Alan Shearer described Lee Mason’s decision to refrain from sending off Jordan Pickford for his rugby tackle on Salomon Rondon as ‘terrible’.
Newcastle were trailing to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 18th minute header when the England goalkeeper appeared to have handed the hosts a route back into the match.
There appeared little danger when Pickford advanced to the edge of his six-yard box to collect an aimless cross under no pressure whatsoever.
The 25-year-old took his eye off the ball, however, and dropped it at the feet of Rondon, who would have drawn Newcastle level were it not for Pickford’s decision to haul the striker to the floor.
Mason opted to let Pickford off scot-free and Newcastle’s frustration was compounded when Everton’s No.1 kept out Matt Ritchie’s subsequent penalty kick without an outstretched leg.
‘Terrible decision and not the only one,’ wrote Shearer on Twitter, but worse was to follow for the St James’ Park faithful.
After scrambling the ball to safety, Everton broke up the other end and doubled their advantage when Richarlison turned home his first Premier League goal since late January after an Andre Gomes cross had been deflected into his path.
Justice was done, ultimately, as Rafa Benitez’s side launched an astonishing second half comeback triggered by Rondon’s volley in the 65th minute.
Ayoze Perez equalised with seven minutes remaining and sealed three unlikely points moments later when he lashed home left-footed to spark riotous scenes inside St James’ Park.