Everton vs. Norwich City: Final score 1-1; cold rain, hard tackling and mustaches

Clive Brunskill

Norwich save a point with a goal in the 90th minute as Everton blew yet another lead after wasting several chances to put the match away.

Everton and Norwich City combined cold rain, hard tackles and mustaches for a satisfying and surprisingly entertaining match. Steven Naismith staked Everton to an early lead, but Sébastien Bassong saved a point for the Canaries at the death.

Everton nearly broke through in the 2nd minute after a Norwich giveaway in the midfield. Steven Naismith took control in the box before curling back and finding Leon Osman whose shot looked destined for the back of the net, but instead curled just over the bar.

For the second straight match, Everton took an early lead thanks to their Scottish striker. An long ball went down the left flank to Bryan Oviedo who easily danced around the Norwich defender, moved in to the box and found Naismith with a ton of space right in front of goal. The pass was perfect and Naismith sent the ball past John Ruddy to put Everton ahead 1-0 in the 11th minute.

At the start of halftime, the cameras found a well dressed woman in the one of the Goodison boxes comfortably wrapped up in an Everton blanket and reading a book. Considering the rather uninteresting nature of the match up to that point, I couldn't blame her.

Things would pick up though.

By the 59th minute, the book was put away (seriously, they showed her on camera again) probably due to the fact that Norwich were beginning to test Everton and had gotten close to breaking through a couple times. Grant Holt was a big part of that earning a couple dangerous free kicks and beating Everton's high line for a breakaway, only to be thwarted by Tim Howard coming off his line to break up the play.

The Canaries came close again in the 66th minute when Grant Holt got loose on the right side of the box, forcing Howard off his line to deal with the situation. Holt's shot beat Howard and woud have gone in if not for a heads up defensive play from John Heitinga who had raced in behind Howard and cleared the ball off the line.

Norwich's Anthony Pilkington forced an excellent save from Howard in the 85th minute after he rose over a defender in the box and sent a powerful header on frame. Howard fought off the shot and Everton was able to clear the ball from danger.

Everton had a brilliant chance in the final minutes to put the game away, but Naismith's errant pass on a 2 on 1 break wasted a golden opportunity. At that point, It was inevitable of course that the Canaries would equalize and they did in the 90th minute.

Norwich was awarded a questionable free kick after Steve Morison slipped in front of Leighton Baines. The replay showed no contact and as David Moyes raged on the touchline, Javier Garrido sent a floating free kick to the far post that Sébastien Bassong rose to meet and headed down and past Howard on a bounce.

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