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    Norwich City 1-1 Everton


    Everton made the long trip to Carrow Road on the back of five games without a defeat and playing an excellent brand of attacking football. Norwich fans knew they would be in for a tough test as Romelo Lukaku was looking to score in his sixth consecutive match against a Canaries defence who have just one league clean sheet this season.

    Norwich manager Alex Neil continued to shuffle his pack, making four changes as Russell Martin, Gary O'Neil, Wes Hoolahan and Cameron Jerome came in to the starting line-up. There was no place in the squad once again for Kyle Lafferty who has recently been linked with a move to Italy. Roberto Martinez would have been delighted to welcome back Leighton Barnes for his first Premier League start of the season, whilst John Stones survived an injury scare in the warm-up to bolster the Toffees' defence.


    Both teams looked to play to their strengths in the opening stages, attacking with speed and desire. Nathan Redmond fired over after cutting inside Baines, moments before Alex Tettey curled a shot over Tim Howard's crossbar. Down the other end Romelo Lukaku found space but could only drag his shot wide. Yet it only took the Belgian 15 minutes as he met a Gerard Deulofeu cross to head Everton into the lead. It was Lukaku's tenth goal in as many games, scoring in his sixth consecutive appearance. Watch out Jamie Vardy! 

    It is not in Everton's blood to sit back on a lead this season and just five minutes later they went close again, with Declan Rudd flying out to thwart Arouna Kone who found himself through on goal. The visitors continued to play with pace and flair and Lukaku should have doubled the lead on 30 minutes when he fired wide at the back post from Tom Cleverley's deflected cross. Everton could have scored again five minutes before the break when Seamus Coleman, who had been playing like a right winger, whipped a cross just past Lukaku before Baines cracked an effort at the crossbar. As the clock ticked into injury time, Lukaku burst forward and hit a curling effort just wide as Norwich stayed in the game by the skin of their teeth when the half-time whistle blew.


    There is a phrase in football that states 'you need to take your chances when you are on top' and that statement was prevalent again at the beginning of the second half. Despite being lucky to stay in the game, substitute Ryan Bennett's header from a Robbie Brady corner created confusion in the Everton box before Wes Hoolahan poked an equaliser on his return from a knee injury. As was the case when Norwich hosted Arsenal two weeks ago, the Canaries came alive after they scored and Robbie Brady went close on 58 minutes as his deflected shot when just over. 

    Norwich's improvement in the second half helped keep the dangerous Deulofeu quiet and he was eventually replaced by Kevin Mirallas on 68 minutes. Yet it was the hosts who looked more likely to take the lead and they should have on 71 minutes. A delicious Wes Hoolahan back heel found Cameron Jerome but the striker could only fire over from close range. Everton slowly came back into the game late on but shots from Barry and Mori did not test Declan Rudd, before Jonny Howson fired over as the game finished all square in a tale of two halves.


    Everton would feel they should have taken three points after their dominance in the first half, whilst Norwich could have easily won the game in the second half. Both sides will probably take the point though going into difficult fixtures next weekend. Everton host Leicester City and Norwich visit Manchester United.

    Man of the Match: Wes Hoolahan
    The attacking midfielder turned the game on it's head after half-time, scoring an equaliser and creating chances for his team, including one for Cameron Jerome that should have given Norwich all three points.
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    Item Reviewed: Norwich City 1-1 Everton Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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