Norwich 2-1 Everton: Canaries hold on to stun Benitez’s men

News Desk
Norwich v Everton

Norwich withstood a late barrage from Everton to heap the pressure on manager Rafa Benitez with a vital 2-1 win.

Everton travelled to Carrow Road without a league win since the start of December and defeat against a Norwich team which had been on a six-match losing streak without scoring a single goal will not have eased tensions between the fans and the manager.

The supporters were calling for the Spaniard to leave the club before the game, with banners held aloft, and two goals in quick succession from an own goal from Michael Keane and Adam Idah put the home side on course for a coveted victory.

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Keane tapped the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from a Josh Sargent cross to gift Norwich their first goal since November.

Less than two minutes later, Idah was played in by Brandon Williams and poked the ball home just ahead of the Toffees goalkeeper.

Richarlison pulled one back for the visitors shortly after coming on with a perfectly-timed overhead bicycle kick but the Toffees remain without a league win since the start of December.

It was Norwich’s first victory in the top flight since their 2-1 win over Southampton on November 20 and lifts them off the foot of the Premier League table into 18th place, although Newcastle and Burnley have games in hand over the Canaries.

The game started slowly, with neither side having any meaningful chances in the opening exchanges.

But Norwich took the lead in the 16th minute with their first goal since November, although it was Everton defender Keane who put the ball past Pickford.

Sargent crossed the ball in and Keane’s touch at the near post handed Norwich their first goal for seven matches.

Keane also found himself in a slightly compromising position for Norwich’s second which came just two minutes later.

Williams broke forward before putting the ball just behind the Everton defender and into the path of Idah, who beat Pickford.

Everton struggled to get going throughout the first half and often found passes misplaced or easily intercepted by Norwich, with the fans voicing their displeasure over Benitez’s management.

Norwich keeper Tim Krul had to be alert just before the break to gather the ball ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin following a flick from Salomon Rondon but the Toffees lacked quality in the final third.

Pierre Lees-Melou tried his luck from range at the start of the second half but his shot looped goalwards and straight at Pickford.

On his debut league start, Vitaliy Mykolenko almost handed Norwich their third as his weak back pass was intercepted by Idah but Pickford was just able to come off his line and deny the Norwich forward.

Benitez’s substitutions looked to have made the difference for the visitors when they pulled one back in the 60th minute through Richarlison just six minutes after being brought on.

The Brazilian scored a stunning overhead bicycle kick to send the ball flying into the back of the net after Krul failed to clear the ball effectively.

However, Everton were unable to find the equaliser as Norwich secured only their third victory of the season.