From the minute Ross Barkley powered past the entire Newcastle defence and smacked his shot past Tim Krul, you knew it was going to be one of those nights for the Magpies.

You looked at the string of black and white shirts that had just been ripped apart by Everton’s 20-year-old wonderkid and asked the question: “Who is going to get us back into this game?”

The frustrating thing is that everyone who asked that particular question also knew the answer: “No one”.

The performance was almost a carbon copy of the one at Craven Cottage; when Ashkan Dejagah scored in the second half to give Fulham a 1-0 win over the Magpies. However, last night Newcastle played a team far superior to the Cottagers, who were able to put them to the sword much earlier and inflict another damaging defeat.

In terms of league position, it doesn’t do much to affect the Geordies. They remain eighth in the table, ahead of Southampton by a small margin. They play the Saints on Saturday in what is effectively a cup tie where the winner takes eight spot for good.

But in terms of performance, the one that Alan Pardew’s side turned in last night was as bad as any this season. The creativity from midfield has totally gone, with Vurnon Anita not the same type of playmaker as the man he replaced in the team, Yohan Cabaye.

Losing Cabaye in January was expected and inevitable but Newcastle do still have a way of winning without the Frenchman: Loic Remy.

The on-loan forward replaces Cabaye’s creativity with running power and unpredictability, allowing Newcastle to threaten when they go forward more.

But with him out injured and Cabaye now happy in Paris, Newcastle are toothless.

Papiss Cisse gave his all last night, running the channels and getting involved where he could but the through passes and service he needs was not there. Moussa Sissoko looked most likely to provide something but was unable to get the better of Seamus Coleman often enough.

Ironically, Newcastle do have one of the most creative players in the Premier League on their bench and it showed when Hatem Ben Arfa was sent on with just over half an hour remaining. Within minutes he skinned three Everton defenders and teed up Anita, who committed one of the misses of the season.

People will call for Ben Arfa to start more games if the Geordies are to start winning again but the inconsistency factor is too much for Pardew. When he feels like it, Ben Arfa can look like a world beater but the erratic nature of his displays have relegated him to the “impact sub” role, which normally happens when Newcastle fall behind in games.

Everyone knows Newcastle should have had a replacement lined up and ready to be pushed “over the line” when Cabaye departed in January but for now they have to find a way to win without him, before their season peters out.

Should they lose to Southampton on Saturday, that’s exactly what will happen to the rest of this campaign.