Everton and Newcastle played out a very entertaining 2-2 draw at Goodison Park last night.
However, if you’re an Everton you will feel like you’ve just been robbed, but more on that later.
The star of the game was Newcastle substitute Demba Ba.
The Senegalese striker scored a brace and proved a constant menace to the Everton defence, after coming off the bench at half-time.
This game had everything that makes the Premier League great, fast flowing football, passion and goals. The game swayed from the control of Everton in the first-half to Newcastle in the second half.
The visitors looked like a team transformed in the second half, thanks to the introduction of striker Demba Ba. The Senegalese international was obviously keen to show his manager why he shouldn’t be left out of the team in the future.
Since the arrival of Papiss Cisse, he has taken a back seat to his compatriot and at times been played out of position. Last night he proved his worth to his team with two superbly taken goals to earn them a point.
Officials come in for some harsh criticism sometimes, but the officials in last night’s game really do deserve anything that comes there way. They got three decisions wrong that could have change the course of the game.
First the assistant referee flagged Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini offside incorrectly, after the Belgian how found the back of the net. Then the same official decided that a Victor Anichebe header had not crossed the line.
I think most people’s reaction when they saw the header in normal time was ‘goal’. I know mine certainly was. However, the referee and assistant referee’s wasn’t. It was to ignore the fact that the ball had gone over the line and play on.
That’s when the third mistake was made, this time by the referee Mike Jones. Newcastle broke away, with Everton players still reeling from the poor decision at the other end. The visitors had the ball with Hatem Ben Arfa and had two players spare, but instead of letting Newcastle have the advantage, Jones pulled play back to book Steven Pienaar.
The only conclusion from that decision is that the referee realised the officials had made a mistake at the other end and didn’t want to rub salt into the Everton wounds. However, it was another wrong decision.
The officials really were poor; the introduction of goal line technology can’t come soon enough for this hapless bunch. Technology can’t help their poor decision making though and there were some awful decisions in last night’s match.
It’s a real shame that we are talking about the officials after such a great game between two such evenly matched teams. I predicted it would be a tight match and it turned out that way in the end.
Everton should have been out of sight in the first half though. The Toffee’s dominated the game completely and should have added to the one goal lead in the first period. Credit must go to Newcastle boss Alan Pardew for the changes he made at half-time.
He got it spot on. French winger Sylvain Marveaux and James Perch down the Magpies right were being taken apart by Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar time and time again. Pardew replaced Marveaux with striker Demba Ba at the break, switched Vurnon Anita to full-back and put James Perch into the centre of midfield.
The moved proved to be a masterstroke, as Newcastle started to look far more of a threat and the move restricted the movement of Everton’s deadly duo Baines and Pienaar.
Take away the poor decisions by the officials and I’d say that a draw was probably a fair result. Everton may have controlled the first half, but Newcastle came out much the stronger in the second half.
Both teams can take positives from this game. Newcastle can take the fact that they managed to fight back from a goal down twice to earn a point at a difficult ground to visit.
Everton can take heart from their first-half display and also the fact that they never lost heart from being denied two goals. I think Newcastle will be happy with the point, but Everton will feel badly let down by some awful decisions.
Should officials involved in incorrect decisions be dropped from next weekends games?