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Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 17:02 UK

Everton 3-1 Newcastle

By John May

Everton trio Victor Anichebe, Joleon Lescott and Yakubu
Yakubu (right) celebrates with Anichebe (left) and Lescott

Everton sealed Uefa Cup football as defender Joleon Lescott continued his remarkable goalscoring season.

Lescott volleyed home his 10th goal in all competitions to set up a comfortable win over Newcastle.

Yakubu headed Everton into a first-half lead, which was cancelled out by Michael Owen's penalty.

After Lescott had restored Everton's lead, Yakubu sealed victory with his second goal, slotting home The Toffees' first penalty of the season.

Interview: Everton boss David Moyes

The end of the season arrived at the right time for two teams whose resources were stretched by injury.

Tony Hibbert and Andy Johnson became the latest additions to Everton's injury list, while Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan was forced to make four changes, with Geremi, Joey Barton, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins all absent.

In the opening minute, Jose Enrique's pass released Charles N'Zogbia, and Everton keeper Tim Howard needed Phil Jagielka's intervention after he failed to hold the Newcastle winger's cross.

Interview: Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan

Howard then had to drop sharply on to a snap shot from teenage striker Andy Carroll, looking to mark his first Premier League start with a goal.

Everton's first sniff came when Yakuku skipped a couple of token challenges from Nicky Butt and Damien Duff only to screw his shot wide.

There was certainly little danger of the pea in referee Peter Walton's whistle wearing out as the first half meandered along with little in the way of physicality.

N'Zogbia's cross from the left begged for a touch and Newcastle boss Keegan's frustration was increased when Everton took the lead.

Duff's foul on Leon Osman gave Manuel Fernandes the opportunity to whip in a ball which Yakubu powerfully headed home for his 14th Premier League goal of the season.

Yakubu heads Everton into the lead against Newcastle
Yakubu gets in front of Steven Taylor to head Everton in front

N'Zogbia almost pulled Newcastle level when he dipped a free-kick just over, while at the other end, Steve Harper twice denied Victor Anichebe his first Premier League goal since the opening day, and Joseph Yobo contrived to head over from six yards.

Harper again stood between Everton and the cushion of a second, getting his angles right to deny Osman as Everton ended the first half strongly.

Newcastle shocked the home side by drawing level within a minute of the restart.

As the dangerous N'Zogbia made ground in the Everton box he was tripped by Yobo and although Owen's penalty was not convincing it crept under Tim Howard's dive as the England striker scored for the fourth successive game at Goodison Park.

Although a draw would be enough for Everton to clinch European football they went in search of a winner, but twice in the space of a minute, Harper produced top-drawer saves to keep out free-kicks from Fernandes.


As the thunder pealed across Goodison Park, Newcastle began to enjoy more possession and Everton looked nervous.

But those fears were quelled by Lescott who restored Everton's lead on 70 minutes.

After being fouled by Owen, Carsley tapped the free-kick short to Fernandes whose deep cross to the far post was met by Lescott who volleyed home with the aplomb of a seasoned striker.

Any doubts were dispelled eight minutes from time when Osman was tripped inside the box and referee Walton awarded The Toffees a penalty that Yakubu converted.

  • Everton manager David Moyes on talks over a new contract:
    "I'm relaxed about the situation. This board has always backed me and I don't expect that to change.

    "We deserved to finish fifth, we have been in the top five since the new year and we finished on a good note.

    "We got word that Aston Villa were leading but the players kept to their job, and all credit to them."

  • Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan:
    "If ever we needed a team to look at we were in the right place today.

    "If Everton can finish fifth, why can't we? We have a bigger stadium and more fans, but they all play for each other and that's the spirit we don't have.

    "If we can get that with the players we've got there's no reason we can't challenge for that spot next season."

    Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo (Baines 85), Jagielka, Lescott, Pienaar, Fernandes, Carsley (Rodwell 90), Osman, Yakubu, Anichebe (Gravesen 85).
    Subs Not Used: Wessels, Gosling.

    Goals: Yakubu 28, Lescott 70, Yakubu 82 pen.

    Newcastle: Harper, Beye, Faye (Cacapa 46), Taylor (Ramage 90), Jose Enrique (LuaLua 79), Smith, Butt, N'Zogbia, Owen, Carroll, Duff.
    Subs Not Used: Forster, Tozer.

    Booked: Duff, Smith.

    Goals: Owen 47 pen.

    Att: 39,592

    Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton's Yakubu 8.32 (on 90 minutes).

    Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

    see also
    West Ham 2-2 Aston Villa
    11 May 08 |  Premier League
    Premier League photos
    11 May 08 |  Football
    BBC pundits on the Premier League
    11 May 08 |  Premier League
    Premier League finale as it happened
    11 May 08 |  Premier League
    Garth Crooks's team of the week
    24 Feb 08 |  Score on BBCi

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