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|Everton 3-1 Newcastle: Toffees end Geordies Champions League hopes|
Everton snuffed out Newcastle's hopes of finishing in the top four with a comfortable 3-1 win at Goodison Park.
David Moyes' side got off to a great start with Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic finding the net within the first half hour. The Toffees consolidated their lead in the second half when Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga headed home. An own-goal by veteran defender Tony Hibbert and a late red card to Australian Tim Cahill couldn't take the gloss of the acheivement of the Merseyside club finishing above their greatest rivals; Liverpool.
The Toffees record signing Marouane Fellaini slipped the ball to Pienaar in the 16th minute and the South African looping strike took a deflection off a Newcastle defender and beat the diving Tim Krul.
Barely ten minutes later, prolific Croatian striker Jelavic brilliantly controlled the ball as he moved inside the area and despite having his first effort saved by Krul, put the rebound away with expert composure. Replays indicated that Jelavic may have handled when trying to chest the ball down.
In the 65th minute, an expertly curled free kick from former Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson was met by Heitinga who headed Everton into a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Newcastle received a lifeline in the 73rd minute when a harmlessly flighted cross was headed into his own net by Hibbert. The Toffees defender was trying to head the ball back to his own keeper.
The game fizzled out in the final fifteen minutes until a fracas after the final whistle saw Cahill shown a straight red card. It appeared that the Australian was sent to the stands after grabbing Newcastle playmaker Yohan Cabaye by the throat.
Everton fans could celebrate a rare season of finishing above their Liverpudlian rivals.
Despite missing a Champions League spot, Newcastle can console themselves with a UEFA Cup spot and the knowledge that their season was a general success.