LONDON: Newcastle striker Callum Wilson struck twice to seal a 2-1 win that stopped Everton from returning to the top of the Premier League.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side would have gone back above leaders Liverpool on goal difference with a win at St. James’ Park.
But, with James Rodriguez and Richarlison missing from the Everton team, they succumbed to a limp defeat as Wilson bagged his brace in the second half before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late reply.
It was a difficult day for Everton, whose England keeper Jordan Pickford was dropped, losing his place to Robin Olsen, after a turbulent start to the season.
“I just want to give him a rest for this game and to give an opportunity to Olsen, to have minutes. Jordan will be back for the next game against Manchester United,” Ancelotti said.
Pickford has made a host of costly mistakes since Ancelotti took charge last season and was fortunate not to be sent off for the challenge which left Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk needing knee surgery.
Newcastle took the lead in the 56th minute when Andre Gomes was adjudged to have fouled Wilson as he attempted to clear a corner at the near post.
It looked a harsh decision but Wilson — ignoring some provocation from Everton defender Yerry Mina — stepped up to send Olsen the wrong way for his fifth goal of the season.
Wilson finished off Everton with a close-range effort from Ryan Fraser’s deflected cross in the 84th minute.
Netting with a flicked finish, Calvert-Lewin’s 11th club goal of the season came too late to stop Everton’s second successive defeat.
They are without a win in three games and remain three points behind Liverpool in second place.
Elsewhere in Sunday’s action, James Ward-Prowse celebrated his 26th birthday by scoring two fine free-kicks in Southampton’s 4-3 win against Aston Villa.England midfielder Ward-Prowse had only scored once this season, but he made it a birthday to remember with his superb set-pieces at Villa Park.
Southampton move up to third in the Premier League after their fourth win in their last five games.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side lost their first two matches this term, but they have bounced back impressively and sit three points behind Liverpool.
On the heels of a 3-0 defeat against Leeds, Villa’s second successive loss served as a reality check after Dean Smith’s men won their first four league games.
Southampton made their pressure pay in the 20th minute when Jannik Vestergaard headed in Ward-Prowse’s free-kick.
Ward-Prowse curled a stunning free-kick past Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez from 25 yards in the 33rd minute.
His party celebrations were going with a swing and Ward-Prowse got his second when he whipped another majestic free-kick from the edge of he area on the stroke of half-time.
Danny Ings bagged Southampton’s fourth in the 58th minute, the England striker taking a touch from Stuart Armstrong’s pass before curling a superb shot into the top corner for his fifth club goal of the season.
Tyrone Mings reduced the deficit with a header from Jack Grealish’s cross in the 62nd minute.
There was a late blow for Southampton when Ings limped off injured.
Villa’s Ollie Watkins converted a 90th minute penalty after Ibrahima Diallo’s foul on Grealish, who scored third with the last kick.
Separately, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an acrobatic late winner as AC Milan consolidated top spot in Serie A with a 2-1 win over Udinese.
The 39-year-old has scored seven goals in four league games played, having missed the other two after contracting coronavirus.