NEWCASTLE, England, November 5 – Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor’s stunning strike inspired a 2-1 win over Everton at St James’ Park as the Magpies surged into second place in the Premier League on Saturday.
Alan Pardew’s side have been the surprise package in English football’s top-flight this season and their fairytale run shows no signs of ending after John Heitinga’s own goal and Taylor’s blistering effort saw off the struggling Toffees.
Jack Rodwell got one back for David Moyes’ men but that couldn’t stop Newcastle extending their unbeaten run to 11 Premier League matches and moving above Manchester United into second place.
United could reclaim second with a win over Sunderland later on Saturday, but even that is unlikely to take the gloss off Newcastle’s best start to a season since 1996-97, when they went on to finish second.
While Newcastle dream of a Champions League place, Everton are languishing two places above the relegation zone after their sixth defeat in 10 league matches.
Newcastle created the first opening when Yohan Cabaye set up Danny Guthrie for a curling shot which Tim Howard did well to stop.
Everton squandered a golden opportunity when Royston Drenthe’s cross found Seamus Coleman unmarked beyond the far post, but the Republic of Ireland international blazed his effort high and wide.
Newcastle took full advantage of that escape to opening the scoring in the 12th minute.
Steven Taylor and Guthrie had combined to play Danny Simpson into space down the right and his teasing cross panicked Dutch defender Heitinga into stabbing the ball into his own net as Tim Howard came out to claim.
Newcastle were attacking with too much energy and invention to be contained and they went further ahead in spectacular fashion in the 29th minute.
Rodwell’s headed clearance fell to Ryan Taylor 20 yards out and he teed the ball up before sending a sublime dipping volley past Howard.
Everton were out of luck again when Phil Neville’s shot was blocked and Louis Saha drove the rebound against the foot of a post.
Ryan Taylor struck the woodwork himself with a miscued cross that cannoned off the bar, although Newcastle suffered a blow when Cabaye limped off to be replaced by Dan Gosling.
The Toffees lost Neville to injury but finally dragged themselves back into the game in first-half injury time when Rodwell met Drenthe’s corner with a bullet header to reduce the deficit.
Newcastle kept pushing for a third goal after half-time and had a sight of goal when Sylvain Marveaux laid the ball off for Guthrie, however his wild finish didn’t match the quality of the build-up.
Ryan Taylor brought a good save from Howard with a low free-kick that the American did well to hold.
In fact it was Everton who went closest after half-time and they felt aggrieved not to get a penalty when Saha saw a 54th minute shot deflected wide with replays suggesting it may have done so off Gosling’s arm.
Australia midfielder Tim Cahill forced Tim Krul to make a diving save after turning neatly on the edge of the penalty area and Leon Osman wasted Everton’s last chance in the 70th minute when he completely mis-hit his shot from a Leighton Baines cross.