Norwich City 0-1 Everton - Pragmatic Canaries undone by a set-piece to record second straight defeat since restart
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City were beaten 1-0 by Everton at Carrow Road on Wednesday evening, with Michael Keane’s second-half header proving the difference between the sides.
The England international gave the Toffee’s the lead in the 55th minute, rising to head in Lucas Digne’s whipped corner. City have resumed life behind closed doors in the Premier League with consecutive defeats, making their task of staying in the top-flight harder.
Daniel Farke responded to the Canaries 3-0 defeat to Southampton by ringing the changes, including dropping creative trio Teemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia to the bench. Alex Tettey captained the side on his return to the side, with Kenny McLean deployed alongside him.
January additions Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp also started, with City’s head coach reverting back to the conventional 4-2-3-1 that has served the Canaries so well during his tenure.
Ancelotti opted for a single change from the Toffees 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Sunday despite a significantly shorter recovery period. Winger Bernard replaced youngster Anthony Gordon. Everton were without a number of key players, including defender Jerry Mina and England international Theo Walcott.
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The heat made the opening exchanges feel laboured, but the first major opportunity fell to the hosts.
Josip Drmic did well to escape the attentions of a defender before offloading to the dangerous Onel Hernandez. The Cuban cut inside but took too longer before pulling the trigger. His shot was deflected and clipped the outside of the post before spinning out for a corner.
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Mason Holgate’s foul on Duda offered City a shooting opportunity from 25 yards. The Slovakian stepped up to take the free-kick, but struck his effort straight into the wall.
City’s dominance continued. The influential Duda found Rupp who drove at the Everton backline, he opted to shoot but it was straight down the throat of Jordan Pickford. Hernandez picked up the loose ball and sought to weave through the Toffees defence, only to get crowded out and his shot smothered.
City were a more compact, pragmatic side in a largely uneventful first half. The numerical overload in central midfield allowed the Canaries to control the transition but they remained adventurous in their attacking phases.
Everton assumed control of proceedings shortly after the break, and it was the visitors who took the lead ten minutes after the restart. Lucas Digne’s whipped corner was flicked into the far corner of the net by Michael Keane, who took advantage of the Canaries zonal marking system to gain a yard before nodding the ball past Tim Krul.
Moments later Dominic Calvert-Lewin was set free by Alex Iwobi. He stepped over the ball before firing a shot from outside the area which was tipped over the bar by Krul.
City continued to probe for an equaliser, with Buendia driving forward following a neat exchange with Drmic. He threaded in Pukki and was seeking a return pass that would have put him through on goal, only for the Finn to overhit the pass which allowed Everton to recover.
The Canaries continued to push for an equaliser late on, with young Adam Idah going close with an effort from the edge of the area that was deflected wide.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis (Cantwell, 87); Tettey (c) (Vrancic, 79), McLean; Rupp (Buendia, 71), Duda (Pukki, 71), Hernandez (Idah, 79); Drmic. Subs not used: McGovern (GK), Leitner, Stiepermann, Trybull.
- Bookings: None
- Goals: None
- Everton (4-4-2): Pickford; Coleman (c), Holgate, Keane, Digne; Iwobi (Gordon, 89), Davies (Sigurdsson, 45), Gomes, Bernard (Baines, 87); Richarlison (Kean, 79), Calvert-Lewin. Subs not used: Stekelenburg (GK), Virginia (GK), Martina, Branthwaite, Baningime, Gordon.
- Bookings: Kean (Foul on Vrancic 80)
- Goals: Keane 55
- Added on time: 2 mins/ 6 mins
- Referee: Andrew Madley
- VAR: Jonathan Moss