Ross Barkley scored two late penalties as Everton beat Newcastle to record a first home league win since November.
The Toffees, also without a Premier League win since 26 December, went ahead through Aaron Lennon’s low shot.
A Barkley strike and Tom Cleverley free-kick were tipped on to the frame of the goal, while Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey headed against his own bar.
Barkley chipped his second spot-kick down the middle, after he was tripped by Jamaal Lascelles, who was sent off.
Everton move up to 11th in the table, while Newcastle remain in the relegation zone in 18th place, two points from safety.
A collective sigh of relief
The Toffees had blown leads in three of their last five league matches, and after striking the Newcastle woodwork three times in four second-half minutes, it looked as if they might again pay for failing to take their chances.
But three minutes after Shelvey diverted Barkley’s free-kick onto the Newcastle bar, Aleksandar Mitrovic wasted the away side’s only clear opening of the match – volleying wide from close range after static defending.
Barkley’s two late penalties added gloss to what was at times a nervy showing.
Lennon was fouled by Rolando Aarons in the box with two minutes left and Barkley stepped up to send keeper Rob Elliot the wrong way and he then delighted the crowd with a Panenka after being tripped by Lascelles, who was shown a second yellow card.
Newcastle struggling in front of goal
Only Norwich and Aston Villa have conceded more goals than Newcastle this term, but the majority of the £83m the club has spent since the end of last season has been on offensive acquisitions.
Ivory Coast forward Seydou Doumbia, who arrived on loan from Roma on deadline day, was an unused substitute, while Andros Townsend, signed from Tottenham for about £12m, was an isolated figure on the left wing.
Had £13m summer signing Mitrovic taken Newcastle’s best chance, then Steve McClaren’s side may not have capitulated in the way they did in the last few minutes.
But a draw would have been harsh on Everton, who created the clearer chances and carried the greater attacking potency, especially through Barkley.
“Phenomenal footballer, phenomenal person,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said of his attacking midfielder. “He took responsibility with both penalties and showed he is an assured, technical footballer.”
There were moments when Barkley’s technique didn’t quite match his creativity but his second penalty was not one of them. The poise he showed when chipping the ball delicately home was the exclamation point in a vital win for the home side.
Man of the match – Ross Barkley (Everton)
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “It’s fair to say we are learning from painful lessons.
“There have been times where opponents score too easily when they come into a game but we were compact.
“The second goal was decisive. Scoring the second goal made it a different game and allowed us to control things.
“We showed a mature way of playing. Back-to-back clean sheets now and the team has the intent to please our fans and show what we can do.”
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren: “In the first half you could see that the Everton players and supporters were nervous, we didn’t take advantage of that, we weren’t aggressive enough.
“In the second half we had a go but it wasn’t enough. Too many players were below par.
“We can’t play like that in front of 52,000 fans on Saturday, we need a reaction, we have to do better than that.”
The stats you need to know
- Barkley has scored in four of his six Premier League games against Newcastle United [five goals].
- The 22-year-old made his 100th league appearance, becoming the second-youngest player to reach the landmark for Everton, after Michael Ball.
- Newcastle have conceded a league-high eight goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season.
- The Magpies have gone nine league games without a clean sheet. Only Sunderland, without a clean sheet in 10 matches, have a worse record
- Everton won their first league game at Goodison Park since 21 November when they beat Aston Villa 4-0. It was also their first clean sheet at home since then.
Everton are away at Stoke in a 15:00 GMT kick-off in the Premier League on Saturday, when Newcastle play at home to 14th-placed West Brom.