Miguel Almirón cracker lifts Newcastle and leaves Everton looking down

Almirón’s delicate chip in the first half was enough to give Eddie Howe’s Newcastle a 1-0 home victory over Everton

Miguel Almirón spent most of his first three years at Newcastle struggling to score but something has changed this season and it could yet propel Eddie Howe’s side into Europe.

The Paraguayan’s fifth goal of the campaign, a sumptuous first-time chip curled over a helpless Jordan Pickford, kept Newcastle sixth in the Premier League while consigning Frank Lampard to a miserable night in the north-east. “You can feel the belief around this stadium now,” said Everton’s manager. “Eddie has a very strong squad now and his team are moving to a new level. They’re ahead of us in their development.”

Lampard was doubtless disappointed to find that Almirón’s discovery of his shooting boots is far from the only recent change on Tyneside. Where the home defence could once be relied upon to be inefficient to the point of generosity, Howe’s rearguard are now the top tier’s meanest having conceded only nine league goals.

Sven Botman’s £35m summertime arrival from Lille has made a big difference and he helped ensure that Everton’s key striker Dominic Calvert-Lewis endured a frustrating first start of the season after recovering from a troublesome knee injury.

Indeed, possibly Calvert-Lewin’s most noteworthy contribution of the night was to collect a first-half booking for hacking down Bruno Guimarães.

Howe’s bleach blond-haired Brazil midfielder dictated that opening period, contributing some gorgeous through passes as Newcastle gained the ascendancy, leaving Calvert-Lewis and co dropping deep and defending for long periods.

As a former Sunderland goalkeeper Pickford was jeered, mocked and taunted by the Gallowgate End all night but it is testament to Lampard’s defenders that the England goalkeeper did not have to make too many serious saves.

Perhaps significantly, Pickford was beaten by only Newcastle’s second real chance of the night but it is hard to imagine anyone having kept out Almirón’s wonderful goal. No surprise that Guimarães was the creator, playing the ball through to the Paraguayan who struck it first time and watched his subtly curving, delicately chipped, shot float through the gap just beyond the goalkeeper’s reach and the crossbar.

Bruno Guimarães on the ball for Newcastle against Everton
Bruno Guimarães was a key figure for Newcastle as he ran the show in midfield. Photograph: Adam Vaughan/EPA

“I don’t know that Miguel is doing anything different but he’s playing with confidence,” said Howe, revelling in Almirón’s unexpected status as Newcastle’s leading scorer. “Some of the goals he’s scoring are spectacular but he’s always supplied assists and I’m really pleased he’s getting the recognition he deserves.”

His latest goal was sufficient to clinch a contest featuring a marked second-half improvement from Lampard’s players. “It was hard fought, a real physical battle in midfield,” said Newcastle’s manager. “Everton competed for second balls and asked tough questions but I think we can beat anybody.”

Lampard’s problem – and he is now back under a degree of pressure – is that his players rarely showed any menace in the final third, leaving Nick Pope barely exerted all night. “The performance was OK and I’m pretty pleased with parts of it,” he said. “But considering how much we were able to play through them we weren’t clinical enough in the box. It’s not about Dominic – he needs minutes in his legs – but I’m disappointed.”

It could have been worse for the visitors. Indeed, Lampard had barely stopped protesting that his latest goal should not have stood due to a foul in the buildup when Guimarães very nearly doubled Newcastle’s advantage after meeting Kieran Trippier’s cross.

Instead he dragged his shot wide but at that point Everton had lost their grip – even if they might have regained at least a measure of it had Newcastle’s Joelinton, already booked, not been somewhat fortunate to escape unpunished for clattering into Idrissa Gueye.

Everton’s Anthony Gordon soon collected a booking of his own after claiming he should have been awarded a penalty when Dan Burn nudged him in the back in the box. Tony Harrington, the referee, was not buying it, though, and as a mini-melee of opposing players indulged in a bout of highly agitated finger pointing, Gordon ended up in the book along with Newcastle’s Fabian Schär.

It was Gordon’s sixth booking of a season in which he has only just returned from a suspension for collecting five yellow cards but, in this instance, Lampard defended him stoutly. “For me that’s a penalty,” he said.

His side hinted at a potential second-half revival when Pope denied Calvert-Lewin with his legs and Demarai Gray turned Trippier inside out. The only problem was that Calvert-Lewin had been offside and no teammate was available to meet Gray’s ensuing cross.

This lack of Everton cutting edge explains why, even though Newcastle’s pressing had lost a lot of it early intensity and Guimarães’s game a little of its former stardust, Almirón had already done enough to make the difference.


Louise Taylor at St James' Park

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Miguel Almirón puts Newcastle into top four after hard-fought win at Tottenham
Harry Kane reduced the deficit but first-half strikes from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almirón were enough to give Newcastle a 2-1 win at Tottenham

John Brewin at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

23, Oct, 2022 @5:36 PM

Article image
Wilson’s goals and Isak magic for Newcastle push Everton closer to drop
Everton’s drop fears intensified after Newcastle followed up their drubbing of Spurs with a 4-1 win to cement their hold on a top-four place

Andy Hunter at Goodison Park

27, Apr, 2023 @9:03 PM

Article image
Newcastle climb to second as Almirón and Joelinton sink Leicester
Chris Wood, Miguel Almirón and Joelinton were on target in the first half in Newcastle’s 3-0 Premier League win at Leicester

Peter Lansley at the King Power Stadium

26, Dec, 2022 @5:11 PM

Article image
Kieran Trippier’s stunner for Newcastle leaves Lampard’s Everton in trouble
Kieran Trippier’s brilliant curling free-kick made it 3-1 to Newcastle and took his side to within a point of Frank Lampard’s Everton in 16th, who have played a game more

Louise Taylor at St James' Park

08, Feb, 2022 @10:00 PM

Article image
Newcastle leapfrog Liverpool into fifth as Almirón strikes late to beat Wolves
Miguel Almirón scored a late winner against Wolves to boost Newcastle’s Champions League hopes by lifting them above Liverpool into fifth

Louise Taylor at St James' Park

12, Mar, 2023 @6:53 PM

Article image
Newcastle v Everton: match preview
Football royalty is in Toon in the shape of Everton’s Carlo Ancelotti as Newcastle aim to atone for the heavy Boxing Day defeat at Manchester United

27, Dec, 2019 @11:41 AM

Article image
Newcastle v Everton: match preview
Everton arrive at St James’ Park on a good run away from home but Newcastle are imperious at St James’ Park and will be determined to move further away from danger

08, Mar, 2019 @1:46 PM

Article image
Sean Dyche urges Everton to focus on survival not Gordon against Newcastle
Sean Dyche says he has no regrets over losing Anthony Gordon and that Everton must not get distracted when facing Newcastle

Andy Hunter

26, Apr, 2023 @9:30 PM

Article image
Newcastle Covid cases and injuries cause Everton match postponement
Newcastle were only able to name eight substitutes, including two goalkeepers, against Manchester United, and picked up more injuries in the 1-1 draw

Will Unwin

28, Dec, 2021 @9:05 PM

Article image
Callum Wilson double rewards Newcastle in win over Everton
Everton’s hopes of climbing to the top of the Premier League were dashed as two second-half goals from Callum Wilson proved decisive in Newcastle’s 2-1 win

Louise Taylor at St James' Park

01, Nov, 2020 @4:21 PM