Premier League - Everton bounce back with win
Leon Best had put the Magpies in front after 23 minutes, but two goals in a five-minute burst after half an hour turned the tables.
There were plenty of chances for both sides in the second half, but neither managed to take them.
That meant a second straight Premier League win for Everton – the first time David Moyes’s side have achieved the feat since October, and a first Premier League win for his side at St James’ Park in nine visits.
Newcastle made just one change from the side that drew with Bolton last week, with Steven Taylor returning for suspended namesake Ryan.
And the visitors made the better start in a topsy-turvy first half.
Mikel Arteta went closest for the Toffees after a quarter of an hour as the visitors took control of the match. His run and cut inside from the left was superb, but his shot not quite as precise and Steve Harper was able to make the save.
Having weathered the early pressure, Newcastle then surged up the other end to score. Jonas Gutierrez worked his way down the left and sent in a cross which Mike Williamson gathered and played into Kevin Nolan’s path. Nolan’s shot was parried, but Best was in place to nod into an open goal.
Newcastle threatened to take over the game, but despite Nolan going close with a header and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard looking unsure on crosses, the second goal did not come.
Half an hour in, Everton had their equaliser. Osman had not scored for 14 months, but there was no lack of conviction behind his finish after Arteta had glided into space and played a simple ball into his path.
From there it got worse for the Magpies as they fell behind five minutes later. Arteta won the free-kick and Baines’s whipped delivery caught the Newcastle defence cold.
Saha almost got a boot to it, but Jagielka was there at the far post, steering the ball into the goal for his first goal for Everton in three years.
There was further bad news for Alan Pardew as his star left-back Jose Enrique had to leave the field injured shortly before the interval – although it did give him the opportunity to bring striker Shola Ameobi, wearing a facemask to protect his fractured cheekbone, on to the field.
Ameobi threatened with a couple of half-chances at the start of the second half before fading into the background, while Phil Neville hobbled off injured for the visitors.
And although Newcastle had more of the ball after the interval, the Toffees fashioned the better chances. Only a brilliant save denied Beckford the third on 55 minutes, with Harper getting just enough on the angled shot to steer it around the far post. Moments later Saha looped a free header over the bar when he had every chance of finishing.
Baines had to be on his guard to make an excellent blocking tackle to deny Nolan a free shot on goal, before Saha missed another clear chance, failing to make contact with Arteta’s pass which had left Harper stranded.
Best had the ball in the back of the net with less than a quarter of an hour remaining, but was adjudged by referee Howard Webb to have pushed Jagielka to the ground as he reached it.
Saha went close again, as did substitute Seamus Coleman and Arteta, whose commanding performance merited a goal.
Their profligacy was not punished at the other end, holding on for a big win after a torrid week which included a timid FA Cup exit at home to Reading.
The result lifts Moyes’s side into the top half of the table, level on points with Newcastle who sit a place higher in ninth thanks to their superior goal difference.