Everton ended a three month wait for a home win in the Premier League with a comfortable victory over Newcastle United today.
The Blues lasted picked up three points at Goodison Park on December 15 and a run of one win from 12 games since has plunged them into a relegation fight.
But Everton regained their six point buffer to the bottom three thanks to goals from James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.
The Blues survived an early scare when McCarthy appeared to handle the ball when blocking Mike Williamson’s close range effort on the line in the second minute but referee Martin Atkinson waved away the appeals of the away side. And Everton never looked back after the let-off and 20 minutes in McCarthy opened the scoring when Lukaku neatly laid off Phil Jagielka’s pin-point long range pass and he fired a shot that went through the legs of Tim Krul.
The Blues were in control of the game but could not add to their lead before the break and Newcastle remained a lingering threat from set-pieces
But their hopes of a comeback were ended in a three minute spell early in the second-half. Aaron Lennon was brought down in the area by Yoan Gouffran and Lukaku stroked home to spot-kick to make it 2-0 and bag his 17th of the season.
And soon after, the visitors’ afternoon got worse when captain Fabricio Coloccini was sent off for a dangerous lunge on Lennon.
Everton poured forward looking for a third goal but Krul denied Arouna Kone and Leon Osman before Barkley, on for Lukaku, had an effort cleared off the line by Ryan Taylor.
But in time added on, Barkley would find the back of the net as Christian Atsu used his pace on the counter-attack and the young England midfielder rounded Krul and slid the ball home. Martinez’s men remain in 14th but secured back-to-back wins for only the second time this season following Thursday night’s win over Dynamo Kiev.
EVERTON (4-3-3): Howard, Coleman, Alcaraz, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy (Besic 86), Gibson, Osman, Lennon (Atsu 85), Kone, Lukaku (Barkley 73). Subs: Robles, Naismith, Stones, Garbutt.
Goals: McCarthy (20) Lukaku (56 pen) Barkley (90)
Yellow cards: Lennon
Red Cards: None
NEWCASTLE (3-5-2): Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Obertan (Perez 46), Colback, Sissokho, Gouffran, Taylor, Amoebi, Riviere (Gutierrez 62). Subs: Elliot, Anita, Cabella, Armstrong, Satka.
Yellow cards: Taylor
Red cards: Colocinni