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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 April, 2003, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Everton dent Newcastle dream
Everton 2-1 Newcastle

Wayne Rooney helped Everton deal a near-fatal blow to Newcastle's hopes of snatching the Premiership title.

Rooney, fresh from his superb performance for England against Turkey, opened the scoring after 18 minutes as the Toffees furthered their own European aspirations.

Jonathan Woodgate (left) and Wayne Rooney compete for the ball
Rooney was totally committed
And after Laurent Robert's spectacular equaliser shortly before half-time, Everton took the lead for a second time in controversial circumstances.

Thomas Gravesen's shocking challenge on Olivier Bernard left the Newcastle player prostrate on the Goodison turf as Everton poured forward and won a dubious penalty which David Unsworth converted.

The result leaves the Magpies six points behind Arsenal and Manchester United, while Everton leapfrog Liverpool into fifth place, four points behind Chelsea.

The match started at a frenetic pace.

Rooney appeared to be clean through after 30 seconds and berated himself after Given blocked his shot, but an offside flag meant the goal would not have stood even if the striker had converted.

A minute later Kieron Dyer had a reasonable penalty appeal rejected after David Weir appeared to haul him to the ground.

The referee then rejected a penalty appeal at the other hand when a powerfully struck shot hit Jonathan Woodgate on the arm.

But Everton's typically committed start soon paid dividends, with Rooney netting his fifth Premiership goal.

Weir flicked Gravesen's shot goalwards and Rooney reacted faster than Bernard, heading into the corner from seven yards.

18 mins: Rooney puts Everton ahead
40 mins: Robert spectacularly equalises
44 mins: Woodgate heads against the crossbar
65 mins: Unsworth scores a penalty
Kevin Campbell made a vicious connection shooting on the turn but his shot was straight at Given, who just saved.

Rooney then shot from an acute angle, forcing Given into action once more.

But as the half wore on Newcastle steadily imposed themselves on the game and equalised in spectacular style.

The impressive Woodgate picked out Robert with a raking pass and the French winger smashed the ball home with a diagonal shot of awesome power.

Woodgate almost gave Newcastle the lead before the break, but his header crashed off the underside off the crossbar.

Rooney forced Given back into action a minute after the resumption of play as Everton started the second half in determined fashion.

Everton then took the lead for the second time when Unsworth scored from the penalty spot following Woodgate's tangle with Campbell.

Everton boss David Moyes had appeared to be telling his players to kick the ball out of play as they advanced upfield so that Bernard, injured by Gravesen moments earlier, could receive treatment.

An incensed Sir Bobby Robson could only watch from the touchline as Unsworth smashed the penalty kick past Given.

Newcastle pushed forward in numbers in desperate search of an equaliser and Jermaine Jenas almost rescued a point but his shot was saved by Richard Wright.

The Everton goalkeeper made an even more spectacular save deep in injury time to deny Titus Bramble.

Everton: Wright, Yobo, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson, Carsley, Gravesen, Pembridge, Campbell, Rooney. Subs: Ferguson, Li Tie, Naysmith, Gemmill, Gerrard.

Newcastle: Given, O'Brien, Woodgate, Bramble, Bernard, Kerr, Jenas, Dyer, Robert, Shearer, Bellamy. Subs: Griffin, Harper, Hughes, LuaLua, Ameobi.

Referee: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).

BBC Five Live's Alan Green
"Newcastle suffer from an appalling piece of refereeing"

Everton boss David Moyes
"We coped really well"



Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

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