Everton beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road to boost their European hopes and deal another hammer blow to Norwich’s survival chances.
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Michael Keane headed home the only goal of a tight game in the second half, as the Toffees dominated after the break after Norwich had the better chances in the first half.
With the win Everton move into the top 10 on 41 points, while Norwich remain bottom of the table on 21 points.
Three things we learned
1. Keane symbol of Toffees solidity: He put in a sublime defensive display against Liverpool last time out and he scored the game-winner at Norwich. Everton have yet to concede through their opening two games of project restart and the back four of Coleman, Keane, Holgate and Digne looked solid. In truth, it has been that way ever since Carlo Ancelotti arrived. Keane was oft derided by the blue half of Merseyside but his form has been very good since December. That signifies Everton’s surge up the table since Marco Silva’s departure.
2. Norwich lack fight once again: It must be really tough to be a Norwich fan right now. Yes, they were bottom of the table but the first two games of Project Restart gave Daniel Farke’s side a chance to try and climb back into the battle for safety above them. Home defeats to Southampton and Everton without scoring a goal have pretty much condemned them to relegation as they are six points from safety with seven games to go. The lack of fight and tenacity has been evident. Yes, they’ve had plenty of injuries, but the last two games have proved that Norwich, although entertaining at times, just aren’t good enough to be in the Premier League.
3. Everton’s European hopes alive: What a run since December for the Toffees. Just three defeats in 16 games (away at Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal) has propelled them up the league and Carlo Ancelotti has inspired this side to dig deep, grind out wins and be a nuisance to play against. They have become so much better defensively and Everton are just three points off eighth place which could well end up being a Europa League spot. What a turnaround for the Toffees.
Man of the Match
Alex Iwobi – A constant pest, especially in the second half, and worked his socks off for the Toffees. Intrigued to see how his Everton career develops under Ancelotti.
Onel Hernandez went close as his deflected shot hit the post as it almost crept into the bottom corner.
The hosts built on their bright start as Everton struggled to get going in the sun at Carrow Road.
Lukas Rupp was denied by Pickford just before half time as the hosts looked more likely to break the deadlock.
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Everton improved in the second half as Gylfi Sigurdsson came on at half time and had a big impact.
Keane headed home the opener from a Lucas Digne corner as the Toffees kicked on.
Alex Iwobi set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin who smashed a shot on goal which Tim Krul tipped over as Everton were dangerous.
Norwich brought on Teemu Pukki for the final 20 minutes and they almost equalized right away but a cross to the near post was deflected just wide.
The Canaries did try and build some pressure late on but Keane went close again from another corner before Everton closed out the win with minimum fuss.