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A Man of the match performance from Romelu Lukaku helped Everton overcome Newcastle United at Goodison Park.
The Chelsea loanee -making his home debut for Everton- had a hand in all three of their goals while Loic Remy added to an earlier Yohan Cabaye strike to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.
Lukaku followed on from his goal scoring substitute appearance against West Ham with his first goal at Goodison just five minutes in, slotting home a Kevin Mirallas cross from close range. He turned provider 20 minutes later with a perfectly weighted pass which Ross Barkley ran on to before rolling the ball past Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal to double the home sides advantage.
The Belgian forward netted his second goal of the evening in the 38th minute after a long Tim Howard kick evaded the Newcastle defence leaving Lukaku with the simple task of tapping in.
Newcastle’s first chance of the game came deep in first half stoppage time, Hatem Ben Arfa forcing Howard to palm away at full stretch.
Manager Alan Pardew shuffled the visitors pack at half time, introducing Yohan Cabaye and Mike Williamson in place of Ben Arfa and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. And it was Newcastle who started the second half livelier, Yoan Gouffran going through one on one with Howard only to see his dinked effort come back off the post.
Pardew’s substitutions paid off in the 50th minute when Gouffran squared the ball to Cabaye who fired an unstoppable effort past Howard from 25 yards out.
Lukaku had the chance to seal his hat-trick 20 minutes from time after a quick counter attack saw him with the ball on the edge of Newcastle’s area, only to scoop his effort over the bar.
Everton finished the game with a flutter as substitute Gerard Deulofeu went through on goal only to see Krul standing tall to deny him at the near post. But it was Newcastle who had the last laugh, Loic Remy netting his third goal in two league games to give the away side a fighting chance at the death.
Everton held on though and head in to Saturday’s trip to Manchester City hoping to keep their fine form going, while Newcastle head to Cardiff needing the points to steer clear of the bottom three.
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