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Romelu Lukaku not only performed like a man who had studied the handbook in how to become an instant Everton cult hero, it was as if he had arrived at Goodison Park to rewrite it.

Everton’s first-half demolition of Newcastle United was a master class in the art of power, pace and precision. Lukaku symbolised the beauty and brutality of this 3-2 victory, demonstrating the skilful haste in which Roberto Martínez is redesigning this squad. Everton have been admired for their organisation and vigour for the last decade, not necessarily for their artistry and style. Bill Kenwright will appreciate the swiftness of the costume change.

Lukaku was a battering ram with no rough edges, a bulldozer with the capacity to glide. He scored two and created another for Ross Barkley in an opening 45 minutes Martínez will see as a template for his reign.

“That’s his make-up – strong and powerful,” Martínez said. “For a No 9 he is very knowledgeable and also technically very gifted. He was unplayable and he looks like a player who feels at home. The understanding he had with Ross was magic at times.”

Alan Pardew will hold an inquest into the abject defending by Newcastle which gave the hosts such ascendancy, although there will be similar scrutiny by Martínez into how the visitors were allowed to revive themselves in the second half.

Yohan Cabaye and Loïc Rémy threatened an unlikely point, the latter poking in on 89 minutes, but Pardew accepted the gulf between the sides was greater than the score suggests.

Lukaku did not shine alone as James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Barkley also demonstrated why Everton could be primed to take advantage of a changeable Premier League season.

Never shy to joke at the expense of rivals’ misfortune, the gag on Merseyside is David Moyes spent 10 years trying to get Everton above Manchester United and this season he has finally, well, insert your own punchline.

Early – ridiculously premature, in fact – to indulge in such jest though it is, Everton preserved the Premier League’s last unbeaten record with this win, and also moved into the top four. Quite a start for Martínez, whose efforts to impose his own personality on the side has found a more universally receptive audience as results flourish since the transfer window closed. There is a lot to like about any manager who can transform perceptions of a club within six games.

The signings of Barry, McCarthy and Lukaku naturally helped in the process of smothering cynicism, the on-loan signing of the Belgian striker a combination of the masterful and perplexing. It is a coup to get him, but why have Chelsea let him go? It was testimony to the pace of Everton’s start there was an inevitably about Lukaku’s opener in the fifth minute as he linked with compatriot Kevin Mirallas to strike first time.

Newcastle were already grimly hanging on, the tempo of Everton’s football demonstrating why this venue had become such a fortress. The combinations between McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Lukaku ensured Everton were yards quicker, hungrier for possession and slicker on the ball. Some of the Newcastle players showed all the heart of a traumatised flea – Cheick Tioté, for example.

Lukaku created the second for Barkley, another reason why those glasses on Goodison Road are increasingly half full. A nudge between Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa sent Barkley clear for a delicate finish on 25 minutes. The Newcastle fans responded by asking for their money back.

It got worse for them when Tim Howard’s goal-kick was allowed to bounce over Coloccini into Lukaku’s path for the third on 37 minutes.

Pardew inevitably acted, the removal of Yanga-Mbiwa at half-time an act of mercy as much as a substitution.

Whatever Pardew said at the break, and one presumes the word ‘pride’ featured heavily in tempestuous conversations, it provoked a reaction.

Cabaye, who started on the bench due to a groin problem, struck from 25 yards to offer an improbable route back on 52 minutes. A beauty.

When Rémy poked in on 89 minutes there was incredulity that the game remained in the balance. “It would have been fortuitous if we’d got something because the first half was not good enough,” Pardew said. That was an understatement.

“In the second half we made two changes and it was like we made 11. It was a different game. We stood off them too much in the first half. We are going to have to do some work and make some personnel changes.”

Pardew still insists he sees his side finishing in the top 10 this season, but his chief ambition seems be survival. Firstly, his own given Mike Ashley’s regular convening of Newcastle’s cockeyed ideas committee. But if his side continue to defend like this only another relegation fight beckons.

Newcastle’s erratic nature on the field is reflective of the fact that behind the scenes they still look as stable as the heartbeat of an octogenarian marathon runner.

Everton have their sights on grander prizes and may consider themselves top-four contenders. “Are you watching David Moyes?” they sang on the Gwladys Street. If he was, he deserves credit for creating the foundations for this, but Martínez looks capable of creating a more visually appealing surface.

Source: Telegraph

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