Newcastle 1 Everton 1 – How did they let this slip? Will they keep hold of Isak?


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European qualification remains the aim for Newcastle United, but their chances were hit after being held at home by Everton on Tuesday.

Despite dominating for much of the match, a late penalty from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, given for a foul by Paul Dummett, allowed Newcastle’s relegation-threatened opponents to claim a draw.

Alexander Isak put Newcastle in front in the first half but missed a chance in the second, while Dan Burn had a strike ruled out for offside before Calvert-Lewin ended his 23-game scoring drought from the spot.

Here, our Newcastle writers Chris Waugh and George Caulkin give their views on the game.

Can Newcastle keep Isak?

Howe insists he is simply not for sale this summer, with Newcastle desperate to build their team around him, but if Isak keeps delivering top-class performances and scoring at this rate, then Arsenal will surely not be the only elite club casting envious glances at the Sweden striker.

The 24-year-old has the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any Premier League player to have scored at least five times this season — his 15 goals have come at a rate of one every 106 minutes, which is ahead of Erling Haaland’s one every 112 minutes.

After coolly dispatching two penalties against West Ham on Saturday, he finished a brilliant and swift Newcastle attack against Everton. Released down the left by a delightful Harvey Barnes chipped pass, Isak cut inside Jarrad Branthwaite, stumbled, yet still had the composure to curl a low shot beyond Jordan Pickford on the stretch.

Isak has now scored in five successive Premier League home matches for Newcastle, a feat bettered by only Alan Shearer, Andy Cole and Les Ferdinand. That is already exalted company for Isak, but he is proving himself to be a worthy heir to those celebrated Newcastle centre forwards.

If Newcastle are to secure European qualification for next season, then keeping Isak fit and firing for the remainder of the campaign is crucial given Callum Wilson is still out with a pectoral injury.

Chris Waugh

How did Newcastle let this slip?

In the harum-scarum world of Newcastle United circa 2023-24, this match followed a familiar pattern; a patchwork team with few options on the substitutes’ bench reached for control, almost grasped it, tired, then finally wilted. If it was a cruel ending to game Eddie Howe’s side largely dominated, you could hardly say it was wholly unexpected. They have been here before. 

Newcastle scored brilliantly through Isak. They mustered a host of other chances. They struck the woodwork, those opportunities came and went, Everton brought on the cavalry and grew in confidence. Howe had two goalkeepers and a clutch of kids behind him in the dugout and that control seeped away.

When Lewis Hall came off in the 79th minute, Paul Dummett came on; a replacement of last resort. In the 87th minute, Everton were awarded a penalty after a VAR check when Dummett clumsily flung his arms around Ashley Young. Calvert-Lewin’s equaliser means Newcastle have not secured back-to-back wins in the Premier League since early December. 

George Caulkin

How did returnees fare?

All four players who Howe elevated into the starting XI had barely featured this season for varying reasons.

Emil Krafth, as third-choice right-back behind Kieran Trippier and Tino Livramento, had not started in the Premier League since May 2022, while Barnes had only played 379 top-flight minutes since his £40million ($50.3m) summer move from Leicester City because of a serious foot injury. Elliot Anderson, meanwhile, made his first league start since October following back problems.

Hall’s lack of football — this was only his second league start for Newcastle and first since November 11 — has not been down to injury, however. His loan from Chelsea will almost certainly turn into a permanent £28m transfer, even if the terms are yet to be triggered conclusively, but the 19-year-old’s conversion from a midfielder to left-back is taking longer than anticipated as he learns the defensive minutiae of Howe’s system.

(Stu Forster/Getty Images)

All four had decent outings, with Krafth defending well, Anderson showing his creative talents and Barnes providing a threat throughout, including an excellent assist. As for Hall, the boyhood Newcastle fan appeared nervy at times but also showed his technical skill in possession and he did not look out of place, sometimes stepping inside as an inverted full-back.

Hall departed in the 79th minute, potentially another injury victim, having appeared to hurt his midriff, and his replacement, Dummett, had a cameo to forget. In just his second substitute league appearance of the season, Dummett was adjudged to have pulled down Young, following a VAR call, and Calvert-Lewin converted the spot kick.

Chris Waugh

What did Howe say?

We will bring you this after he has spoken at the post-match press conference.

What next for Newcastle?

Saturday, April 6: Fulham (A), Premier League, 3pm BST, 10am ET

“And for those of you watching in black and white…” Newcastle go for a third clean-sheet win against Fulham this season, having beaten them 3-0 at St James’ Park in the Premier League in December and 2-0 away in the FA Cup just over a month later.

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(Top photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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