Blues Succumb To Newcastle Defeat

Everton surrendered a lead to slip to a 3-1 loss at Newcastle United in Frank Lampard's first Premier League game in charge of the Blues.

A bizarre 108 seconds separated the opening two goals of the contest, as Jamaal Lascelles put into his own net to give the Toffees the lead.

But the Newcastle captain made an instant amends, thundering a header off the crossbar as the ball eventually crept agonisingly over the line via Mason Holgate.

Second-half goals from Ryan Fraser and Kieran Trippier ultimately consigned Everton to defeat.

The St James' Park clash came at a cost, too, with Demarai Gray and Yerry Mina both having to be withdrawn during the first-half with injuries.

Lampard, forced into making two changes from the side that swatted aside Brentford in the Emirates FA Cup three days previously, continued with the 3-4-3 formation that returned success in his maiden match as manager.

Mina was drafted into the starting line-up in place of Ben Godfrey, while Andros Townsend fulfilled an unfamiliar role of left wing-back in the absence of Vitalii Mykolenko.

Fit-again Dominic Calvert-Lewin, along with January signings Dele, Donny van de Beek, Anwar El Ghazi and Nathan Patterson were named on the bench.

A typically hostile St James' Park atmosphere was cranked up to maximum for the opening exchanges, with Magpies fans buoyed by a January transfer window that brought five new arrivals and a first game on home soil for more than three weeks.

Energised, it was the hosts who registered the first shot of the contest inside two minutes, Jonjo Shelvey seizing on a loose pass from Mina but his 20-yard effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.

But Everton dug in and soon began to show signs of the impressive composure on the ball that was apparent throughout that FA Cup clash in Lampard's first game in charge.

Allan and Gomes, in particular, provided a midfield base of composure behind a dynamic attacking trio of Richarlison, Gray and Anthony Gordon.

There was an element of blood and thunder throughout this match between two sides hungry for Premier League points - and that was underlined when Seamus Coleman, the victim of a late sliding challenge on the touchline, collided with Eddie Howe, knocking the Magpies manager clean off his feet.

Everton's first sight of goal came 12 minutes in, with the front three all involved.

Gordon, brimming with confidence after cementing his place in the First Team, played in Richarlison and the Brazilian dropped his shoulder to lose his marker before pulling a shot narrowly wide of the post from the edge of the penalty area.

But, just when it felt like the Toffees were beginning to take control, they were dealt an injury blow as Gray hobbled off on 25 minutes. Dele - on for his Everton debut sooner than expected - was his replacement.

Everton's treatment room has been busy all season - and troubles were compounded when manager Lampard was forced into his second change of the evening nine minutes later when Mina pulled up with a suspected thigh problem.

Then came the tale of one minutes and 48 seconds of chaos. Scrappy chaos, in truth.

The Blues broke the deadlock nine minutes before the half-time interval when Gordon's free-kick delivery was met by Keane and fell into the path Holgate whose effort was cleared off the line but eventually went in via Lascelles.

The Newcastle defender, however, provided an instant reply - and in very similar circumstances. 

From a corner, his header cannoned back off the crossbar but the ball ricocheted in off Holgate.

The Magpies finished the opening period in the ascendancy and perhaps should have edged in front when Ryan Fraser's shot was blocked and looped up for Wood. Fortunately for the Blues, the unmarked New Zealand international, could only divert his header straight into the arms of Jordan Pickford.

Lampard regrouped his troops at the break and looked to respond early into the second half when Coleman led a counter-attack down the right before releasing Richarlison.

The Brazilian beat Fabian Schar for pace but was then cynically scythed down as he looked to bear down on Dubravka in Newcastle's goal.

It would be Newcastle who would strike next, though, and, in keeping with the opening two strikes, it came in scruffy fashion.

Allan Saint-Maximim's cross from the left skimmed off Keane's head before being hacked goalward by Fraser, Townsend unable to get enough on his touch to stop it crossing the line.

Van de Beek was introduced for his Everton bow on the hour mark and added composure and guile to the midfield as the Blues searched for an equaliser.

But Howe's side landed a hammer blow with 10 minutes remaining, as England international Tripper curled a 25-yard free-kick into the bottom corner of the net to seal the result.

It's another short turnaround now for Lampard and his side, who host Leeds United at Goodison Park on Saturday (3pm GMT).