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Monday, May 23, 2022



On the hottest day of the year so far Norwich City found themselves staring relegation in the face after a narrow home defeat by Everton. Michael Keane’s 55th minute header settled this one in a game that chances were at a premium.

Everton arrived at Carrow Road hoping to take the three points in this one after a missed opportunity in Sunday’s 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby. Carlo Ancelotti made one change from the team that started the derby with Bernard coming into the side for Anthony Gordon on the left-hand side.

Norwich were keen to avenge Friday night’s 0-3 home defeat against Southampton and made changes of their own, surprisingly leaving Pukki and Beundia out of their starting XI.

The game started with the visitors taking control and dominating for the opening 15 minutes but without creating anything of note in the final third.

Norwich woke up after the first of the designated drinks break and the lively Hernandez began to get into the game for the Canaries. His mazy run and shot which took a deflection off Seamus Coleman and hit the outside of the post, was the closest we came to a goal in an uneventful first half.

Carlo Ancelotti made a half time substitute with Tom Davies being replaced by Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson as Everton tried to gain some control in the middle of the park. Too often in the first half Davies and his partner Andre Gomes were guilty of sloppy passing and both displayed general lethargy when tracking back. Sigurddson was neat and tidy in possession and improved this Everton display.

Alex Iwobi who had cut a frustrated figure in the opening half came to life in the second. He linked up well with Coleman down the right and played the Irishman inside the box and he won the visitors a corner. From the resulting Lucas Digne corner, Michael Keane headed into the far corner for his first goal of the season to give Everton the lead.

After that Everton could have added a couple more through Dominic Calvert-Lewin who firstly forced Tim Kruhl to palm over a drive from 20 yards after a good run from an Iwobi through ball. Then the Everton striker should have done better following a cross from Iwobi, he glanced a header wide when he really should have hit the target.

The second drinks break was a welcome sight for Norwich as they brought on Pukki and Buendia. The stoppage helped them get a foothold back in the game and they almost equalised when Beundia’s free-kick came off Gomes and went just wide. Despite some possession and balls into the Everton penalty area that was the closest they got to an equaliser.

For Ancelotti, it was a welcome three points and still only Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have taken more points than Everton since the Italian’s appointment. However, Ancelotti will know that Everton will have to improve their performances as they won’t always find the opposition as flat or blunt as Norwich were on this occasion.

Final Score: Norwich City 0-1 Everton

How They Lined Up: 

Barry Cass

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