Everton defeated Newcastle 3-0 and moved out of the Premier League’s relegation zone
The 10-point punishment for violating the top flight’s financial regulations saw the Toffees sliding into the bottom three, but late goals from Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and summer acquisition Beto propelled them back into safety.
The hosts capitalised on a couple of errors by Kieran Trippier, first McNeil seized on a bad touch, raced forward, and hammered a deflected attempt into the net, before Doucoure coolly tucked home seven minutes later.
Beto then broke free during 10 minutes of stoppage time and slipped in his first league goal to seal the points as the home fans erupted in joy after a well-deserved triumph.
Before the late flurry, the Blues looked to be heading for a miserable night in front of goal having spurned a number of good chances in the opening period.
The greatest of those came from the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who controlled Jarrad Branthwaite’s flick on into his chest and volleyed over from four yards out.
Newcastle had chances in the first half as well, but Jordan Pickford saved both Trippier’s free kick and Miguel Almiron’s scuffed shot after breaking through.
In the second half, the returning Anthony Gordon, who had been jeered by home fans throughout the game following his January transfer to Newcastle, should have silenced the Goodison crowd when he picked off James Tarkowski’s loose touch on the edge of the area but only shot low at Pickford.
With three late goals, the Toffees have clawed their way out of the relegation zone, leapfrogging Luton into 17th position, while Newcastle stay seventh behind Manchester United.
Everton would have moved into 10th position if the Premier League had not sanctioned the result, which would have seen fans dreaming of European qualifying rather than worried about relegation.
Before the Magpies arrived on Merseyside, the Toffees’ form at Goodison Park had been dismal, with Sean Dyche’s men having won just one of their previous seven home league games.
But they set the record straight in this one.
Calvert-Lewin was wasteful in front of goal in the first half, with Martin Dubravka saving a header and a low effort before smashing a wonderful chance high into the Park End.
But the hosts continued fighting in a stop-start encounter, scoring three goals late to record their fourth win in six outings.
McNeil’s thumper and Doucoure’s poised finish provided much-needed delight to the home fans, and the atmosphere had turned rowdy before Beto’s clinical finish gave polish to a well-earned victory.
But there will be some anxiety for Everton captain Seamus Coleman, who hobbled out during the second half on his first appearance since May.