Dominic Calvert-Lewin double earns Carlo Ancelotti second win in row as Everton manager
Striker is goalscoring hero again to earn Merseysiders victory at Newcastle, as Deeney double earns Watford vital victory against Aston Villa
Carlo Ancelotti celebrated his second straight win in charge of Everton as Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck twice to end Newcastle’s nine-match unbeaten run at St James’ Park.
The 22-year-old striker, who headed the winner in Ancelotti’s opening game against Burnley on Boxing Day, shone once again as the Toffees secured a 2-1 success.
Having fired his side in front after just 13 minutes, Calvert-Lewin fumbled what turned out to be winner over the line midway through the second half shortly after Newcastle had levelled through Fabian Schar.
Everton manager Ancelotti said: “I am happy. The team is improving and that is important.
“The players are trying to adapt, they want to change a lot. The job Duncan Ferguson did was fantastic. The spirit was strong when we arrived.”
It proved a painful defeat for Steve Bruce, who restored the likes of Andy Carroll and Jonjo Shelvey having rested them for the Boxing Day thumping at Manchester United.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose,” Bruce said. “We were caught by a sucker-punch when we were going for the game.
“It is the first time since August we suffered back-to-back defeats. We have given ourselves a good platform for the second half of the season.”
Miguel Almiron, fresh from scoring his overdue first goal for the club last week, almost repeated the feat with under a minute on the clock but was let down by his final touch after being teed up by Joelinton.
After affording another chance to Joelinton, which was saved by Jordan Pickford, Everton belatedly stirred and Mason Holgate forced a fine save out of Martin Dubravka.
Four minutes later, Everton were in front. Gylfi Sigurdsson delivered a free-kick into the box at the second attempt, where it took a series of minor deflections before landing fortuitously at the feet of Calvert-Lewin to sweep home.
Schar blocked a goal-bound Theo Walcott effort to prevent Everton extending their lead as the visitors began to take control.
A change in formation around the half-hour mark lifted Newcastle, with Almiron looking much more effective in a wider role. The Paraguayan struck the post during a goalmouth scramble in the 29th minute, the ball rebounding for Carroll to prod home from close range only to be ruled offside.
Almiron then hit a rising effort of his own which was acrobatically saved by Pickford.
Moise Kean came close to extending Everton’s lead when he drilled a shot straight at Dubravka at the start of the second half, before Newcastle seized a chance to equalise.
Jetro Willems whipped in a free-kick from the left which Carroll nodded down for Schar to hook home.
Everton responded within eight minutes with a counter-attack after Carroll lost the ball on the halfway line.
Linking well with Walcott on the right, Richarlison burst clear and crossed low for the unmarked Calvert-Lewin, who scrambled the ball home from point-blank range.
Watford closed to within three points of safety thanks to a second home win in as many games under Nigel Pearson as the Hornets beat Aston Villa 3-0 – despite playing half an hour with 10 men when Adrian Mariappa saw red.
Troy Deeney scored twice with Ismaila Sarr grabbing the other as Mariappa was shown a second yellow before the hour mark, with the score at 1-0.
Pearson said: "We couldn’t afford to lose. The important thing is to get the performance right. We showed good intensity. We showed incredible unity on the pitch and bench. We have to make sure that remains high on our agenda – to keep the players together."
A jubilant Deeney said: "Loved it. It's been a whirlwind week. Getting our first win, having a baby and then going off to Sheffield United [where they drew 1-1].
"I was sloppy at Sheffield so wanted to make a point today. Playing Aston Villa is extra special, I always get a lovely warm welcome here.
"The biggest key was unity. Everyone struggles over Christmas but we've done it with 10 men. This is one for the fans to see out this year. We go again in a few days."
Striker Danny Ings scored his 12th league goal of the season in the 74th minute to earn Southampton a point, after James Tomkins had put Crystal Palace in front early in the second half.
"We're unbeaten in three now which is huge for us a team so hopefully we can move forward from that," said Ings. "This season has been very up and down for us, but the last three games, I feel like that's the demands we've got to try and do. We've come a long way, that's the level we need to be at."
Updated: December 28, 2019 10:09 PM