Eddie Howe welcomed five new signings to Tyneside last month, but as three of them performed here, Newcastle’s manager was reminded that a player he inherited remains the brightest light in his attacking firmament.
Allan Saint-extraordinary Maximin’s powers of improvisation and incision made Frank Lampard’s Premier League debut as Everton manager a deeply uncomfortable experience, leaving his new side precariously balanced on the brink of relegation.
Newcastle won their third game of the season, climbing out of the bottom three and into 17th place, thanks to Saint Maximin’s deconstruction of the visitor's defense and fine performances from Howe’s new full-backs, the outstanding Kieran Trippier and Matt Targett. Everton is one point and one place ahead of Lampard’s side.
Howe had competed with Lampard for Alli’s signature, but St James’ Park was much more excited by the sight of one player he did manage to secure warming up. Guimares, a £33.3m Brazil international signed from Lyon, was serenaded with chants of “Bruno, Bruno,” and the scoring began with two own goals in quick succession. First, Jonjo Shelvey hacked down Anthony Gordon, one of Everton’s better players, resulting in a freekick. Gordon took it himself, and when Alli redirected the rebound back into the box, Mason Holgate’s shot was blocked on the line by Fabian Schär, only to deflect in off Jamaal Lascelles.
Everton was severely handicapped by Mina’s injury in the 35th minute, with Lampard’s right-sided back three staggering off. Jarrad Branthwaite continued, but Chris Wood was given a free header because of his lack of experience.
Regardless, Newcastle scored just 10 minutes into the second half. This time, Alli’s loss of possession preceded another cross from SaintMaximin, and when Michael Keane’s failure to make a headed clearance left Pickford stranded, Ryan Fraser hooked the dropping ball home.
Shortly after Wood’s “goal” was disallowed for offside, Fraser set up the third when his quick dribble was harshly disrupted by Allan’s clumsy lunge, resulting in a 25-yard freekick.
Howe claims he signed Trippier from Atlético Madrid last month for his crossing and setpiece abilities as well as his defensive abilities. Sure enough, England right back justified his decision by spotting a chink in Everton’s defense and exploiting it with his Deadball technique.
All that remained after Trippier’s sumptuously curving freekick found the back of the net was for Guimares to make a rapturously received 90thminute debut. “It’s a big win, and it’s our second win in a row,” Howe said. “We’re on the right track, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves.”