Lukaku fires Everton to fourth

Romelu Lukaku's first-half brace on his home debut helped Everton go fourth in the Premier League with a 3-2 victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park.

Last Updated: 01/10/13 at 11:14 Post Comment

Romelu Lukaku: Celebrates the first of his two goals

Romelu Lukaku: Celebrates the first of his two goals

The Belgium international's performance was one, but not the only, reason why his new team displaced parent club Chelsea in the Champions League places as Everton made it six matches unbeaten - a league start not matched for seven years.

Lukaku's fledgling partnership with Ross Barkley, playing behind in the hole, also resulted in Everton's other goal as the 19-year-old collected a lay-off from the Belgian to score his side's second after charging through the middle of an obliging Magpies defence.

Substitute Yohan Cabaye, a surprise omission from the starting line-up, made Newcastle's only real impact with a brilliant 30-yard strike just after the interval.

But even conceding their first goal in 11 hours 27 minutes could not knock Everton out of their stride and Loic Remy's 89th minute goal gave the scoreline a lop-sided look.

Everton's pace and passing was fast and crisp and Kevin Mirallas often, and right-back Seamus Coleman slightly less frequently, tore the left side of the visiting team to shreds.

It was also not as if Newcastle had not had due warning about the threat of Lukaku. Ever since he arrived on deadline day he was talked about as being the Toffees' game-changer.

Within two minutes he had opened up the visitors' defence but his cheeky backheel into the net was the clue he already knew the flag had gone up.

Three minutes later there was no reprieve as Mirallas left Davide Santon trailing in his wake to cross low for Lukaku to stroke home despite Tim Krul's best efforts to keep out the shot.

Lukaku and Barkley had a practice run for the second goal when the big striker laid the ball off for the attacking midfielder to fire first-time wide of the far post.

They perfected the move midway through the half when Sylvain Distin and Mirallas picked out Lukaku who fed Barkley through the middle and he charged past Fabricio Coloccini to clip past Krul for the academy graduate's first Goodison goal.

Everton's third goal was pure route one as goalkeeper Tim Howard's punt downfield was seized upon by Lukaku, easily beating a statuesque Coloccini and rounding Krul before gleefully firing into the open net from close range.

Lukaku found the net again but was denied by another offside flag before Newcastle finally registered their first shot, Howard easily saving low from Hatem Ben Arfa.

The Frenchman and Mapou Yanga-Mbiway were replaced at half-time by Cabaye and Mike Williamson respectively.

Newcastle, who have won one of their last 11 league trips to Goodison Park and have taken just 16 points from their last 23 away games, pulled one back within six minutes thanks to Cabaye's blistering long-range strike.

But there was to be no inspiring comeback like the 4-4 draw against Arsenal from an even worse position in 2011 and, even though Remy poked home from close range late on, it was little consolation.

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Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 34 51 77
2 Chelsea 34 42 75
3 Man City 33 54 71
4 Arsenal 34 18 67
5 Everton 34 21 66
6 Tottenham 34 0 60
7 Man Utd 33 18 57
8 Southampton 34 5 48
9 Newcastle 34 -14 46
10 Stoke City 34 -10 43
11 C Palace 34 -14 40
12 West Ham 34 -9 37
13 Hull City 33 -6 36
14 A Villa 33 -14 34
15 Swansea 34 -5 33
16 West Brom 33 -11 33
17 Norwich 34 -27 32
18 Fulham 34 -40 30
19 Cardiff 34 -34 29
20 Sunderland 33 -25 26

Updated Thu, 17 Apr 2014

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