Fulltime Thoughts - Adequate from Everton, but under the circumstances and short of key players as they are, it will do for now. Blues win 2-0 over bottom-club Norwich City.
90+5’ - There’s the final whistle, Everton win!
90+2’ - Gordon booked after tugging back his man looking to break away.
90’ - There will be five minutes added on.
89’ - Lewis Dobbin sighting!! The teenager makes his debut coming on for Iwobi.
86’ - Everton freekick and the ball into the box is headed goalwards by Keane, and Godfrey gets a touch on it, Krul saves, right back at Godfrey and he can’t bundle it past the goalie! So close!
83’ - Gray coming off now for Tom Davies to see out the game.
80’ - Lees-Melou booked now for a cynical foul on an Everton counter.
Surely now we will see either Simms or Dobbin get a few minutes.
78’ - 2-0! Gray interception in the middle starts a counter, and he plays in Doucoure who tucks it in neatly past Krul into the far side netting. That should settle some nerves.
74’ - Now Digne is lucky to stay on after blocking a cross with his arm, conceding a freekick in a dangerous area. The freekick is awful and the immediate danger has passed.
Pickford is sitting down now, looks like he has tweaked the shoulder that saw him miss time. He’s going to continue for now even though Asmir Begovic is warming up and Gordon is about to come on too, for goalscorer Townsend.
72’ - Another break and Iwobi finds Doucoure, the midfielder’s cross is blocked for a corner on the left. Gray inswinger incoming, cleared and Norwich break. Townsend expertly ushers Williams off the ball and Gray is now offside on the counter.
71’ - Norwich corner on the Everton right. Flicked on and Godfrey can clear from inside the six-yard box. Gray and Townsend can start a break but Doucoure loses his footing and it ends.
68’ - Double sub for the Canaries, who are putting more pressure on the Blues. Everton have been unable to relieve the pressure with no out ball options.
64’ - Brandon Williams takes on and beats Godfrey and then Mina bundles him and the ball out for a corner. Normann to take, Keane and Rondon clear. Ball back in, and Mina and Doucoure clear this time.
61’ - Gray tugged back, ref David Coote plays advantage. Then Gray is hacked down by Kabak and the Turkish is very lucky to stay on the pitch after already having been booked.
Freekick into the box from Digne, bounces off Sargent and rolls to Krul.
60’ - Rondon concedes a needless freekick over 30-yards away. Normann takes, and hits it way over.
56’ - Max Aarons does very well to go around Lucas Digne, and is fouled right by the goalline there. The Frenchman has been booked, deservedly so. Cross into the box is wicked and eludes Mina, but no salmon shirts can get to it either.
55’ - Lovely inter-passing between Iwobi and Gray on the left, Gray can cross into the box but it’s nowhere near Rondon and Krul collects.
52’ - Normann evades Allan and shoots again, Pickford saves well again, corner is woefully overhit. Second half off to a more rapid start than the first.
51’ - Everton build well again, and now Godfrey’s cross is almost to Iwobi, cleared for a corner.
Townsend takes it deep, Digne back into the box but it’s poor and Norwich can clear.
49’ - Doucoure starts and finishes a counter, causing a turnover and then eventually seeing his shot in the box blocked.
Now Townsend with a quick turn and shot with his right foot, into the side netting!
48’ - Alex Iwobi decides to take a shot from distance with better options in the box, and it’s dragged wide. He’s not done enough today for sure, would love to see Anthony Gordon on sooner than later for him.
46’ - Allan gets us underway.
Halftime Thoughts - Blues have done just enough to deserve the lead, need more quality in front to take this out of sight.
Salomon Rondon really not looking the part of a Premier League striker right now, in ability or fitness. Would really rather see Ellis Simms or Lewis Dobbin get a shot there, couldn’t do worse than Rondon right now.
45+2’ - There’s the halftime whistle and Everton lead Norwich City 1-0.
45’ - Norwich pressing just before halftime and Normann has a dipping shot from distance that Pickford does well to parry away for a corner. Inswinger is low and Mina then Doucoure clear.
There will be two minutes added on.
42’ - Twice now in a minute Josh Sargent almost in a threatening spot with the ball.
40’ - Iwobi plays in Doucoure on the left but the midfielder slips and loses the ball.
38’ - Lovely passing sequence there for the Blues but can’t get a shot off as they pass the ball around Norwich’s box.
33’ - Another corner on the left, and it’s poor from Townsend again.
31’ - Yerry Mina expertly shepherds Teemu Pukki away from a through ball and the fans quite enjoyed that.
25’ - Allan makes a run into the box and he’s fouled by Timmons! The ball might have been too far from him but definitely a kick out and definitely tripped him.
VAR is reviewing this, and now the ref is off to the pitchside monitor. The crowd is now awake and it is a penalty by Ozan Kabak, who was on loan at Liverpool last season.
Townsend will take this.. left-footed and sends Krul the wrong way!! Everton up 1-0!
21’ - Gray with a nifty sidestep on the right touchline and zips a cross through the box but there’s no one to take advantage!
Now Ben Godfrey takes a shot from distance, deflected and gathered by Krul.
19’ - A turnover allows the Blues to finally break, though they don’t do it at speed. A cross into the box is allowed to to roll by Gray to Townsend, he has a shot on goal but it’s tame and straight at Tim Krul.
15’ - Haven’t said much because there hasn’t been much to talk about, with both sides holding the ball in their defensive thirds without creating much.
9’ - Another corner, this time from the right, on Townsend’s preferred left foot. Dipping in and cleared, that was better.
6’ - First real spell of pressure wins the Blues a corner on the left. Townsend will take, low and out for a throw-in.
3’ - Blues are in a 4-2-3-1, with Alex Iwobi - Demarai Gray - Andros Townsend behind Salomon Rondon up front.
1’ - Underway!
The starting lineups are out and Rafa Benitez will have Jordan Pickford back. Lucas Digne appears fine too after his midweek issue.
After a fantastic start to the season, a series of injuries is now threatening to derail Everton’s campaign. A big loss at Aston Villa followed by a Cup upset at Championship side Queens Park Rangers means Rafa Benitez is starting to get a lot of negative attention that he wouldn’t have wanted. Unfortunately, the thin squad means the manager is not going to have too many choices possibly until after the upcoming international break, by which time any goodwill the team has built up with the fans could have well and truly evaporated.
Visitors Norwich City are stubbornly continuing to play their own brand of open and attacking football under Daniel Farke even though it has garnered all of five straight defeats to open the season. Well, if there was ever an opportunity for the Toffees to live up to the #EvertonThat tag then it’ll be today when the Canaries will be looking to repeat their 2-0 win from the last time they visited Goodison.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 6
Date and start time: Saturday, September 25th at 7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Weather: 69°F/21°C, mostly cloudy, 7% chance of precipitation, 5 mph winds
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Pickford, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne, Allan, Doucoure, Iwobi, Townsend, Gray, Rondon
Subs: Begovic, Lonergan, Kenny, Holgate, Gordon, Davies, Branthwaite, Simms, Dobbin
Krul; Aarons, Kabak, Hanley, Gibson, Williams; Lees-Melou, Normann, McLean; Sargent, Pukki
Subs: Gunn, Rupp, Gilmour, Dowell, Rashica, Tzolis, Giannoulis, Idah, Omabamidele
The Canaries quite enjoy coming to Goodison Park, as can be evidenced from their 2-0 wins the last two times they visited. They beat Marco Silva’s side early in the 2019-20 campaign, and before that in 2016 they dumped Ronald Koeman’s Blues out of the League Cup in the Third Round by a similar scoreline. Everton did beat Norwich 1-0 after the Canaries had already been relegated at Carrow Road.