Everton were forced to settle for a point as Newcastle dug in to claim a creditable 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Everton forward Richarlison cancelled out Salomon Rondon’s early strike for the visitors but the hosts paid the price for spurning further gilt-edged chances before the break.
Gylfi Sigurdsson and Cenk Tosun both looked certain to score before being denied by Federico Fernandez and Martin Dubravka respectively.
Everton’s pace dropped in the second period as Newcastle sat deep to protect a point and inch a little further away from the Premier League’s bottom three.
Having heard yet more rumours of a potential takeover in the past couple of days, the visiting fans at least had something tangible to take home.
Most of the early initiative had been with Everton, who handed Ademola Lookman a first league start of the season and recalled Tosun up front.
With Andre Gomes pulling the strings and Lucas Digne threatening out wide, the hosts largely controlled the game and created the best chances but Newcastle, despite focusing on defence, did create the odd opportunity.
Rondon was a handful on the break and the visitors threatened first when Jamaal Lascelles headed wide from a dangerously whipped in Ki Sung-yeung free-kick.
Everton’s first chance came as Tosun headed over while Richarlison had a shot blocked by Fabian Schar.
The Magpies grabbed the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute after Jacob Murphy beat Seamus Coleman on the left to curl in a low cross. Rondon slid in at the back post to finish.
Everton almost responded immediately as Dubravka saved from Digne and Richarlison had a shot blocked.
Lookman fired over and Sigurdsson was denied by a brilliant block from Fernandez as he looked certain to score from a great Digne cross.
Rondon missed the target as Newcastle broke again but chances continued to come for Everton.
Dubravka saved from Richarlison at the cost of a corner. Everton complained one of their players had been fouled in the box but that was soon forgotten as Sigurdsson’s corner rebounded off defenders to Richarlison at the back post and the Brazilian made no mistake from close range.
It took a brilliant save from Dubravka to prevent Everton taking the lead before the break, the Slovakian diving to his left to deny Tosun at point-blank range from another fine Digne cross.
Everton were forced to play a more patient game after the break but Newcastle showed signs of frustration as Mohamed Diame and DeAndre Yedlin were booked for late challenges on Richarlison and Digne respectively.
Theo Walcott should have done better after being sent clear by a long punt from Jordan Pickford – who had received a great reception from the home fans after his costly error against Liverpool – following a Newcastle corner.
The former Arsenal forward looked through on goal when he miscontrolled and allowed Newcastle to recover.
Everton sent Yerry Mina forward as time ran out but Newcastle sat deeper and the hosts struggled to create openings.
The Toffees were almost caught out twice by Christian Atsu in the final four minutes but Pickford produced a fine save to keep out his first shot and his second effort was poorly struck.
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