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v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00



Goodison Park | 24th November 2012 15:00

Everton v Norwich

Everton conceded a late goal to take only one point from a game they should have won.

After Steven Naismith's early opener the Blues were increasingly under the cosh and eventually succumbed to Sebastien Bassong's scrappy late goal.

Even more frustrating was the contentious nature of the free-kick which lead directly to the equaliser.

A number of injuries and Marouane Fellaini's suspension forced David Moyes to shuffle both defence and midfield but his side's start was bright nonetheless.

With stand-in skipper Phil Jagielka at right back and Bryan Oviedo starting a league game for the first time the Blues could have been forgiven for taking time to adjust.

But it wasn't the case. After 60 seconds an exquisite turn by Leon Osman followed by a left-foot curler just wide set the tone.

Bryan Oviedo manages to get his pass away despite pressure from Robert Snodgrass.

Soon an audacious cross from the outside of Jagielka's boot was glanced wide by Nikica Jelavic and then Everton took the lead.

Cool and composed, Thomas Hitzlsperger was pulling the strings in the centre of midfield and his lofted pass allowed Oviedo to dash to the byline and pull back for Naismith to slam home in the 12th minute.

Steven Naismith and Bryan Oviedo are congratulated after the Scot opened the scoring.

The home side were far from satisfied with a one goal lead though and next Leighton Baines burst into the box and fired low across goal with John Ruddy saving well. Osman's attempt at the rebound bounced off the pitch and over the bar.

Midway through the half, Grant Holt barrelled through the defence and fired off target on a rare Norwich attack.

Osman tested Ruddy on a further two occasions, with the former Everton custodian out smartly to deny goalscorer Naismith in between.

After half-time Norwich looked a much more dangerous outfit with Everton appearing increasingly nervous in protecting their slender advantage.

Tim Howard was required to fly across his goal to repel Anthony Pilkington's free-kick and the American plucked the ball off Holt's toe moments later.

Distin and Jelavic threatened at the other end but the Canaries were offering an ever-increasing threat and only John Heitinga's sliding block on the line prevented Robert Snodgrass levelling on 70 minutes.

Baines was denied a goal of the season contender by another diving Ruddy save after the left-back had beaten a swathe of Norwich players and darted into the area.

Steven Pienaar Norwich

The keeper was forced off through injury in the last 10 minutes and new man Mark Bunn's first action was to watch Naismith chip wastefully wide with Jelavic poised in the centre.

Howard expertly saved Pilkington's header with five minutes left but on the 90-minute mark, Bassong turned in Garrido's free-kick to level.

Baines' challenge on Steven Morison had looked innocuous but ref Mark Jones blew his whistle and in the end it would prove pivotal.



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