With Newcastle's monumental takeover seemingly imminent, let's take a look at one of the great pre-megabucks comebacks in their recent history, mainly so we don't forget one name: Florian Lejeune.
Carlo Ancelotti was barely a month into his tenure as the new Everton manager and both sides were rooted in the middle of the table with little hope of Europe but still a slight threat of slipping into the danger zone.
Both sides had recent promising form, however, with Steve Bruce's Newcastle fresh off the back of an outstanding win over Chelsea at St James' Park the previous weekend. Everton, despite a defeat to Manchester City, had put together a decent run of results under their new boss, including a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture of this tie at the end of December.
Everton got off to a great start and dominated possession from the outset, with Moise Kean coming close to hitting the opener. The mercurial Italian striker was given a rare start by Ancelotti and had been told publicly to improve after failing to score in his past 21 games, famously being a subbed substitute while Duncan Ferguson was deputising in the dugout.
He rewarded the faith shown by gathering Bernard's through ball, staying composed after a shakey touch and hitting it low past Dubravka. The relief was palpable for both the player and the Everton faithful, whose patience with the £25m signing had been starting to strain.
Everton went in at half-time one up and quickly extended their lead just shy of the hour mark when the prolific Dominic Calvert-Lewin slotted home from Lucas Digne's precise pass. One of the most improved players of the season, DCL could have had more, as should Kean, as Everton squandered several opportunities to extend their lead.
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Everton continued to dominate possession for the rest of the match and it took a badly defended corner in the 94th minute for a chance to open up for Newcastle. The ball flew in and substitute Florian Lejeune acrobatically fired in an extraordinary overhead kick to give Newcastle what they probably thought was just a consolation.
A mere 30 seconds later though, Everton made a complete hash of clearing a Newcastle free kick and there was Lejeune again to fire home the equaliser past Jordan Pickford, stunning Goodison into silence.
The comeback really should never have happened but thanks to Newcastle's strength of character and Everton's lack of ruthlessness, the game was squared and the Magpies continued their remarkable run of form. Though maybe it shouldn't be surprising as Everton had already conceded five goals in the 90th minute or later before this match. Putting games to bed clearly was an issue for Don Carlo to address.
The result was made more miraculous by Newcastle's injury woes. They had ten players on the treatment table with two midfielders filling in as wing backs in this fixture.
Both sides went on to compile fairly inconsistent results up until the suspension of football fixtures in March. Newcastle only lost one game after this result - a 4-0 humiliation away to Arsenal - whereas Everton recorded two defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea, the latter of which was also a 4-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge where a Billy Gilmour inspired Blues side ran rampant.
But with new owners not far away and the Mike Ashley era finally drawing to a close, this result gave Newcastle fans a taste once again of the real roots of their club. Passion, character and a never say die attitude.
And even if good old Florian Lejeune never plays for the club again, he'll always be remembered for this match alone.
Source : 90min