Norwich only won their third Premier League game of the season to get off the bottom of the table, while putting pressure on Everton manager Rafa Benitez.
A quick double from Norwich in the first half – an own goal from Michael Keane and what turned out to be a well-deserved winner from 20-year-old Adam Idah – made the difference. Richarlison scored an astonishing goal for Everton but it was no more than a consolation.
Josh Sargent’s low cross on the right was met by Keane, whose wayward touch turned the ball to his own net at the nearest post instead of clearing it to safety.
Norwich were in dreamland moments later with Idah’s first Premier League goal ever. Keane again left a lot to be desired, dragging out of his position on the counterattacks of Teemu Pukki’s clever run to leave Idah by going down towards the goal in acres of space to finish.
The Canary Islands had good value for their lead as Everton, despite dominating possession, were nothing special at all. What’s worse is that defensive lapses against a usually goal-shy opponent had let them down and given them a mountain to climb.
The visitors were bad going forward throughout the first half, with Anthony Gordon’s willingness to run and run the best they could really muster. Andre Gomes was noticeably bad on the ball and Benitez’s team generally gave the ball away too easily.
The game changed for Everton when Richarlison stepped up from the bench for his first appearance in over a month due to injury. The Brazilian showed great improvisation and athleticism to send an overhead kick out of reach of Tim Krul.
It was a lifeline that Everton probably had not earned up to that point. But it then ensured that the last half hour would be about whether they could make the best of it and come back on equal terms.
Norwich had to replace both full-backs in the last 15 minutes of the match, which could have made it difficult. But substitute left-back Dimitros Giannoulis made a key block just moments after coming in which continued to keep Everton in check.
In the end, toffees did not have the quality to get the equalizer and serious questions will now be asked regarding Benitez’s future at the club.
Brandon Williams worked hard for Norwich / Stephen Pond / GettyImages
Tim Krul (GK) – 6/10 – Looked shaky at the time and spent some time stopping to get treatment. But overall, he did everything he needed to do.
Max Aarons (RB) – 7/10 – Left the pitch in a bit of pain with just over 10 minutes left to play. Had done well until then.
Grant Hanley (CB) – 7/10 – Gone was everything that got in his way.
Ben Gibson (CB) – 6/10 – Have not asked sufficiently demanding questions.
Brandon Williams (LB) – 7/10 – Gave a combative performance and had an entertaining fight with Everton’s Gordon along that flank.
Josh Sargent Made a Difference / Stephen Pond / GettyImages
Josh Sargent (RM) – 7/10 – Worked hard off the ball. His low post from the right caused the self-defense.
Pierre Lees-Melou (CM) – 7/10 – Regularly broke Everton’s rhythm in central areas and frustrated the guests.
Jacob Sorensen (CM) – 7/10 – Won many duels in midfield.
Milot Rashica (LM) – 6/10 – Hit the post at stoppage time. Has worked hard all the time.
Adam Idah was the best player on the pitch / Stephen Pond / GettyImages
Adam Idah (ST) – 8/10 – Played with physics and maturity well beyond his 20 years and was rewarded with the first top goal of his career.
Teemu Pukki (ST) – 6/10 – It seemed to stretch Everton’s back four and his intelligent movement created the space for the second goal.
Sam Byram (RB) – 7/10 – Fitted well into the back four in what could have been difficult circumstances late in the game.
Dimitris Giannoulis (LB) – 7/10 – Made a key block right after getting on.
Christos Tzolis (RM) – 6/10 – Gave some freshness from the bench.
Michael Keane had an afternoon to forget / Stephen Pond / GettyImages
Jordan Pickford (GK) – 5/10 – I caught a cold at the first post for the opening goal and did not really get a chance with the second.
Seamus Coleman (RB) – 4/10 – It lasted only nine minutes into the second half.
Ben Godfrey (CB) – 5/10 – Switched to right back after Coleman left.
Michael Keane (CB) – 3/10 – Did not have the right body shape which led to him avoiding self-goal. Could also have done more for the second Norwich goal.
Vitality Mykolenko (LB) – 5/10 – Not enough pressure on the cross for the opening goal. Will hope to improve.
Anthony Gordon gave Everton an energetic presence / Stephen Pond / GettyImages
Anthony Gordon (RM) – 7/10 – The youngster gave Everton good energy on the flank
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) – 5/10 – Not the same impact he usually expects to have.
Andre Gomes (CM) – 3/10 – Disappointment bad with his passing. Stunk out the place in the end.
Demarai Gray (LM) – 5/10 – Not as involved as the fans had hoped. Norwich kept their threat too easy.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was not provided with chances / Chris Brunskill / GettyImages
Salomon Rondon (ST) – 4/10 – Starved for meaningful service and was largely inefficient as a result. Subbed early in the second half.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) – 5/10 – Lasted longer than his strike partner but the service still did not come and he could not really do much.
Richarlison did an overhead stunning / Stephen Pond / GettyImages
Yerry Mina (CB) – 6/10 – Posed a threat to attack solid goals and made a crucial block late that stopped Norwich from extending their lead further.
Richarlison (ST) – 6/10 – Made a difference after coming on. His overhead kick got Everton back into the game and gave them a lifeline that did not look like they had come from anywhere else.
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