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Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2012

Everton-Newcastle draw marred by call


LIVERPOOL, England — Everton was held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday night after having a goal disallowed despite the ball appearing to cross the line before being cleared.

News photo
Late arrival: Everton's Phil Jagielka tries to tackle Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa in Premier League action at Goodison Park on Monday night. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AP

The score was 1-1 when Everton forward Victor Anichebe's header hit the underside of the crossbar and the ball seemingly dropped over the line before Newcastle defender Mike Williamson kicked it away in the 78th minute at Goodison Park.

"It's a difficult call, but if you're a linesman on the goal line you would hope you would see if the ball goes over the line — that's your job," Everton manager David Moyes said.

Anichebe looked to have rendered the decision meaningless when he made it 2-1 in the 88th, but second-half Newcastle replacement Demba Ba scored the second of his two goals less than two minutes later to secure a point for the visitors.

"It was good to get a draw because it was difficult," Ba said. "Last season here it was very difficult, and tonight the first half was the same. But the second half was very different."

Ba earlier scored in the 49th to cancel out Everton defender Leighton Baines' 15th-minute opener.

Baines gave Everton the lead by performing a one-two with Steven Pienaar before charging into the box and rifling a shot on his favored left foot past goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Baines and Pienaar were a constant menace down Everton's left flank, forcing Newcastle manager Alan Pardew to replace right winger Sylvain Marveaux with the more attack-minded Ba at halftime.

"Sometimes players play better when they're angry," Pardew said.

It took Ba only four minutes to equalize, the Senegal striker hitting a first-time strike beyond goalkeeper Tim Howard after getting on the end of a defense-splitting pass from Yohan Cabaye.

The linesman who failed to signal the ball was over the line also ruled Everton forward Marouane Fellaini was offside when finding the net in the 60th minute, another marginal decision that appeared to be tough on the hosts.

"It was really good play and sometimes you need decisions to go for you, and they didn't tonight," Moyes said.

Anichebe shrugged off any disappointment to restore Everton's lead, cleverly turning in the box after receiving Pienaar's pass and leaving Harper motionless with a left-footed shot.

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