Cleverley sucker punch downs Newcastle

Tom Cleverley grabbed all three points for Everton with the last action of the game as the Toffees ran out 1-0 winners over Newcastle at St James' Park in their Boxing Day Premier League clash.

  • Newcastle United 0 Everton 1
  • Lukaku has penalty appeal turned down
  • Janmaat lucky to not see red
  • Mitrovic misses two golden chances
  • Cleverley heads winner at death

Match summary

Everton dominated the opening half but it was Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic who had two golden opportunities to nod the hosts in front throughout the game.

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot put in a fine display in net before disaster struck in added time as Tom Cleverley's last minute header looped over everyone to nestle into the Toon goal as Everton handed Steve McClaren's men a gut-wrenching defeat.

Further report

The game got off to a physical start with both sides leaving their mark on one another, and Toffees striker Romelu Lukaku had a half-hearted appeal for a penalty turned away just before the tenth minute as he cut inside of Newcastle defender Paul Dummett, but referee Lee Mason waved play on. 

Everton continued to pile the pressure on the hosts as Lukaku was involved again skipping through the Toon defence at ease to fire a low cross into the box but the effort was dealt with by midfielder Jack Colback.

Newcastle continued to camp on the edge of their own area as Roberto Martinez's men enjoyed the freedom of St James Park and Daryl Janmaat picked up a yellow card for a foul on Gareth Barry, but perhaps it was the hosts who had the best chance of the opening half as defender Janmaat surged forward and stood up a cross from the byline and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic failed to get any meaningful touch onto his headed effort as the ball flew out for a goal kick.

Lukaku continued to wreak havoc in the Newcastle back line being hauled down again by skipper Fabricio Coloccinni in the box but Mason waved play on again, before seeing a low driven effort well saved by Rob Elliot in the Newcastle net.  

Toon defender Janmaat was then lucky to not see another yellow card for a foul on Ross Barkley just before half-time at the England midfielder looked to break deep into the Newcastle half. 

Steve McClaren's men came out of the break on the front foot and had an appeal for a penalty turned away as the ball appeared to strike Barry's arm in the Everton box, Newcastle continued to press forward and Georginio Wijnaldum saw his effort blocked by the diving Toffee defence just moments later.

Lukaku then had Everton's first opportunity of the second period as he again drilled low into Elliot's outstretched legs as the Magpies keeper kept things level at St James' Park, it was then Aaron Lennon's turn to test the hands of the Newcastle goalie as he struck from inside the box with the visitors piling on the pressure as the early second half momentum switched.

Martinez responded with a double substitution as his side went in search of a winner with Barkley and Lennon being replaced by Gerard Deulofeu and Muhamed Besic 

But shortly after the break in play Newcastle striker Mitrovic missed another golden opportunity to head the hosts in front as Moussa Sissoko provided a wonderful ball from the left, but the Serbian could only fire wide his headed effort wide of the target yet again with the goal at his mercy. 

Tim Howard was then forced into a glorious save from Wijnaldum's close range header, which was matched just moments later by Elliot in the Toon goal after a effort from Ramiro Funes Mori following an Everton corner. 

Leon Osman was then introduced for Kevin Mirallas as the visitors threw caution to the wind, while Ayoze Perez was replaced by Florian Thauvin – but it was Cleverley who snatched all three points with the last kick of the game.

A Leighton Baines corner eventually fell to the midfielder on the edge of the box following an Elliot punch and the ball looped over everyone to nestle into the goal to send the travelling Toffees into delirium and hand Newcastle a gut-wrenching defeat with the last action of the match.