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January 11, 2014
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 36827
G. Barry 23'
K. Mirallas 59'
I've been Greg Taylor, thanks for being with us, have a great Saturday night.
Chris Hughton will rue those missed chances as his side come away with no points again. That's six games without a win now. Everton meanwhile are looking up, sitting pretty in the top four and showing they;re in it for the long haul. What a marvelous job Martinez is doing.
FULL TIME: And that's it. Everton continue their fine run of form this season with a brilliant attacking display. Norwich weren't poor but lacked quality when it really counted.
90' + 2'
Tim Howard will take a goal kick, Everton almost have another precious three points.
Yellow Card S. Bassong
Van Wolfswinkel's wait for a goal continues as he's taken off the field and replaced with Murphy. He hasn't scored since the opening day of the season against Everton. For over eight million pounds that's not a great return yet. The game is fizzling out a little now, Everton just passing it round at the back.
Chris Hughton looks pretty glum on the sideline. If his side had taken their early chances and even their opportunities this half, it could have been a very different story.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Everton create another chance, McCarthy is about to score from close range but Whittaker makes a great last ditch tackle to deny the Irishman.
Norwich still pressing forward, can they score to make for a tense finish?
Barry wins the ball back for Everton as they try to calm things down by passing it around in midfield.
Howard is pretty frustrated with what he's seeing in front of him. The Everton outfield players look a little leggy now. Norwich have another corner. This is their best spell of the match and need to score soon if they're going to come away with anything this afternoon.
CLOSE! And now they've hit the post. Great cross in from Redmond and Snodgrass heads it onto the post. It doesn't look like it's going to be their day.
Good effort by Johnson, on the edge of the box, he hits it well but slices it wide. Norwich should have scored today, Hughton can be pleased with his sides creativity.
Pienaar was hobbling when he went off, hope it's nothing serious. A worry though for Martinez, he was particularly impressive this afternoon.
GREAT SAVE! Nathan Redmond almost pulls one back for The Canaries. The Norwich substitute almost scores just five minutes after coming on, He has plenty of space down the left hand side, he skins Coleman but Howard makes a great save down at his near post. They've had a fair few chances today, but been wasteful.
Norwich finally relieve some pressure, Hooper does well to win a corner. Snodgrass takes it but Fer fouls Jagielka and Everton have a free kick.
Everton make their first change of the afternoon with Johnny Heitinga coming on to replace Leon Osman. He's played well today in that role behind Lukaku, but you have to feel Barkley will return to the side when he back to full fitness.
Another chance for a third, Mirallas hits a low and hard shot, it's parried and Lukaku is almost there to slide in but Bennett gets it away. Great defending by Bennett, he's saved his side a few times today.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Poor Lukaku, he thinks he's finally got his goal. He beats Ruddy to the ball and slides the ball home, stand sup to celebrate only to see the offside flag raised against him. Everton could have had four or five today.
Yellow Card Ryan Bennett
Lukaku again finds space on the left, he fires in a low shot but Ruddy is equal to it. He hasn't got his goal yet but he's led the line so well today. Norwich are hanging on here.
CLOSE! Everton almost get a third straight after kick off. Another good delivery into the box, this time from Osman, it falls to Lukaku who is about to volley it in but Bennett just nicks it off the striker befor he can make contact.
Goal Kevin Mirallas
GOAL! Another cracker! Everton win a free kick on the edge of the box. Both Mirallas and Baines stand over it but it's the Belgian who takes it and he scores with a a brilliant dipping strike. Up and over the wall, Ruddy, much like Barry's goal, had no chance with that.
CHANCE! Oh dear Ricky van Wolfswinkel. He holds off the challenge of Stones and is only 6 yards out but blasts his shot high and over. Both him and Hooper have had a couple of sighters at goal today but have been really wasteful.
Lukaku flicks the ball on for Mirallas to chase, he gets the wrong side of Bassong but the big Cameroon international is too strong for the Belgian and cooly passes it back to Ruddy.
Pienaar slips Lukaku in, who again holds it up well, finds Mirallas who lays it off for McCarthy to shoot. His effort is deflected and Everton have a corner.
STAT ATTACK: Norwich earned 12 away points in 2013, the third-worst record in the top flight behind Stoke (10) and West Ham (11). Can they improve on that this year? On today's evidence probably not.
CLOSE! Great cross from the left by Baines, Osman is up to meet it but doesn't get enough power behind it and it's an easy save for Ruddy. It looks like we're in for a repeat of the first half. Norwich sitting deep hoping to break on the counter.
So can Everton continue where they left off or have Norwich got an answer? Tidy play in the middle from Barry and Osman, Everton just passing it around keeping possession.
We're back under way, with Everton kicking off.
The players are back out on the pitch, so the second half will be coming shortly.
And that will be the message from Hughton to his players. While it's still only 1-0 they're still in this. They're still creating chances, with Hooper going close, so it's not all over yet.
HALFTIME: And there's the whistle for halftime. Just the one goal so far, but what a goal, an absolute screamer from Gareth Barry. Martinez will be overjoyed with his sides' display but will know until they get a second, Norwich are still in this.
45' + 1'
Norwich almost get an equaliser, another good save by Howard. Hooper finds some space in the penalty box but Howard is down to it and pushes it away.
Yellow Card John Stones
Game just calmed down a little from the 100 mph, it's now about 95mph. No other league in the world plays at such a pace. Mr. Friend gets the yellow card out for the first time this afternoon. James McCarthy is booked for lunging in on Bradley Johnson.
STAT ATTACK: Everton have kept eight clean sheets this season; only Arsenal (9) have registered more. Not great news for Norwich's traveling supporters then.
It's wave after wave of attack from The Toffees. I can barely keep up, Norwich certainly can't! Chris Hughton has some work to do at half time. Can they keep it to only 1-0, five minutes remain in this half.
Mirallas finds space on the edge of the box, this time on the left hand side and fires in a low shot from 20 yards out. It's blocked and Norwich survive again. The movement from the Everton players has been hugely impressive. Constantly rotating, must be a nightmare to defend against.
CLOSE! How have Everton not scored another? They again burst into the box, Osman crosses, Mirallas miscues his volley but it falls to Coleman who blazes over from 6 yards out. This is one the best performances I've seen by any side this season.
PENALTY APPEAL! Osman goes down in the box but former postman, and referee today Kevin Friend waves play on. Correct decision I'd say.
Norwich just cannot get hold of the ball. Hooper looks isolated. Lukaku again does some brilliant hold up play, using all his strength to hold off the Norwich defence before laying the ball off to Osman to shoot high and wide. Everton are pushing for a second.
Barry again delivers a beautiful delivery, right into the danger zone between defender and goalkeeper. Bennett just about does enough, but Everton have a corner.
Well you have to wonder, will Gareth Barry be on the plane to Brazil? He is making a great case for himself in front of Roy Hodgson today. Seems a long time ago when he was undone by Ozil and co in the World Cup.
Everton are in total control now. Some one-touch passing from Mirallas and Osman, eventually finds Baines, who crosses into the box but it's easily blocked.
Norwich look a little stunned but Hooper holds it up well and wins a corner. Johnson delivers but Howard calmly takes hold of it. Everton coming forward again with Osman loses it on the edge of the box and Norwich regain possession.
Assist R. Lukaku
Goal Gareth Barry
GOAL! What a goal! Fantastic strike by loan signing Gareth Barry. It has been coming, but what a way to break the dealdock. Lukaku holds it up, he lays it off to Barry who runs and then smashes an unstoppable 25 yard shot into the top right hand corner. Ruddy had no chance. Briliant stuff. Martinez's grin just got a little bigger.
Martinez looks very happy there in his black coat and designer scarf. Grinning away, and why shouldn't he be when his side are playing this well. Another Everton attack results in a corner, Baines to deliver with his famous left boot. Good delivery but Bennett heads it away.
Everton have a corner and it'll be Baines to take it. Good delivery, it takes a deflection and rolls toward the goal line before Olsson gets it to safety. You feel it is only a matter of time before Everton take the lead.
Great game this, end to end stuff. Hooper gets in behind the Everton defence but his touch lets him down and Howard collects. Everton go straight down the other end and have a goal bound shot by Pienaar blocked and out for a throw.
Everton still coming forward, Pienaar now delivers a cross into the box but Ruddy punches it clear and Norwich try and break. But they can't keep hold of it at the moment and give it straight back to Everton to start another attack.
CLOSE! Nice exchanges between Osman and Pienaar, they work it wide to Mirallas who delivers a peach of a cross into Lukaku who gets his head on it but nods it just wide from three yards out. He should have scored that, maybe lacking a big of confidence the big man?
Lukaku really has been a terrific loan signing for Everton. He's already causing the Norwich defenders problems. The big Belgian will be hoping to score today, only one goal in his last seven games.
Just noticed England manager Roy Hodgson is in the crowd. A number of players I'm sure he'll be casting his eye over this afternoon. He'll be hoping to see a strong display by Jagielka and Baines today. Lukaku has a pot shot from 25 yards, but he drags it just wide.
Norwich are yet to string many passes together. It's all Everton in the early exchanges here. Positive start by The Toffees.
Have Everton got the best two full backs in the Premier League? I can't think of a better pair so far this season. Coleman has even been outshining Baines of late. And he may be in the mood again as he sprints down the right wing and takes a shot from 20 yards. Ruddy down to it, but good intent.
Typically busy start by Everton. Baines back in the side, gets down the left and almost delivers a dangerous cross but it's intercepted. Everton have a throw in.
The sun is shining here on Merseyside as we get under way, Norwich kick off.
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
Everton meanwhile have earned 39 points out of the last possible 48 at Goodison Park, with their only home defeat in that run coming against Sunderland on Boxing Day (W12, D3, L1).
On current form, Chris Hughton is probably a little concerned. His side have gone five league games without a win, earning just three points in that time.
Think it's safe to say Everton are favourites this afternoon. But history is not in their favour. In recent seasons Norwich have frustrated Everton, who are without a win in five Premier League meetings with The Canaries.
Leroy Fer has returned for Norwich after serving a one-match suspension, repacing possibly Aston Villa bound Wes Hoolahan.
So Mr. Martinez has made a couple of changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Stoke City on New Year's Day. The excellent Phil Jagielka returns in defence replacing Antolin Alcaraz, but England starlet Ross Barkley also misses out through injury. Leon Osman is the man in for him.
Norwich City substitutes: Bunn, Martin, Hoolahan, Elmander, Redmond, Fox, Josh Murphy
Norwich City XI: Ruddy; Whittaker, R Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Garrido; Hooper, Van Wolfswinkel
Everton substitutes: Joel, Hibbert, Heitinga, Oviedo, Naismith, Gueye, Vellios
Everton XI: Howard; Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Stones; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas, Pienaar, Osman; Lukaku
Before we go any further, let's have a look at how both sides are lining up, starting with the home side.
Roberto Martinez will be hoping his side can continue their push for the top four with another home win here at Goodison Park. Few would bet against them, especially on recent form. Their opponents Norwich, who have been struggling all season to score goals away from home, will be desperate to pick up some points to aid their fight against relegation.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary of the Premier League meeting between Everton and Norwich City. My name is Greg Taylor and I will be guiding you through all the action.
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