Ever­ton, Nor­wich share spoils

CityPress - - Sport -

E Ever­ton were made to rue their waste­ful­ness in front of goal as Nor­wich ral­lied from be­hind to claim a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Car­row Road in Nor­wich yes­ter­day.

Ever­ton striker Romelu Lukaku fired the vis­i­tors ahead early on in the game and could eas­ily have added an­other three or four to his tally in a one-sided first half.

How­ever, Nor­wich re­stored par­ity just two min­utes af­ter the half-time in­ter­val and very nearly snatched all three points in an en­ter­tain­ing sec­ond stanza.

Much of the pre­match talk about this Premier League clash fo­cused on the goal-scor­ing form of Lukaku, who had scored in all of his side’s last five league fix­tures.

The Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional started brightly and went close to fir­ing his side in front af­ter only 13 min­utes of play, but dragged his shot wide of the mark from just in­side the area.

How­ever, he was not to be de­nied two min­utes later, as he rose above his marker in the cen­tre of the penalty area to head home from Ger­ard Deulofeu’s invit­ing cross.

Ever­ton should have been two goals to the good a few min­utes later, but Arouna Koné saw his goal-bound ef­fort blocked by goal­keeper De­clan Rudd, who had quickly rushed off his line to snuff out the dan­ger.

Nor­wich were strug­gling to con­tain the threat of the Tof­fees as the first half wore on, with Roberto Martinez’s men look­ing dan­ger­ous ev­ery time they broke for­ward at pace.

De­spite show­ing a clin­i­cal touch in front goal early on, Lukaku was guilty of wast­ing a num­ber of guilt­edged chances in the lat­ter stages of the first half.

The Bel­gian con­trived to fire wide from close range af­ter latch­ing on to Tom Clev­er­ley’s de­flected cross, and it would be no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to sug­gest Lukaku should have, at the very least, net­ted a first-half hat-trick as he squan­dered chance af­ter chance.

Ever­ton fin­ished the first stanza with a flurry of clear-cut chances, but could not find a way past Rudd. The fit-again Leighton Baines struck the right-hand post, while Koné and Lukaku both went close to scor­ing in one-on-one sit­u­a­tions.

Rudd’s hero­ics were most cer­tainly not in vain as Nor­wich went on to level the scores just two min­utes into the sec­ond half.

Fol­low­ing a chaotic goal­mouth scram­ble, Ross Barkley blocked Ryan Ben­nett’s header on the line, but the ball fell kindly to Wes Hoola­han, who man­aged to force the ball home from a cou­ple of yards out.

The equaliser si­lenced the vis­it­ing sup­port­ers, who had seen their side dom­i­nate pro­ceed­ings for much of the match, while it also gave Alex Neil’s men a new­found be­lief.

What fol­lowed was a re­mark­able swing in mo­men­tum as Nor­wich piled for­ward with a re­newed vigour and pur­pose.

The Ca­naries re­ally should have gone in front in the 71st minute, but striker Cameron Jerome in­ex­pli­ca­bly failed to hit the tar­get from a few yards out af­ter be­ing teed up by Hoola­han’s back-heel pass.

Ever­ton could not find a way past a com­mit­ted Nor­wich de­fence, as ev­i­denced by Ar­gen­tinian de­fender Ramiro Funes Mori’s way­ward ef­fort from all of 30 me­tres on 83 min­utes.

Nor­wich also tried their luck from range at the death, but Jonny How­son’s ef­fort was a lit­tle bit too high, while at the op­po­site end of the pitch, Dar­ron Gib­son fired over with a right-footed shot from out­side the box.

– TEAMtalk Me­dia

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