Everton registered their fourth Premier League win as Andros Townsend and Abdoulaye Doucoure sparkled in a 2-0 home win over Norwich City.
Everton returned to winning ways in the Premier League, defeating Norwich 2-0 at Goodison Park. The result maintains Toffees’ unblemished home record this season, as Andros Townsend converted from the penalty spot to give Everton the lead before Abdoulaye Doucoure’s second half strike ensured all three points for the hosts.
A passive first half sparked to life in the 28th minute when Norwich defender Ozan Kabak was penalized for bringing down Allan in the penalty area after a lengthy VAR review. Townsend dispatched the spot-kick to send Tim Krul the wrong way.
Norwich showed no creativity going forwards in the first half, and their only meaningful attempt came via Mathias Normann, whose long-range drive was pushed away by Jordan Pickford. The visitors were more aggressive offensively after the interval and looked threatening, with Mathias Normann and Ben Gibson coming close to get the equaliser.
But Everton soon snuffed out any chances for a comeback. Allan regained the possession in midfield before allowing Gray to rush into the heart of stumbling Norwich defence. He then slipped in Doucoure with a superb weighted pass to his right side, and the Frenchman swept it under Krul to seal all three points for the hosts.
With this result, Everton jump up the ladder and are now sitting fifth in the Premier League standings with 13 points. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over Rafael Benitez’s men after a hard-fought win over Norwich despite missing their key players.
Jordan Pickford: 6.5/10
Despite being barely challenged for the majority of the game on his return to action from injury, Pickford had to make a fair few top-drawer saves at full stretch to deny Mathias Normann from long range.
Ben Godfrey: 6/10
Godfrey is still working on his physical fitness, having suffered from an illness earlier in the season. Struggled for pace up against Brandon Williams. He almost scored late in the game only to be denied by a brilliant point-blank range save from Tim Krul.
Yerry Mina: 7/10
The Colombian had an intriguing tussle with Norwich forward Joshua Sergeant at times, but similar to his teammate Keane, he was largely untroubled and stayed calm and composed throughout the game. He was aerially strong and commanding at the heart of the Everton defence, making key tackles and interceptions to keep Norwich at bay.
Michael Keane: 6/10
Michael Keane did not have much strain on him as he was able to hold off Teemu Pukki for most of the game. The Canaries hardly pushed the Everton backline, and the 28-year-old was clean and tidy in possession as well as he moved the ball effectively.
Lucas Digne: 6/10
Lucas Digne was an injury doubt after picking up a knock against QPR in midweek but was declared fit to play against Norwich. Despite Everton having large spells of possession, the former Barcelona man could not provide a bigger threat down the left flank and was largely kept quiet by Max Aarons. He managed to get five crosses but lacked quality on his deliveries.
Andros Townsend: 8/10
Andros Townsend has now been directly involved in seven goals in seven starts for Everton:
⚽️ 4 goals
?️ 3 assists
Not bad for a free transfer. ? pic.twitter.com/8jkaqX72Kp
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) September 25, 2021
Townsend put up a man of the match display. He stepped up to send Tim Krul the wrong way from 12 yards. Was Everton’s main attacking threat with a growing confidence in his dribbling and goal scoring ability. He was engaged in an interesting battle against Brandon Williams on the right wing.
Allan cleverly won the penalty after infiltrating in the Norwich box. The Brazilian was neat in possession and played the role of a combative enforcer. When he got the ball, he charged forward with intent and also made a few slick passes.
Allan was again the key for the second goal as he won back possession to set the move. He was aggressive and pressed intensively to allow Doucoure the freedom to charge forwards. Overall, a solid display in the engine room from the former Napoli midfielder.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 8/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s game by numbers vs. Norwich:
13 ball recoveries
1 shot on target
Loving his new role under Rafa Benitez. https://t.co/kTNdNq3QD8
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 25, 2021
Looked to have worked on Rafa Benitez advice to improve his attacking output. Doucoure was the facilitator for most of Toffees’ attacks and carried the ball forward effectively. He frequently pushed forward with the ball, invading Norwich’s final third. Was relentless, energetic and focused as ever in the opposing half. He took the goal very well to double the advantage going into the final 15 minutes of the game.
Alex Iwobi: 5.5/10
Alex Iwobi fumbled the ball very often. He looked to carry a threat pushing forward, but his poor decision-making was again in question on the day. Whenever he was given space, he sought to take advantage of it and caused problems for the Norwich players with his pace and dribbling.
Demarai Gray: 7/10
Demarai Gray was speedy, reactive and dangerous, eager to rush at the Norwich defence anytime the opportunity presented itself. He was skilful and delicately threaded the pass for Doucoure’s run, who eventually scored to kill the game. Looked lively and had his moments.
Salomon Rondon: 6/10
Rondon looked rusty and was unable to settle himself to the intensity of the game. He lacked energy and struggled to hold the ball up, and it will take him some time to rediscover his touch and suit the rigours of the Premier League.
Anthony Gordon: 6/10
Provided some much-needed strong running when Everton were tiring out.
Tom Davies: N/A
Had an opportunity to score the third goal, but his low drive was deflected wide.
Lewis Dobbin: N/A
A late introduction, Dobbin helped see the game out.