The period of about three minutes where Jordan Pickford dropped a ball with no one around him only to find Rondon bursting in out of nowhere, where he then put in a challenge Bobby Wagner (shoutout to my Seattle Seahawks) would be proud of, to then produce another penalty save to add to his already impressive repertoire of saves from the spot, only then for Everton to counter and score a second, is a career definition of Jordan Pickford.
Beyond that, it was an exceptional attacking display from a side that has, this campaign, been very muted in that regard. While the defensive frailties still remain at large, it was an improved first half.
However, the second half was a return to what we know best.
I won’t harp on too much, because you all saw it, but Everton have very much lost any goodwill generated after two positive results, in the space of one March afternoon.
Jordan Pickford - 4
A very interesting game indeed for Jordan, as described in my introduction previously.
He made some awful mistakes, but also saved a penalty and denied Ayoze Perez from close range in the first period to maintain the Everton lead.
However, a poorer second period tends to undo any good work in the first 45, which is what happened, unfortunately.
Jonjoe Kenny - 4
Jonjoe struggled from start to finish this afternoon, as Newcastle looked to take advantage of his defensive frailties with Miguel Almiron, and that mostly worked.
However, a poor defensive showing was somewhat compensated for with some smart play down the right hand side with Richarlison, where Jonjoe looked as dangerous as ever.
Michael Keane - 5
A solid first half was undone by some amateur defending in the second 45, as Keane was far too eager to attack any balls in the air, and left his central defensive partner on his own when he over-extended.
Kurt Zouma - 7
Kurt Zouma has been a constant in an Everton defence full of volatility, and yet again he showed his importance in a rather dominating display against the awkward pairing of Rondon and Perez. He was first to every loose ball in his area of influence, and was excellent when pushing out from the back whenever he did.
Lucas Digne - 8
Lucas Digne, like his compatriot Kurt Zouma, is a key member of an Everton back four that is slowly getting better.
However Lucas has been the one who came straight in and proved his immense worth to Mr Silva’s side, as he has absolutely been Everton’s player of the season.
Idrissa Gana Gueye - 6
Gana was less impactful than in recent weeks simply because Newcastle didn’t play much into his path, and rather preferred the option down the wing.
However he was still quick on the ball, and linked up with André particularly well.
André Gomes - 7
André most definitely enjoyed a return to his best today, as he was key in any attacking intent the Blues had, particularly in the first period.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 5
A muted game, as he was not given the time on the ball that he requires to operate.
Bernard - 8
An excellent attacking trio was let down by an awful defensive display late on. Bernard is enjoying his best spell in an Everton shirt, and the players around him are starting to realise that he’s on a different wavelength.
The team needs to be built around Bernard, not Sigurdsson.
Richarlison - 7
Like André, Richarlison was back to his best today, and he dominated the Newcastle back line in the first half.
He struggled in the second period, but he shouldn’t be singled out any more than anyone else should.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 6
A very well taken goal was, unfortunately, the apex of DCL’s afternoon, as he didn’t get the service he needed due to a shambolic defensive display.
Newcastle were the only team that wanted to attack in the second half.
I don’t think anyone cares about what subs we made.