The Dutchman scored his first goal for the club on his competitive debut to claim a draw after Roberto Martinez's men had led courtesy of goals from Ross Barkley and Seamus ColemanRicky van Wolfswinkel grabbed his first goal for Norwich City to secure a 2-2 draw against Everton in their Premier League opener at Carrow Road.
Goals from Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman had cancelled out Steven Whittaker's opener although Van Wolfswinkel capitalised on the Scottish defender's sliced shot to ensure the hosts would claim a point.
|By Joe Doyle
A first 45 minutes showing the rustiness of the summer break was well and truly topped in the second half with some great attacking play and a wonderful strike from Ross Barkley.
Neither side will be particularly happy with their display, and nobody really did enough to warrant all three points. Though the Toffees dominated, they were stagnant in attack and at times looked short of ideas. Norwich defended stoutly and countered well, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel earning a point for his new club on his debut.
None of Everton’s transfer window acquisitions made it into the starting XI in Roberto Martinez's first competitive game in charge, as Gerard Deulofeu, Joel Robles and Arouna Kone all started on the bench, while Manchester United target Marouane Fellaini appeared from the beginning.
Everton began as the stronger side but Norwich did grow into the match, and only the stretched right leg of Sylvain Distin prevented a clear-cut chance in the 17th minute, as Wes Hoolahan met Van Wolfswinkel’s cut-back from the left, but the hosts had to settle for a corner.
Neither team managed to stamp their dominance on the match in the first half, but Everton did register two good efforts close to the half-hour mark. Kevin Mirallas shot just wide from outside of the area and then Fellaini fired well over from a tight angle to Ruddy’s left.
After going in level, Norwich came out after the break with renewed determination, and it took them just seven minutes to take the lead.
Right-back Whittaker broke forward down the right and managed to hold off the challenges of three Everton defenders before curling a left-footed shot towards goal. His effort came agonisingly back off the far post, but the Scotland international was alert enough chase down the rebound and knock it home.
The lead lasted less than 10 minutes, though, as Everton responded in the best possible fashion.
Coleman was the architect when he cut in from the right, skipped past two tackles and laid the ball back to the edge of the area for Barkley, who hammered a left-footed drive past Ruddy to level things up.
After 65 minutes, Everton thought they had completed the turnaround, as Nikica Jelavic broke into the left edge of the penalty area and fired a shot across goal, where Coleman was on hand to tap in after Ruddy’s initial save.
Norwich, though, had other ideas.
With 19 minutes left Whittaker sliced a left-footed volley into the danger area from the right and Van Wolfswinkel rose above Phil Jagielka to head the ball into the top corner to level things up once again.
Everton had one final chance in the closing moments when Norwich failed to clear Steven Pienaar’s left-wing cross, but Ruddy impressively stopped Steven Naismith’s close-range effort before Russell Martin blocked from Jelavic.