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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 15:52 GMT
Rampant Magpies thrash Everton
Carl Cort celebrates his goal
Cort did superbly to guide home Robert's cross
Newcastle 6-2 Everton
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A Nolberto Solano brace capped a storming second-half performance from Newcastle, and a win that revives their push for a Champions League place.

Solano's strikes, allied to goals after the break from Andy O'Brien and substitute Olivier Bernard, were deserved reward for sustained attacking vigour.

  Match facts
6 mins: Ferguson puts Everton ahead
13 mins: Shearer keeps cool to make it 1-1
15 mins: Cort converts Laurent Robert's cross
34 mins: Alexandersson equalises for Everton
57 mins: O'Brien stabs home to restore Newcastle's lead
71 mins: Dyer sets up Solano for 4-2
73 mins: Solano gets his second after good work for Jenas
88 mins: Substitute Bernard makes it six

Everton fought valiantly enough in the early stages at St James' Park, and deserved to go in 2-2 at the break.

But they were wholly outclassed by a rampant Newcastle in full flow after half-time.

The Magpies are now five points clear of Leeds ahead of the busy Easter weekend.

Everton actually went in front when the revitalised Duncan Ferguson prodded a looping right-foot shot towards goal, which Shay Given, at full-stretch, could only palm into the net.

But the visitors only held the lead for seven minutes.

Alan Stubbs left Alan Shearer completely free to run onto a long throw from Laurent Robert.

Newcastle defender Andy O'Brien
O'Brien celebrates his crucial goal

And the Newcastle hitman opened himself well to coolly sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner.

Two minutes later, the home team were in front, and again it was Robert down their left side who was the provider.

The French winger effortlessly sped past two Everton defenders and whipped a curling ball into the box.

There was much still to do for Carl Cort, but the striker's precise half-volley from 18 yards was unstoppable.

It went beautifully for us, and we've given our fans a good Easter
Newcastle boss
Bobby Robson

It was Cort's first goal since his return from a lengthy lay-off, and a much-needed confidence boost for the lanky frontman.

Newcastle were more fluid in attack as a result, with their dynamic midfield of Robert, Nolberto Solano, Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas very much to the fore.

Solano and Dyer both came close to increasing Newcastle's lead, Dyer agonisingly close to finishing off a sweeping move.

Yet they still looked hesitant at the back.

Rich dividends

So it proved ten minutes before the break, when Sylvain Distin failed to deal with a simple header into the box, and Niclas Alexandersson easily muscled him off the ball to beat Given from close range.

Cort and Nikos Dabizas both wasted free headers immediately after, but Newcastle started the second half with the same attacking verve.

And their increasing pressure eventually paid rich dividends.

On 57 minutes, Steve Simonsen could only parry a swerving shot from Jenas away for a corner.

It was very difficult to match them in the last 30 minutes
Everton manager
David Moyes

And from the resulting set-piece, defender Andy O'Brien was able to squeeze the ball home.

That goal stunted Everton as a threat, and two Solano goals in a three-minute spell secured the three points.

His first came from an energetic burst by Kieron Dyer down the right, his second after an equally penetrating run from Jenas.

Bernard's late effort meant Everton had conceded six goals in a Premiership match for the first time.

But more importantly, it was a fitting way for Newcastle to emphasise they remain right in the race for a Champions League spot.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Dabizas, Distin, Solano, Jenas, Dyer (Acuna 78), Robert (Bernard 74), Shearer, Cort (Lua-Lua 74). Subs Not Used: Elliott, Harper.

Everton: Simonsen, Pistone (Blomqvist 74), Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Hibbert (Watson 30), Radzinski (Chadwick 74), Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Moore.

Booked: Watson, Pistone, Unsworth.

Referee: G Poll (Tring)

Attendance: 51,921

BBC Sport's John Murray
"It was such an open game"
Everton boss David Moyes
"We worked very hard to stay with Newcastle"
Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
"Collectively we were solid"
See also:

29 Mar 02 |  Newcastle United
Robson praises versatile Dyer
28 Mar 02 |  Newcastle United
Robson angry over Bernard approach
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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