Everton 1-0 Newcastle United: Walcott winner does little to silence home discomfort as Benitez loses 100th Toon game

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benítez’s 100th game in charge turned into one he would most likely want to forget, losing 1-0 to Everton after an early second half goal from Theo Walcott.

After securing their safety from relegation Newcastle went into the game on course to finish in the top half of the table. A win would have increased their three-game winning streak to four, showing promise for a side that were only a few weeks ago in a battle for survival. 

The victory was welcomed by the Everton faithful after a bout of poor form, but didn't stop fan protests against Sam Allardyce.

Everton's season hasn't been brilliant but they looked like a side in control in the first half, Newcastle sloppy on the ball and unable to create any clear cut chances.

Despite Benitez's well organised team being a stubborn opponent for Everton throughout the first half, the domination of play came from the home side, with slips ups coming as Newcastle’s composure seemed to be lost as their minds and actions were constantly on full speed, not slowing down to grasp and execute the chances given and created. 

Newcastle's defence stopped the Toffees on multiple occasions, with a strong presence constantly appearing within their box.

The same could not be said for their attack, with ​Islam Slimani starved of service at the top of the pitch.

The Toffees' best chance of the half was missed by skipper Phil Jagielka who sliced over from close range, but they didn't have to wait long after the restarted to edge ahead.

Walcott opens the scoring

Everton had yet to click into an attacking gear in the first half, however at during the second half this gear turned up a notch securing a goal only six minutes in.

The goal came from Walcott who received a clean cross from Yannick Bolasie from the right to score and give Everton the push and momentum they needed to secure the victory. 

Walcott's goal also appeared to be the drive that Newcastle needed, re-focusing and regrouping to dominate possession for much of the second half. 

The Magpies started to push Everton, creating more play in their box. Despite this, chances fell flat with both Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle firing efforts over the net leading to a defeat for the Geordies and a much-needed victory and boost for the Toffees.