NEWCASTLE United are faced with a full-blown defensive crisis – after Fabricio Coloccini was sent off at Goodison Park.
Coloccini will be hit with a three-game ban for his dismissal in this afternoon’s 3-0 defeat to Everton.
The club’s captain was shown a straight red card for a lunge at Aaron Lennon.
And Coloccini will miss the Premier League games against Arsenal, Sunderland and Liverpool – leaving head coach John Carver with just ONE recognised senior central defender, Mike Williamson.
Right-back Daryl Janmaat will be asked to fill in at centre-half alongside Williamson by Carver, whose side were beaten by goals from James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.
Carver, surprisingly, opted to name forward Ayoze Perez on the bench, despite the non-availability of top scorer Papiss Demba Cisse through suspension.
United started brightly on Merseyside, but faded quickly.
Gabriel Obertan and Mike Williamson were denied by Tim Howard and McCarthy in the second minute, but chances would prove harder to come by in the rest of the first half.
McCarthy took his one opportunity, beating off-balance Tim Krul with a low shot in the 20th minute.
Perez came on for the second half, but a clumsy challenge from Yoan Gouffran ended all hopes of a comeback, with the forward having brought down Lennon in the box.
Lukaku converted the 56th-minute penalty, and United’s afternoon got worse when Coloccini was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Lennon.
And the challenge will prove costly for Newcastle over the coming weeks given the paucity of Carver’s defensive resources.
United’s frustrated fans – who again chanted against club owner Mike Ashley – saw Everton substitute Barkley add a third goal in added time.
EVERTON: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Alcaraz, Coleman, McCarthy (Besic, 86), Gibson, Lennon (Atsu, 85), Osman, Kone, Lukaku (Barkley, 73). Subs not used: Joel, Naismith, Stones, Garbutt.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, R Taylor; Colback, Sissoko; Obertan (Perez, 46), Gouffran, Ameobi; Riviere (Gutierrez, 62). Subs not used: Elliot, Satka, Anita, Armstrong.
Goals: McCarthy 20, Lukaku 56 (pen), Barkley 90
Bookings: R Taylor 28, Sissoko 55, Lennon 79
Sent off: Coloccini 59
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Bradford)