Theo Walcott’s second-half strike helped Everton beat Newcastle 1-0 on Monday and move up to eighth in the English Premier League, its highest position since August.
The result ended Newcastle’s four-match winning streak and prevented Rafael Benitez’s side from leapfrogging the Toffees in the standings.
There were 31 minutes on the clock before either side registered a shot on target, and when it did Ayoze Perez’s tame effort was underwhelming.
Everton almost took the lead moments later but Jonjo Shelvey blocked Michael Keane’s header with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka stranded.
The home side broke the deadlock six minutes after the break. Walcott was originally unable to bring Yannick Bolasie’s deep cross under control but the ball came back off DeAndre Yedlin and Walcott smashed it into the roof of the net.
Both managers made changes after that and it was Newcastle substitute Dwight Gayle who should have levelled 64 seconds after coming on. Shelvey’s corner was headed on by Jamaal Lascelles and Gayle hooked a great chance off target from close range.
Keane, who had been booked for a foul on Gayle, was fortunate to escape another caution for an equally poor challenge on the same player, but Everton retained 11 men and held on, with Seamus Coleman brilliantly heading away Jacob Murphy’s cross at the end.