Result: Everton ease to comfortable victory at St James' Park

Everton ease to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

Everton have closed the gap on Arsenal in fourth by beating Newcastle United 3-0 at St James' Park on Tuesday night.

Both sides enjoyed periods of pressure in the early stages of the match, but neither was able to produce the correct move until the deadlock was broken in the 22nd minute.

Ross Barkley made the vital contribution for the visitors as he used the space ahead of him to beat a couple of defenders before firing an unstoppable effort past Tim Krul.

Ross Barkley of Everton celebrates scoring the pening goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on March 25, 2014© Getty Images

Papiss Cisse caused problems in the first half, but the Newcastle striker was left disappointed when his goal-bound effort was blocked by a combination of John Stones and Seamus Coleman.

Everton were close to doubling their lead just before the break when Gerard Deulofeu sent the ball just past the post from a tight angle.

Roberto Martinez's side managed to find the crucial second goal in the 52nd minute thanks to Romelu Lukaku, who collected a pass from Deulofeu before earning himself enough space to drill the ball past Krul.

Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on March 25, 2014© Getty Images

Newcastle attempted to respond quickly to falling further behind, but neither Cisse or Yoann Gouffran could trouble Tim Howard with speculative efforts.

However, Everton managed to complete an emphatic victory with two minutes of normal time remaining when Leon Osman fired a shot home from the edge of the box to finish off a quick counter-attack.

Ross Barkley of Everton celebrates scoring the pening goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on March 25, 2014
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