Norwich City 2, Everton 2

Ricky van Wolfswinkel salvaged a Premier League point for Norwich City in Saturday's 2-2 opening day draw against Everton at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Ricky van Wolfswinkel salvaged a Premier League point for Norwich City in Saturday's 2-2 opening day draw against Everton at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Saturday, August 17, 2013
5:08 PM

Norwich City’s summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel paid off a slice of his club-record transfer fee with a superb second half header earning the Canaries an opening day Premier League point at Carrow Road.

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Van Wolfswinkel powered a 71st minute header past Tim Howard from 16 yards to cap a frenetic second half after Everton had struck twice inside four minutes through Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman to cancel out Steven Whittaker’s virtuoso opener six minutes after half-time.

Chris Hughton opted not to risk Gary Hooper after his shin injury in the pre-season finale against Panathinaikos. Robert Snodgrass was also a surprise omission with a groin injury after undergoing a pre-match fitness test. Sebastein Bassong and Anthony Pilkington missed out for the Canaries with the duo set to step up their comebacks from knee problems next week. Dutch international Leroy Fer was suspended for the opening day after picking up a one-game ban in the closing stages of his spell at FC Twente last season.

Hughton gave Norwich Premier League debuts to Nathan Redmond and van Wolfswinkel with Wes Hoolahan deployed in the chief support role to the club’s record signing.

New Everton manager Roberto Martinez resisted the urge to blood hsi summer signings Arouna Kone and Barcelona playmaker Gerard Deulofeu from the start with the pair kept in reserve. Martinez’s side slipped into a smooth early rhythm with Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar offering support to Nikica Jelavic. Phil Jagielka’s miscued header dropped for John Ruddy from Leighton Baines’ free kick in the first minor alarm for the hosts. Redmond attempted to harry Coleman out of the visitors’ early stride with a tussle that turned up the volume at Carrow Road.

Hoolahan was bundled over by Leon Osman in the ninth minute but Maroune Fellaini’s towering presence cleared Elliott Bennett’s dipping free kick with van Wolfswinkel sensing an opportunity. Whittaker was nearly punished for his attempt to play out from his own penalty area when the razor-sharp Pienaar pounced but the finish lacked any real precision.

City’s predatory Dutch striker was then denied by Silvain Distin’s timely header after Bradley Johnson had triggered a sharp counter for Hoolahan and Elliott Bennett to wreck havoc down the Toffees’ right.

City captain Russell Martin picked out van Wolfswinkel’s run in behind Jagielka shortly afterwards but Distin’s sense of imminent danger saw Hoolahan thwarted at the near post.

Martin was forced to head behind with Jelavic momentarily the favourite to despatch Pienaar’s drilled cross at the opposite end before Fellaini’s header drifted over. Ruddy then went full length but Mirallas’ 20 yard hit flew wide after an intelligent set up from Jelavic.

Van Wolfswinkel’s defensive qualities subdued Jagielka from another Everton corner before Fellaini skied over at the far post with the visitors’ recovering from City’s sustained burst of pressure. Norwich spurned a chance to test the Toffees from a free kick right on the edge of the visiting area when Elliott Bennett and Redmond’s intricate set allowed Osman to deflect the ball away, but the corner was cleared.

Coleman profited from indecision between Garrido and Redmond but Martin again offered a sturdy obstacle when the Republic of Ireland international attempted to pick out Fellaini.

City’s skipper was the first man cautioned a minute before the interval with a blatant check foiling the marauding Mirallas after the Everton forward had weaved beyond Garrido – but Baines struck the Norwich wall before Barkley lashed over the follow up.

The impressive Mirallas swept Coleman’s cross into the side netting four minutes after the restart. Whittaker was the unlikely source of the opening goal in the 51st minute with a thrilling dribble past Fellaini before coolly slotting from an acute angle, after his initial left-footed curler clipped the inside of Howard’s right-hand post from 20 yards.

Ruddy secured Barkley’s long range hit at the second time of asking with Fellaini interested as Martinez’s side probed for an instant riposte. Michael Turner was the second Norwich centre-back cautioned by referee Oliver for a rash sliding challenge through the back of Pienaar. City survived the resulting free kick but the hosts had no answer to Barkley’s thumping hit from the edge of the Norwich penalty area that flew past Ruddy’s despairing dive.

Things got worse for the Canaries when Coleman reacted quickest to lash past Ruddy in the 65th minute after the England keeper could only parry Jelavic’s angled hit when the Croatian forward anticipated Pienaar’s clever flick. Turner’s eagerness to win the ball back following a fresh bout of sustained Everton possession gifted Baines another chance but the left-back from a set piece was unusually wayward – a charge you could not level at van Wolfswinkel when he drew Norwich level to cap a free-scoring second period. The Dutchman’s pinpoint header from 16 yards left Howard with no chance after Whittaker’s sliced shot arrowed towards him. City surged forward in the immediate aftermath with Jonny Howson and substitute Alex Tettey both leading penetrative counters but City’s final decision on both occasions lacked the precision of van Wolfswinkel’s headed equaliser.

Norwich earned a major reprieve in the 80th minute when Jelavic’s header dropped for Steven Naismith but the Scot’s point blank hit was superbly blocked by Ruddy before Jelavic slammed against Martin. Hughton introduced Martin Olsson for his Norwich Premier League debut with Redmond making way for the final five minutes and the Swedish international’s whipped cross had van Wolfswinkel interested again only for Howard gathered at his near post. The excellent Coleman was a yard wide from his second and a potential Everton match-winner with a swinging strike that veered away from Ruddy’s far post in the 88th minute.

• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Turner, Martin, Garrido, E Bennett, Howson, Johnson, Redmond (Olsson 85), Hoolahan (Tettey 73), van Wolfswinkel. Subs (not used): Mark Bunn, Ryan Bennett, Jacob Butterfield, David Fox, Luciano Becchio.

• Bookings: Martin (foul on Mirallas, 44); Turner (foul on Pienaar, 59).

• Goals: Whittaker (51), van Wolfswinkel (71)

• Everton: Howard, Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Barkley (Anichebe 90), Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar, Mirallas (Naismith 70), Jelavic (Kone 81). Subs (not used): Joel Robles, Johnny Heitinga, Gerard Deulofeu, John Stones.

• Goals: Barkley (61), Coleman (65)

• Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

• Attendance: 26,824

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25 comments

  • I saw that report, Michigan - I agree with you. Everton may have shaded possession but, despite being without Fer, Hooper, Pilks, Bassong and Snods, Norwich `done well`. With his two good feet, Whittaker could`ve played for Celtic OR Rangers. OTBC

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • Well, we should be third on MOTD tonight I reckon. I am happy with a point and the performance, because there should be more to come. Snodgrass was missed when we got set pieces in particular. I agree that defensively we didn't look great, but with Bassong coming back we should look better. I was also really glad to see the Wolf get a goal because the longer a striker goes, the more the doubts build. Generally, I thought he offered quite a bit up front and I can't wait to see how he develops. I can't wait to see the team play next week as well, especially if Fer plays. I feel quite confident about the season ahead. OTBC

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    Preston Canary

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • On another note, is anyone going to Hull from the North West next week. I might be looking to car share.

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    Preston Canary

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • The two starting debutants today really, really impressed me. Starting with Redmond who duly picked up MOTM was outstanding, to have someone who can take players on at ease and create space and make the pitch big is a huge asset. He also has a great appetite to get back and help out, really impressive and mature display. And RvW showed the class you get when you pay 8.5m pounds, he was sharp on the ball, very good turn of pace and good in the air. And of course the mark of all good strikers, you get 1 chance, 1 goal. Hugely impressive stuff, the money talks.

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    Willem

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Preston canary, I agree with you there about RvW. In the friendly I thought he looked lightweight, but v Everton he won tackles (one that led to a goal) and he looked more streetwisestrong. He looks lean and sharp, something we have missed in the last season up front. OTBC!!!!!!!!!!!

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    ivan sadd

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • Hooley, Snodgrass picked up a groin injury yesterday, not sure when he'll be available for selection.

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    Willem

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Michigan, your post made me re-read the Beeb report. I take your point, most of the more superior sounding adjectives appeared to be a shade of blue. However, it must be said, fortune played a greater part in City's goals, than Everton's. The stats also indicate a small blue dominance.

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    Dissaster

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • Watched this one on the internet and quite enjoyed it. Get the injured bodies back and it will be an interesting season. OTBC

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    Ded Sterile

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Before the match I would have happily taken a point today. Well done boys.Onwards and upwards now.

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    bustel

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Turner had a bad game and started he did last season at Fulham. Martin is not a premier league central defender. Hughton needs to strengthen at the back. Still a decent point to start with

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    andys

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Just to bring in a negative for good measure, I didn't like Hoolahan in that 10 role today, I think someone like Fer with a lot of drive and presence will be playing there rather than Wes, I'm afraid he just doesn't do enough and with the pace of the likes of Redmond and Bennett as well as the technical abilities possessed by RvW which we didn't have before with Holt, Wes is no longer our essential out-ball.

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    Willem

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • positive feedback i am surprised least all these comments are from fans who understand the premier league and what we expect to do this season, i agree with all comments, defo missed snoddy today though, hope it's not the west ham rumour again? and it's just his mrs having their baby, anybody heard anything of snoody?

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    hooley14

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • A good result considering the players we had missing. Whittaker was my man of the match as he played well both in defence and going forward then capped it off with a brilliant solo goal. I was shouting out for a substitution to be made before Everton scored their goals as Howson really cannot play in a defending mid-field role and they were cutting through us too easily. Had Tetty been brought on earlier we may well have held on to our 1-0 lead. Even then CH took Wes off rather than Howson, was I missing something I wonder. Redmond played well enough but sometimes hung on to the ball a bit too much at times, however, he looks a good prospect.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • before the game i would have been happy with a point Everton before Moyes Raids them are a very good side top 6-7 . I thought the game was quite even we could have done with more physical prescence in midfield (Leroy Fer) and maybe more cutting edge up front (hooper) so things are looking ok Bassong back in the back four soon and snodgrass and pilkingotn offering something else out wide every reason to be optimistic. OTBC

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    OhhhhHuckerrrrby

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Wise words there, ivan sadd, both about "tinted specs syndrome" and RvW`s feisty side. He was very mobile too, with those curving runs aiming to get behind defenders while staying onside (staying onside and mobility were things we were not too good at). I thought Danny Murphy and Alan Shearer formed a very good summarising team on MOTD. Apparently Lawro is now only a `squad player` so hopefully we`ll see less of him.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 19, 2013

  • I don't agree that our first goal was lucky. It was a really good run by Whittaker, a cracking shot which unluckily hit the post, and then a good finish from a tight angle. On Football Focus they spoke about Suarez and the way he gets ricochets when he dribbles the ball and they are not luck. I would say the same in Whittaker's case. I felt that the analysis on MOTD was decent as well last night. One thing I want to add about Van Wolfswinkle is that I was impressed by his strength as well. I can't wait to see how the team shapes up. OTBC

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    Preston Canary

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • With 4 or so key players not available not a bad result at all. Two good goals too.

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    Texas canary

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Not sure the caption to the picture is correct, RVW did not salvage a point, he simply scored an excellent equaliser from a Well placed cross by Whittaker. Had our wingers put in a few more decent crosses, then perhaps he would have found a late winner. Anyway things look good for next week if we can add at least two of our missing stars to the line up. Bassong will surely enhance our defence and Fer the midfield, OTBC.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • I think you'll see Wes going off the scene fairly soon. Howson was much better in that position than Wes after the change.

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    DocOhNo

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • I am happy with the point and that van Wolfswinkel opened his premier league account, great for Steven Whittaker as well. This is a team that will need to be taken seriously.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Thanks for the feedback guys. I did read we were a shade lucky to come away with a point, and that Everton had more possession. However, the report just seemed to "grudging" comments on anything NCFC did and "superlatives" about the things Everton did. Maybe I'm getting sensitive in my old age! I guess results will speak for themselves going forward - one way or another.

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    MichiganCanary

    Monday, August 19, 2013

  • Just read the BBC website report on the game - it appears to have been written by someone who really dislikes Norwich, making out they can do nothing right, and everything they achieve is not deservedlucky. Now having read the above report I feel a lot more optimistic about the new season. OTBC

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    MichiganCanary

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • billythebookie

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

  • Everton dominated possession throughout the game (90 mins) but we looked the more likely to score in the first 20. After that, we showed a lot of determination at 2-1 to stay in the game let alone equalise!! Superb goal by RVW and great block from Ruddy Cafu in last minute to save point. Don't get the feeling that websites reporting the game are Diss'ing us but rather seeing the game with neutral tinted specs!!!

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    ivan sadd

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

  • Given the absences of some key players, this was a decent result. With Everton in the ascendency after they equalised, it could have turned against us. We fought back well with some character, and a well taken goal. We need to retain a bit more posession particularly in the middle IMO

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

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