Everton marched out of the Premier League relegation zone as they struck late to earn a 3-0 victory against Newcastle United at Goodison Park.
Goals from Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Beto mean that the Toffees - despite being hit with a 10-point deduction for breaching financial rules - are currently safe from the drop. Sean Dyche's side displayed resolve and fight throughout before landing three killer blows that left the Magpies stunned.
Everton made a lively start with both Idrissa Gana Gueye and Ashley Young having shots blocked. However, Newcastle created the first clear-cut chance in the 17th minute but Miguel Almiron’s tame effort was easily kept out by Jordan Pickford in the Toffees goal.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was causing the Magpies all sorts of problems. He had a couple of headed efforts on goal before spurning a huge opportunity in the 20th minute. The striker was slipped in by Jack Harrison and went for goal at an acute angle but visiting keeper Martin Dubravka made a fine save. Then on 31 minutes, Dwight McNeil’s low drive from the edge of the box whistled past the far corner.
Newcastle fired Everton a warning nine minutes before half-time when Alexander Isas was left in acres of space inside the box but he headed off target. In the 39th minute, Calvert-Lewin took a ball on his chest inside the six-yard box but fired his shot on the spin over the bar.
Five minutes into the second period, Calvert-Lewin got his head on a McNeil corner and that caused havoc in the Newcastle box but they managed to clear. Everton were then given a huge let-off in the 62nd minute when James Tarkowski was pilfered off the ball by Anthony Gordon. The winger, sold to the Magpies for up to £45 million, only had Pickford to beat but lacked composure and the Everton stopper gobbled up the Gordon's effort.
Both sides were pushing for the pivotal opener - and it went the way of the hosts. McNeil dispossessed Kieran Tripper and drove at the Newcastle goal before cracking a left-footed shot that took a slight deflection and beat Dubravka.
Then Everton confirmed all three points with four minutes remaining. Harrison burst down the left and cut a cross back for Doucoure to calmly slot home. That sent Goodison into raptures but there was to be more to celebrate. In the fifth minute of stoppage-time, substitute Beto burst through on goal and slotted beyond Dubravka.
The win means that the Toffees have moved above Luton into 17th spot. Without the points deduction, Everton would sit in the top half of the table - and it was clear evidence relegation can be avoided even with a punishment. Here's how we rated the Everton players.