Norwich City 2, Everton 4
SLIDESHOW: Norwich fell to the second defeat of their pre-season campaign against Everton at Carrow Road but were far from disgraced with an impressive display. A hat-trick from Tim Cahill ensured the Toffees avoided any embarrassment with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov also on target but the Canaries were far from outclassed.
Norwich fell to the second defeat of their pre-season campaign against Everton at Carrow Road but were far from disgraced with an impressive display.
A hat-trick from Tim Cahill ensured the Toffees avoided any embarrassment with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov also on target but the Canaries were far from outclassed.
Cahill's double in the first half seemed to put the Merseysiders in charge but Norwich stormed back at the start of the second period to draw level thanks to goals from Andrew Crofts and Andrew Surman.
Any hope that Norwich could go on to win the game was quickly extinguished by Bilyaletdinov however and Cahill completed his treble to put some gloss on the scoreline.
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But there were some notable individual performances from the likes of Crofts, Surman and Wes Hoolahan to give fans real optimism ahead of the start of the Championship season.
Supporters would have also been delighted to see a late substitute appearance from Grant Holt after a thigh injury and the striker will be in contention for City's opener against Watford on Friday.
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Mikel Arteta stamped his authority on proceedings early on, dictating play from the middle of the park and craving possession at every opportunity.
In only the second minute the Spaniard started the move that almost saw Jermaine Beckford get through on goal but John Ruddy was out smartly to smother the danger.
However, the City shot-stopper did not cover himself in glory in the sixth minute with an absolute howler that gave the Toffees the lead.
City fans breathed a sigh of relief when Cahill had appeared to have wasted a sight of goal from the edge with a tame effort but somehow Ruddy let the ball through his legs in his very own Robert Green v USA moment.
Lambert would have been delighted by the response of his side however as within a minute only an excellent block from Tony Hibbert prevented Simeon Jackson from opening his City account.
Norwich looked a real cohesive unit going forward with the likes of Hoolahan, Jackson and Chris Martin linking well - the only thing missing was a shot on target.
But seven minutes before the break Everton increased their lead and once again Norwich were the architects of their own down fall.
Elliott Ward gave the ball away on the halfway line and Everton sprung forward.
Arteta tried to play in Cahill but Nelson was in position to cut out the danger. However, the former Hartlepool man's chest back to Ruddy did not have enough weight on it and Cahill nipped in.
Ruddy saved the Australian's first effort but was powerless in preventing him nodding in the rebound.
Lambert resisted the urge to make changes at half-time and got his reward just a minute into the second half when City reduced the arrears.
Drury made a great run down the left hand side after being found by Surman and produced a stunning cross that Crofts met with a firm downward header, giving Tim Howard no chance.
It got better for Norwich in the 58th minute and once again Drury was the architect. His piece of quick thinking from a throw-in released Surman and the former Wolves man jinked inside Joseph Yobo before unleashing a right-footed strike into the far corner.
Norwich's joy was short-lived however as within two minutes the Toffees were back in front.
A smart move involving Arteta, Pienaar and Bilyaletdinov ended with the Russian curling a wonderful 20-yard effort beyond Ruddy.
Cahill put the result beyond doubt in the 70th minute when Ward and Surman failed to cut out a Phil Neville cross and the former Millwall man kept his head to finish smartly.
t Norwich City (4-4-2): Ruddy, R Martin, Ward (Askou 72), Nelson, Drury (Lappin 66), Fox (Gill 66), Crofts, Surman (McNamee 81), Hoolahan, C Martin (Johnson 81), Jackson (Holt 72). Subs not used: Steer, Hughes, Francomb, Dawkin, Tudur Jones.
t Everton (4-3-2-1): Howard, Hibbert, Baines (Saha 62), Arteta, Distin, Beckford (Rodwell 73), Cahill (Wallace 81), Neville, Gueye (Bilyaletdinov 46), Pienaar (Vaughan 73), Coleman (Yobo 46). Subs not used: Turner, Silva, Mustafi.
t Referee: Grant Hegley
t Attendance: 13,437