Dec 282014

Everton FC crashed to their third consecutive Premier League defeat as they lost 3-2 at Newcastle despite a belated fight-back.

The Blues woes continued as they surrendered a fifth-minute lead to fall behind to goals from Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback; leaving them closer to the relegation zone than their target of a top five finish.

Roberto Martinez may feel Cisse was lucky to still be on the pitch after elbowing Seamus Coleman with a flailing arm four minutes before his leveller, and there may yet be repercussions with referee Craig Pawson having taken no action at the time.

However that will offer no solace to the Toffees who return empty-handed to Merseyside, largely due to self-inflicted wounds.

If it was controversial Cisse who started the ball rolling, Perez and Colback completed the job for the hosts thanks to huge helping hands from mistakes by Aiden McGeady and Ross Barkley, although substitute Kevin Mirallas’ late strike made for a tense conclusion.

Newcastle ran out in front of a crowd of 52,313 having lost their last four games in all competitions, a run which included a 1-0 derby defeat by Sunderland in their last home fixture.

With some bookmakers having stopped taking bets on Alan Pardew being appointed the next Crystal Palace manager, there was an air of uncertainty around St James’ Park before (Free £25 bet offer) Kick-off, although the 53-year-old and his players were concentrating simply on the 90 minutes ahead.

They were initially boosted by the Everton team-sheet, which showed seven changes, many of them enforced by injury and suspension, to the side which lost 1-0 at home to Stoke on Boxing Day, although it was the visitors who started much the brighter.

They got their reward with just five minutes gone when McGeady slid the ball into the space where full-back Paul Dummett should have been for Seamus Coleman to leave Yoan Gouffran in his wake, and cross for Kone to convert from close range with central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson looking on in horror. It was his first goal for the club he joined in June 2013.

In pics: Newcastle United 3 Everton 2

Everton's Leighton Baines (left) and Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez in action VIEW GALLERY

The Magpies were simply not at the races as Gareth Barry was allowed to orchestrate from the middle of the park, and when they finally managed to string two passes together, Moussa Sissoko’s touch deserted him in spectacular style as he ran on to Cisse’s 12th-minute flick.

However, they gradually worked their way into the game, although without being able to find the required quality in the final third with keeper Joel Robles untroubled.

Coleman was left on his backside and claiming bitterly to the referee after clashing with Cisse as the pair awaited the delivery of a set-piece, and replays proved the defender had a point about the striker’s swinging arm.

He was even more aggrieved four minutes later when the striker fired the home side level, reacting first when Williamson turned Cheick Tiote’s cross back across goal to beat Robles.

Martinez replaced James McCarthy with Ross Barkley before the restart, and it took the newcomer just three minutes to embark upon a trademark run upfield, although his pass to Kone was poor.

But it was Robles’ goal which came under threat two minutes later with the keeper turning the ball aside after it ricocheted off Gouffran’s shins, although his relief was only momentary as Tiote picked out Perez on the left and he cut inside Distin before thumping a shot through Coleman’s legs and into the bottom corner.

The home side were growing in confidence, but they could not afford to relax and they were grateful to see Samuel Eto’o sky a 64th-minute effort high over after Leighton Baines had out-fought Tiote on the sideline.

But the visitors fell further behind three minutes later when Barkley failed to cut out Daryl Janmaat’s cross and Colback stabbed the ball past Robles to make it 3-1.

Mirallas reduced the deficit with six minutes remaining when he got behind a static Newcastle defence to stab Baines’ long ball past the advancing Jak Alnwick, but that was as good as it got for the Merseysiders as they slipped to a third successive defeat.

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