Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has criticised his team’s defending in the first-half of their 3-2 defeat at Everton, Sky
Everton took a 3-0 lead at half-time through a Romelu Lukaku brace and a Ross Barkley goal, with Lukaku’s second – and Everton’s third – coming from a clearance by goalkeeper Tim Howard that flummoxed the Magpies’ central defenders, Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, and led to Tim Krul racing out of his goal, only for Lukaku to take the ball past the Dutchman and hammer into the empty net.
Pardew responded by substituting Yanga-Mbiwa for Mike Williamson at half-time, as well as withdrawing Hatem Ben Arfa for Yohan Cabaye, and Newcastle entered a much more competitive second-half performance, scoring twice to give the score line a respectable hue. But the first 45 minutes was roundly criticised by Pardew, who called on his players to do better.
“The goals were poor, so poor, in the first half, and defensively we’ve got to better than we are at the moment,” Pardew said. “But we’ve got goals in the team, and we’ve shown that tonight. We had numerous chances apart from the two goals we’ve scored, but we’ve got to tighten up, that’s for sure.”
He added: “Nothing went right for us and the inconsistency being shown was disturbing at one point. We managed in the second-half to get ourselves a little better balanced in the team to make some sort of game of it.
“We came out with a bit of pride and almost at the end got more than that, but the goals in the first half were not acceptable for me, and we’re going to have to tighten up and make a couple of changes there.”
The defeat at Goodison Park was the second consecutive 3-2 loss for Newcastle after they were beaten by the same score at home against Hull. Everton also recorded a second straight 3-2, having won at West Ham by the same score line.
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