Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Norwich 2 Everton 2

Nikica Jelavic’s double was not quite enough to see Everton topple a determined Norwich side in an enthralling Easter encounter.

Everton may have an FA Cup semi-final with their city rivals Liverpool looming but the prospect of pairing Wembley success with a Premier League finish above the red half of Merseyside clearly focused minds early on.

Norwich struggled to get into gear and Everton transferred their bright start to the scoresheet as Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka combined on the edge of the hosts’ box on 22 minutes. The centre-back turned before firing in a low cross that was deftly flicked home by Jelavic.

The Canaries have pressed sides into submission this season but were set up deeper by manager Paul Lambert this time around, and their best moments came on the break. Playing against a side in excellent defensive form, their task looked significantly harder.

But six minutes before the interval, Everton seemed to forget what took them to more than six and a half hours without conceding a goal as City cut through the Toffees with ease.

The lively Wes Hoolahan was put clear by Norwich veteran Adam Drury and the Irishman’s low cross from the left saw Jonny Howson cap an incisive move, as he ghosted in to tap home unmarked from a few yards, with the Everton defence unusually accommodating. It was his first Premier League goal for Norwich since a January move from Leeds.

Norwich’s main aim of survival should already be secure, but that did not stop the home fans feeling aggrieved at half-time as Jagielka appeared to handle Andrew Surman’s drive in the box. And if Carrow Road was not enamoured with referee Andre Marriner then, the mood darkened considerably after the hour mark as Norwich found causes for complaint in the build-up to Everton’s second.

Steven Pienaar covered the ball on the ground as Norwich tried to clear and, when the ball did finally surface, Marriner’s position made Hoolahan go the long way round to try and mop up the danger.

And that proved to be too far as, with the hosts complaining about what they saw as two obstructions, Baines and Pienaar teed up Jelavic to slot home his fifth goal in eight games.

However, it was captain Grant Holt who had the final word after substitute Aaron Wilbraham brought a good save from Tim Howard, and then stayed on his feet to assist the Norwich No 9 to his 13th top-flight goal of the campaign, and ensure Norwich a deserved share of the spoils.

Match details:

Norwich (4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Ward, Drury (Naughton 75); E Bennett, Fox (Wilbraham 65), Surman, Hoolahan (Crofts 90); Howson; Holt.
Subs: Steer (gk), Johnson, Morison, Jackson.

Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Gueye (Coleman 46), Gibson, Neville (Fellaini 56), Pienaar; Cahill; Jelavic.
Subs: Mucha (gk), Heitinga, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Anichebe.
Booked: Baines, Pienaar.

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).

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