Everton 3-0 Norwich: Toffees trounce Canaries in Tim Howard’s finale

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James McCarthy, Kevin Mirallas, and Leighton Baines did their part to send Tim Howard off in style, and Norwich had little to offer the American’s goal as Everton finished a trying season on a high at Goodison Park.

With former manager Roberto Martinez dismissed just days ago, Joe Royle and David Unsworth teamed up to take charge of the Toffees, and they put the home side into the offseason with some positives to look forward to.

Howard was forced into his first save on 9 minutes when a cross from Ivo Pinto from the right was intended for Cameron Jerome, but Howard was able to clear the danger over the end line. Everton went close down the other end as Gareth Barry pilfered the Norwich midfield and found Romelu Lukaku, but his low shot was saved acrobatically by John Ruddy.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Everton went in front just before the 20 minute mark thanks to a fantastic counter-attack. Howard fed James McCarthy from the box, and the 25-year-old burst forward through the middle. He found Tom Davies on the right, who completely bungled Graham Dorrans. McCarthy picked up the loose ball and rifled home a sparkling shot to give Everton the opening goal.

Both teams lost a player early to injury, with Norwich needing to sub Martin Olsson off after just 10 minutes, while Everton’s Matthew Pennington was replaced just before the half-hour mark. Just after the Toffees sub, they had a chance for a second as Lukaku sprung countrymate Kevin Mirallas free down the left, but his tight shot beat Rudy and also beat the post.

[ MORE: Final Premier League standings ]

Norwich had a chance to equalize in the 41st minute as Cameron Jerome laid off perfectly for Matt Jarvis, but his shot went miles over the bar. They would rue the miss. Moments later, a ball for Gareth Barry over the top for Lukaku forced Robbie Brady to pull him back, and as Lukaku went to ground, the referee pointed to the spot. Leighton Baines slammed home the penalty, and Everton went 2-0 up.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Straight after the break, the Toffees got a third. James McCarthy on the right sprung substitute Jonjoe Kenny down the edge of the box, and he crossed to the other side for a wide open Kevin Mirallas, who finished strongly to put the Toffees clean through.

The three points means Everton jumps above Swansea on goal differential, as the two teams finish the season with 47 points. Norwich end the year in 19th, heading to the Championship having just collected 34 points on the campaign.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf