Newcastle United produced a remarkable second-half fightback to overturn a two-goal deficit and beat Everton 3-2 to secure their fifth successive home win in a dramatic Premier League clash on Saturday.
A goal from Salomon Rondon and a late double from Ayoze Perez completely transformed the game after the home side were feeling aggrieved about going two down following a controversial first-half incident.
It earned Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle their first win from two goals down in a Premier League game since a Magpies side under Bobby Robson in 2003 fought back to beat Fulham.
Yet, ultimately, it was Everton manager Marco Silva who was left complaining to referee Lee Mason at the final whistle, claiming that Rondon had been offside when Perez scored the winner.
First-half goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison had seemed to be easing Everton’s path to victory as Newcastle were left raging about the visitors’ England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who could have been sent off on the half-hour.
Everton were leading through Calvert-Lewin’s 18th-minute glancing header from Lucas Digne’s cross when Pickford, failing to punch the ball clear, clattered into Rondon and gave away a penalty.
No punishment against Pickford was made by Mason and the keeper picked himself up to save Matt Ritchie’s 31st-minute spot kick with his feet.
Richarlison struck within 71 seconds before Newcastle came on strong after the break, the in-form Rondon reducing the deficit in the 65th minute with his eighth of the season.
Perez hammered his quick-fire double in the final 10 minutes to help Newcastle ease further clear of the relegation zone.
The fine combination between Rondon and Perez left Benitez delighted as he contemplated how his side had moved up to 13th in the table.
“The link between them...if Messi was doing that everybody would be talking about the goal,” said the Spaniard.
Silva cut an unhappy figure as he mused on why he approached Mason as the end of the game.
“They gave one penalty to Newcastle but not us when Gylfi Sigurdsson (was fouled). Then the third goal, Rondon was in a clear offside position,” he told the BBC.
Reporting by Ian Chadband,; Editing by Ed Osmond