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7 April 2012
• Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 26554
Thank you very much for joining us this afternoon for Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary on Norwich and Everton's 2-2 draw at Carrow Road. I've been Chris Teale, thank you very much for joining me. Happy Easter everybody.
Well, Andre Marriner will definitely be in the headlines, but what a game that was. Both sides will be happy with a point after an absorbing game with few clear-cut chances. Jelavic’s two goals were well taken, while Howson and Holt’s equalisers were also superbly put away. But, it’s the man in the middle who has attracted the most criticism, unfortunately, after a number of poor decisions.
90' + 4'
FULL TIME at Carrow Road, and it’s finished 2-2 in a thoroughly entertaining game. Referee Andre Marriner has attracted a great deal of criticism, as a number of poor decisions have dogged this game. A goal in each half from Nikica Jelavic put Everton ahead, but Jonny Howson and then Grant Holt equalised either side of half time, earning the home side a well-deserved point. Leighton Baines could have been sent off for Everton, and Norwich could have had a penalty for a Phil Jagielka handball, and would have felt hard-done by if they had been defeated. A superb game, but again the officials will take the headlines for a decidedly dodgy performance.
90' + 3'
90' + 2'
Leighton Baines once again gets away with a yellow card offence, as he blocks off Russell Martin. He is a lucky lucky boy, and Marriner is once again being hammered by the home fans.
The fourth official signals four additional minutes here. About another hour of this brilliant attacking football would be great, as the crowd go crazy at some amateur dramatics from Jelavic. Dear me.
End-to-end stuff, as Elliott Bennett, then Jelavic think they're in on the counter attack, but both sights of goal are snuffed out at either end. Superb end to the game.
Howson gives the ball away, and Victor Anichebe has a great chance. However, in comes Elliott Ward to slide the ball away for a corner. Great last-ditch defending there.
Marriner is now being roundly booed for another poor decision. Meanwhile, both sides are still attacking with real intent, but neither can find a real opening. Three minutes to go here, both sides in with a chance of a win.
Oh, Elliott Bennett has a great chance in the box, but he can't quite get a good shot on target. Meanwhile, John Ruddy makes a flying save at the other end, and both sides feel they can win this.
Handball, and a free kick for Norwich on the edge of the penalty area. Perhaps Tim Cahill was unlucky, as he was under pressure from Holt. Anyway, it's hit by Holt, and he smashes it into the wall for another Canaries corner.
Assist Aaron Wilbraham
Goal Grant Holt
GOAL!!!! Norwich are level!!!! Aaron Wilbraham is instrumental in the build-up, and after seeing a shot saved, he tees up Grant Holt, who puts the ball away, and levels it at 2-2!
First corner of the afternoon for Norwich City, taken by Surman, and it's punched away by Tim Howard. Norwich get themselves a free kick, hoping to get an equaliser with not long left.
The home fans, perhaps understandably, are questioning whether Mr. Marriner knows what he's doing on the pitch. His assistant gives a throw-in to Norwich, which he then inexplicably reverses. He's had a shocker, has Andre.
That second seems to have knocked the stuffing out of Norwich for the time being, and Everton are now coming forward with a good bit of urgency, hoping to kill this one off.
Paul Lambert's hand has been forced here, as he brings on Aaron Wilbraham to play up front with Holt in place of David Fox.
Yellow Card Marouane Fellaini
The home fans are now booing Pienaar every time he touches the ball, and it's probably understandable. He clearly trapped the ball there, but Marriner the ref let it go. He's come in for some stick from the home fans has the referee.
Assist Steven Pienaar
Goal Nikica Jelavic
GOAL!!! Everton have taken the lead again, and it's a controversial one. Norwich are furious, as they think Steven Pienaar has obstructed play by keeping the ball trapped between his legs. He plays it forward, and Jelavic is on hand to stroke the ball home again. 2-1 Everton, and the Canaries aren't happy.
Everton make another change, with Phil Neville brought off and replaced by a man with rather big hair, Marouane Fellaini.
That's a great shot from Howson, and Howard can only parry the ball away uncomfortably. Everton all of a sudden look rather shaky in the face of increasing Norwich pressure and the louder atmosphere in the stands at Carrow Road.
Yellow Card Steven Pienaar
Howson releases Holt on the counter-attack, and the big striker looks for Elliott Bennet on the right. However, the pass is off-target slightly, and the chance of a break goes begging.
Jelavic gets a good cross in, and it's well cleared by Adam Drury. He puts it out for, would you believe, the game's first corner.
Howson finds a superb cross from the left, and Holt gets his head on it, but it's straight at Howard and relatively harmless. Trademark Holt, and a great cross from Howson.
Elliott Bennett looks good already, coming forward and trying to find Grant Holt again with a good-looking pass.
Everton have made a change at half-time, bringing on Seamus Coleman instead of Gueye on the right-hand side. It seems to be quite a defensive change for the Toffees, right at the start of the half.
We're back for the second half. Norwich kick us off, with both sides confident of scoring what could be a decisive goal in this contest, currently locked at 1-1.
Well, how about that? Baines could have been sent off, Jagielka could, and probably should, have conceded a penalty, and both sides have had one genuine chance apiece, and it's 1-1.
45' + 2'
HALF TIME at Carrow Road, and the score is locked at 1-1 in a game of few clear chances. Both sides have shown a great deal of industry and work-rate, while also looking enterprising going forward. However, they have both struggled to find an end product, and both goals came from each side’s only genuine chance of the half. This game must surely have more goals in it, though, as both sides have particularly potent strike-forces.
45' + 1'
Norwich think they should have a penalty, as Surman's long shot is blocked by the hand of Jagielka. He spread himself on the ground to block the shot, and the general consensus is that it was blatant handball. Andre Marriner, however, doesn't give a penalty.
Elliott Bennett thinks he should have a penalty for a collision in the box, but there's nothing doing from referee Andre Marriner. Never a penalty, that, just a coming-together of two players.
Leighton Baines is a lucky boy. He goes in very high on David Fox, and should probably have been sent off for a second yellow card. Lucky Leighton at left-back.
Assist Wesley Hoolahan
Goal Jonny Howson
GOAL!!! Norwich are level! Wes Hoolahan plays a ball into the box, and Jonny Howson is there to tuck the ball away and level this at 1-1! It was a great finish from the midfielder, his first goal for the Canaries since joining from Leeds!
And they have a shot, finally! Andrew Surman takes the ball 25 yards out, but drags his shot wide of the goal. Thankfully, with 10 minutes until HT, someone has finally had the space to have a go.
Andrew Surman is in the Everton box, but they can't find a way through the bodies. Credit to the Toffees, as Surman was left with nowhere to go, and couldn't get a shot away.
It's a decent tempo in this game, and Holt has managed to win a number of free kicks as the lone striker. However, the crosses in to him are not forthcoming, so there's been no clear chances for the Canaries.
Everton are really working hard here, and putting a great deal of pressure on Norwich. However, they can't quite find that killer ball to open up another opportunity on goal.
It's got a bit scrappy after that goal, to be honest. Both sides are struggling to keep hold of the ball, and but for that one chance taken by Jelavic, this game would still be level.
Yellow Card Leighton Baines
Oh dear, Leighton Baines. He makes a mess of his tackle on Elliott Bennett, and brings him down for the game's first booking. Can they bounce back quickly from going one-down?
Assist Phil Jagielka
Goal Nikica Jelavic
GOAL!!! And with the first chance of the game, Everton take the lead! The away side have a free kick, which is sent low into the box, and Jelavic is all alone for a straightforward side-foot into the net! 1-0 Everton, with the first chance of the game!
Everton go forward on the counter attack, with Gueye in the action again on the right-hand side. However, Hoolahan is back in the left-back position, and he averts any danger.
David Fox and Bennett both fancy this, from about 20 yards out. It's Bennett, and it goes straight into the wall, and is cleared.
Grant Holt is dragged down on the edge of the penalty area by Jagielka, and it's a free kick near the Everton 'D'. Holt took on three or four on his own there. He truly is an absolute beast. In a good way, obviously.
Leighton Baines makes great inroads on the left, but he is stripped of the ball by Elliott Bennett, who then gives the ball away immediately. Thankfully for Norwich, the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Holt holds the ball up and releases Wes Hoolahan on the left, but he is just offside. Only just, as he went slightly too early.
Both sides look good, and are both looking to go forward and use the full width of the pitch. Enterprising, with no cutting edge as of yet.
Holt is up to his old tricks, holding the ball up well on the halfway line. In comes Sylvain Distin, no shrinking violet himself, and concedes a free kick to the Canaries.
Good move from Norwich, as they push the ball around confidently. Russell Martin sends in a cross from the right, but it's cut out by Tim Howard in Everton's goal.
Another cross from Gueye, who has looked pretty good so far, but Nikica Jelavic can't get his full head on the ball. Bright start from the Toffees.
Grant Holt gives Phil Jagielka something to think about at the back, even though he doesn't have possession of the ball. Early pressure from the Canaries striker.
Magaye Gueye has an early cross in for Everton, but it's cleared by Elliott Ward of Norwich. Darron Gibson also has an early long-range sighter, but it's harmless.
Everton kick us off, and the first half has begun!
And here come the players out of the Carrow Road tunnel onto the pitch. Kick-off is very close now.
Meanwhile, David Moyes had this to say on his side’s opponents: "The teams who come up are not automatic favourites to go back down and you've seen that with the likes of Swansea and Norwich this season. They have some momentum from getting promoted and what it says is the teams who come out of the Championship are in a financially better condition than those at the bottom end of the Premier League, which allows them to buy some players in."
So, what have the managers been saying in the lead-up to this game? Firstly, Paul Lambert: “I think Everton are a really top side. I think they have some really fantastic players. They have done brilliant and they are another team with a fantastic fan base. Since January they brought in a couple of lads to give them a hand. Their form at this minute is very, very good. With Tottenham, Harry (Redknapp) could be the next England manager and the team that he has built is something else so I am under illusions how hard the next two games are going to be.”
Personally, I gave up on the Sunderland-Tottenham game, which was the early kick-off in the Premier League. The Boat Race was far more exciting, with swimmers protesting in the Thames and everything. What on Earth he was doing, we still have no idea. Hopefully this game is better, and there are 15 minutes until kick-off.
Three changes apiece for both teams. Norwich bring back striker Grant Holt after suspension, hoping to get some form back, while Everton bring Sylvain Distin back into the heart of their defence.
Anyway, the teams are in, and they are as follows - Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Ward, Bennett, Drury; Bennett, Fox, Howson, Surman; Hoolahan; Holt. Subs: Steer, Johnson, Morison, Crofts, Jackson, Wilbraham, Naughton. Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Gueye, Gibson, Neville, Pienaar; Cahill; Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Coleman, Fellaini, Anichebe
Well, happy Easter everybody, and what better way to celebrate than with the football? It’s been quite a weekend for sport already, and with nine fixtures today from England’s top flight, it should be a cracking afternoon.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Goal.com’s LIVE! commentary of Norwich City v Everton from the Premier League.
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