Barry and Mirallas strike as Blues win again

, 11 January, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton 2 - 0 Norwich City

Everton collected another home win and moved back into the top four with another assured performance that had them comfortably two goals to the good over Norwich by the hour mark.

Gareth Barry's crisp 20-yard strike, his 50th Premier League goal, opened the scoring mid-way through the first half and was reward for the dominance in possession showed by Roberto Martinez's side in the first 45 minutes. The midfielder collected Romelu Lukaku's lay-off after impressive hold-up play by the Belgian and he hammered a shot across John Ruddy and into the far corner.

Lukaku might have had the Blues ahead as early as the 12th minute but headed Kevin Mirallas's cross wide from close range at the back post and Mirallas himself saw a powerful drive deflected over after 20 minutes.

Norwich spent much of the half under pressure from the home side but could have scored themselves when Steven Whittaker's raking pass fell to the feet of Gary Hooper behind the Blues' defence but a poor first touch allowed Tim Howard to pounce and smother the danger. The American also foiled the same player just before half time as he ghosted in behind John Stones, preserving the clean sheet going into the interval.

Despite more changes to the line-up enforced by injuries to Ross Barkley and Antolin Alcaraz, Everton retained their dominance after the break and doubled their lead in the 58th minute when Leighton Baines was chopped down near the Norwich area and Mirallas stepped up to curl the resulting free kick past Ruddy to effectively kill the game.

Norwich had a spell where they threatened to pull one back after Nathan Redmond was introduced and he fored Howard into a save with his feet. Robert Snodgrass then headed off the post as the Everton defence wavered a little in the last quarter of an hour but Martinez'smen regained their composure and saw out the final few minutes to earn their first win over Norwich since 2005.

Aiden McGeady, Everton's first signing of the January transfer window, was unveiled before kick-off after his arrival from Spartak Moscow.

Quotes or other material sourced from ToffeeWeb Match Reports

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