Sam Allardyce has worked his magic and has made a successful return to St James Park as Everton won their first away game since January with a 1-0 win over Newcastle. 

By 90Min
December 13, 2017

Sam Allardyce has worked his magic and has made a successful return to St James Park as Everton won their first away game since January with a 1-0 win over Newcastle. 

In-form Wayne Rooney was the Man of the Match for the Toffees since he scored the only goal of the match in a key moment, when Everton were struggling with possession and Newcastle were dictating the rhythm. 

This midweek match was a crucial test for former Newcastle boss Allardyce as the Toffees had not won away from home in 11 months. 

The hosts were equally hungry for a win after a frustrating seven-game run (now turned eight) without a victory, while Everton have now been unbeaten for five consecutive matches, which coincide with Allardyce's arrival. 

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

Benitez will have plenty to think about ahead of this weekend's away clash with Arsenal; the Magpies' last win dates back to late October.

However, he could still be partially satisfied with his side's performances, as the hosts proved to have a strong eagerness to win, handled most of the balls and hit the woodwork twice. 

Newcastle had a quite positive start and dominated for most of the first half though failed to get a goal out of their good possession. 

The Magpies often threatened to take the lead but were always missing the final touch. Around the 20th minute, Matt Ritchie went close to breaking the deadlock as approached the box and aimed at the goal with precision but weakness, and Pickford comfortably save. 

Shortly later it was again the Scot who wasted the best opportunity for the Magpies to score as he vehemently hit the post, with the ball bouncing off wide. 

However, despite a poor beginning, the away side scored the opener thanks to their leader and captain Rooney, who pounced on a right-footed shot from close range and sent it right in the bottom left corner of the goal for the visitors. The Englishman was at the right place at the right time and profited from Karl Darlow's poor save. 

Newcastle's momentum progressively died out after the goal and rather shifted towards Everton, who looked more confident and proactive after taking the lead. 

The hosts almost levelled when Yedlin tried to kick the ball home while standing in the middle of the box, yet he was surrounded by Everton players, who had no problem in sending the ball away. 

Newcastle were again extremely unlucky, as the first half turned reached its end when Merino hit the second woodwork of the game with a stunning shot that touched the far post.  

The home side progressively grew in frustration; Dwight Gayle could have made it all square at the end of a beautiful move from Newcastle, as he stroke a nice shot that was easily gathered by Jordan Pickford. 

Little changed when the second half went underway. The hosts made the most of the ball possession but were too imprecise with the final ball. 

Mohamed Diamé made Benitez's face turn red with anger as he wasted Newcastle's best chance of the game ten minutes inside the restart. The Senegalese was alone in the box when he received a magnificent assist from the left from captain Jamaal Lascelles but arrived a few seconds too late to send the ball past Pickford and score. 

Everton had a few chances of their own, the most notable one being taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson, who attempted at surprising Newcastle's defence with a good kick from the edge of the box but sent the ball way over the bar. 

Seconds later, Darlow made a wonderful save on Sigurdsson's header, who was certain to have scored the second for Everton having received a set-piece from Ashley Williams. Yet, the 27-year-old dove to the right to push the ball into the corner. 

Christian Atsu tried in vein to score for the home side towards the end of the match; the Ghanian managed to get free of several Toffee defenders as he stood alone in the box, but his shot was easily parred by Pickford. 

The hosts walked out of the pitch missing Jonjo Shelvey, who received two yellows and was sent off seconds before the end. The win has allowed Everton to climb one place up in the league table and join Watford in the table. 

Newcastle, on the other hand, are painfully sliding back towards the relegation zone and must turn things around before the festive period if they want to remain in the top-flight.

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