ball ahead of Krul before rounding Fabricio Coloccini and tucking the ball into an empty net.
Newcastle, overrun in the first half, looked a different side after the break and Yoan Gouffran hit a post before a superb 25-metre strike from Cabaye made it 3-1 six minutes after the restart. Newcastle threatened a dramatic comeback when Remy tapped in from close range after latching on to Mathieu Debuchy’s flick-on, but Everton clung on to seal victory.
The win took Everton four places up the table on 12 points from six games, three points behind leaders Arsenal. Newcastle stay 16th with seven.