By Ross Crae

A wonderful tribute at Goodison

Everton seem to get a good few Monday night fixtures, perhaps in the hope that Gary Neville will have to talk about his brother doing something silly. Newcastle were the visitors to Goodison Park in front of the Sky cameras. Everton thought they had the lead in the second minute, Marouane Fellaini’s strike at goal was parried by Steve Harper and Nikica Jelavic pounced, but he was ruled to have been offside when the initial shot was struck. To compound the Croat’s misery, he clattered into the post and limped off just before half-time having never fully recovered.

Leighton Baines: The Gentleman Adventurer opened the scoring for the Toffees in the 14th minute, collecting a lovely backheel from Steven Pienaar at the edge of the box before working his way in and firing past Harper.  Baines was having a great game, and cleared off the line as Newcastle came close to equalising.

Everton dominated the first half and Demba Ba came on at half time to try and change the Magpies’ fortunes. He did just that four minutes after coming on.  Yohan Cabaye’s pass into the stride of the Senegalese striker was perfect and Ba hit a fairly weak shot that somehow evaded Tim Howard.

Alan Pardew had obviously applied the Odemwingie motivational method at half time as the Magpies chased silver. Everton fought back and had a second goal ruled out for offside, Fellaini on the receiving end of a debatable flagging. David Moyes had obviously broken a mirror before the game, as Everton had a third goal not given. Victor Anichebe’s header was just over the line, but play continued, and seconds later Hatem Ben Arfa made his way up the pitch. He was clattered into by Pienaar but kept going, only for referee Mike Jones to pull play back much to Newcastle’s frustration.

In the 88th minute, Anichebe did get a goal, collecting Pienaar’s ball and turning in the box before firing past Harper, the Newcastle keeper barely moving except to slump to the ground in despair.

Everton looked to have sealed the victory, but in the 90th minute Ba struck again. The ball was helped on by late sub Shola Ameobi for Ba to sneakily tap under Howard, who had jumped expecting a chipped shot. Spoils shared at Goodison, in yet another Monday night “advert for the best league in the world”…