NEWCASTLE United crashed to a 3-2 defeat at Everton after a woeful first-half performance.
The Magpies trailed 3-0 at half-time after an inept and embarrassing first 45 minutes, which saw Romelu Lukaku terrorise the visiting defence.
Yohan Cabaye stepped off the bench to rifle a stunning goal, but Loic Remy’s 89th-minute strike proved too little, too late.
The game was less than five minutes old when Lukaku – who had already seen a goal disallowed for offside – opened the scoring, sweeping home after Kevin Miralles had torn past a flat-footed Davide Santon and crossed for his fellow Belgian to score.
It got worse for Newcastle when the defence stood off Lukaku, allowing him time and space to thread a pass through for Ross Barkely to convert.
And it was 3-0 on 37 minutes with cringeworthy defending by the visitors. Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa both allowed a long punt from Tim Howard to bounce and Lukaku nipped in to nudge the ball past Tim Krul before blasting into an open goal.
Cabaye – on the bench after his groin injury alongside Papiss Demba Cisse, who was dropped for Yoan Gouffran – came on at the break for Hatem Ben Arfa, while Yanga-Mbiwa was replaced by Mike Williamson after a nightmare 45 minutes for the Frenchman.
Cabaye then blasted a 25-yard shot into the top corner on 51 minutes to give United hope, and they produced a much-improved second-half showing.
However they had to wait until the 89th minute for Remy to reduce the deficit further when he flicked in after Debuchy had headed down Cabaye’s centre.
And despite four minutes of injury time and a near-miss from their best player, Remy, Newcastle were unable to find an equaliser that they would scarecly have deserved.