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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Goodison Park | 18th September 2010 15:00

Everton v Newcastle United

Hatem Ben Arfa’s stunning debut goal condemned Everton to a first home defeat in the Premier League for almost a year.

The Toffees hadn’t come off second best at Goodison in the league since defeat in the derby against Liverpool in November 2009 – a run that stretched back 14 matches.

But Newcastle came away with all three points following Frenchman Ben Arfa’s 25-yard screamer on the stroke of half-time.

The hosts twice came close to salvaging a point in second half stoppage time when substitute Yakubu’s low drive came back off the post and a Marouane Fellaini effort was deflected wide at the death.

Manager David Moyes made just one change from the draw against Manchester United, with Jermaine Beckford replacing Tim Cahill up front - the Aussie crocked by a knee injury.

Beckford could conceivably have been playing for the visitors had a proposed switch to St James’s Park gone through in January.

Instead he was part of an Everton side knocked out of their stride in the first half by the visitors’ waspish work in midfield. Chris Hughton’s side closed down at every opportunity and were that bit sharper to the second ball.

The sting came when Ben Arfa, a loan signing from Marseille, marked his first Premier League start with a spectacular strike.

Tim Howard had little or no chance as the France international lit up a scrappy opening period.

The USA international had already come to his side’s rescue twice as he beat away Joey Barton’s free-kick before back-pedalling to acrobatically tip a deflected cross over his own bar.

At the other end there had been little for keeper Steve Harper to do before he was stretchered off after coming off worse in a 50-50 with Beckford. Tim Krul replaced him to earn a Premier League debut.

Harper had been a bystander as Phil Jagielka planted a Tony Hibbert cross wide of the post with 20 minutes gone.

Otherwise the Blues had posed little threat with a deflected Steven Pienaar effort and a tame Leon Osman strike their only other sights of goal.

Moyes’ response was to replace Tony Hibbert and Jermaine Beckford with Seamus Coleman and Yakubu at the interval.

The change opened the game up with the hosts taking a few chances and the visitors looking dangerous on the break.

Yakubu had his first sight of goal on the hour as he just failed to get something on a Fellaini knock down.

The Blues were starting to build some pressure for the first time as Newcastle dropped deeper.

Five minutes later Everton enjoyed their best move of the match as Pienaar and Arteta combined to tee up Osman, who failed to get his shot away.

The game was stretched and once Osman had again been thwarted – this time by a block from Andy Carroll – Wayne Routledge was briefly one on one with Sylvain Distin before Leighton Baines recovered expertly.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov arrived in John Heitinga’s place as the hosts threw further men forward.

That left gaps at the back and Kevin Nolan exploited one to go clean through. Coleman slid in and, with the visitors crying penalty, referee Andre Mariner waved away their protests.

The Toffees piled forward in search of an equaliser and their best chances arrived in added time.

First a Baines free-kick caused havoc in the Toon area and Yakubu capitalised on the confusion to strike a low effort against the foot of the post. Krul gratefully smothered at the second attempt after the ball had rebounded off his back.

And the Blues knew it wasn’t going to be their day when Fellaini arrived to meet another Baines cross only to see his close-range effort fly wide with the goal gaping.



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