Everton 0 Norwich City 2

Steven Naismith nudged Norwich City in front against his old side Everton on Tuesday night. Picture

Steven Naismith nudged Norwich City in front against his old side Everton on Tuesday night. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City dumped Premier League Everton out of the EFL Cup to book their place in the fourth round on Tuesday night at Goodison Park.

Steven Naismith scored against his old club in the first half before Josh Murphy sealed the giant-killing for Alex Neil's squad with a sublime second in the 74th minute.

Only Robbie Brady survived from Saturday's 2-1 Championship win at Nottingham Forest in Neil's starting line-up. Nelson Oliveira made his debut following a summer move from Benfica and Naismith was back in the fold against his old club after being omitted from the matchday squad for the past three league games.

John Ruddy was another with Everton connections in the visitors' ranks, against a home side who had the attacking power of Ross Barkley, Aaron Lennon and Enner Valencia.

Much of the focus inevitably centred on new boy Oliveira. Neil feels the Portuguese international has the all-round game to be a hit at Carrow Road and there was an early glimpse of his movement when he drifted away from Mason Holgate but choked a shot, from Naismith's set.

Lennon's close range shot struck the diving Steven Whittaker on his upper arms at close range but referee Madley waved away home penalty appeals before Ruddy advanced to thwart Gerard Deulofeu.

Oliveira's gorgeous flick lost Holgate, tight to the touchline, but the frontman's heavy touch rolled through to Maarten Stekelenburg.

Most Read

This was a night for Neil's fringe men to press their claims to greater involvement but Murphy had the Scot turning away in anguish when he was easily robbed to spring a swift counter halted by Brady's covering challenge.

City appeared content for Everton to dominate possession in front of their back four with the Toffees lacking a cutting edge and a focal point in the absence of Romelu Lukaku.

This was in essence a game of patience on Merseyside as the hosts probed for a lapse in concentration, particularly in wide areas.

The energetic pressing and collective work rate of Youssouf Mulumbu and Louis Thompson in a dual screening role was a prominent facet in an otherwise staid affair in the opening 30 minutes at Goodison Park.

Barkley was presented with a rare chance to test Ruddy five minutes from the interval with a 25-yard free kick but the keeper guessed correctly.

City, however, did make the breakthrough in strange circumstances in the 41st minute when Naismith's looping shot struck his standing leg to deceive Stekelenburg after Alex Pritchard and Oliveira had combined down the left.

The immediate aftermath was equally bizarre as Naismith apologetically acknowledged a large number of home fans who rose in unison to applaud one of their former players.

Oliveira made way for Kyle Lafferty at the interval in one change from Neil. The hosts started in aggressive fashion with Gerard Deulofeu bending a free kick wide and then wastefully curling beyond Ruddy's far post.

Ronald Koeman responded to a growing sense of irritation around Goodison Park with a double change in the 68th minute, Kevin Mirallas and Yannick Bolasie replacing Deulofeu and Lennon respectively.

Ruddy denied Mirallas within seconds of his arrival with a diving stop to parry his 25-yard free kick before Valencia's goalbound strike hit Pritchard stationed on the line.

Norwich needed a pressure release and Murphy delivered in breathtaking fashion in the 74th minute when he cut inside Tom Cleverley before unleashing a rising strike on his left foot from 20 yards that brushed the underside of the bar.

Ashley Williams headed at Ruddy from seven yards with the hosts looking to avoid a humbling cup exit on home soil.

The former Evertonian then flew to his left to beat away Idrissa Gueye's goalbound shot in the 88th minute.

• Everton: Stekelenburg, Funes Mori, Williams, Holgate (Kone 83), Coleman, Gueye, Cleverley, Deulofeu (Mirallas 68), Barkley, Lennon (Bolasie 68), Valencia. Subs (not used): Robles, Jagielka, Barry, Oviedo.

• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Bennett, Bassong, Brady, Mulumbu (Godfrey 90), Thompson, Josh Murphy, Naismith, Pritchard (Turner 89), Oliveira (Lafferty 45). Subs: (not used): Jones, Canos, Morris, Grant.

• Bookings: Mulumbu (dissent, 50), Ruddy (time-wasting, 57); Lafferty (foul on Mori 86)

• Goals: Naismith (41), Murphy (74)

• Time added on: 2 minutes / 4 minutes

• Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorks)

• Attendance: 29,550

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter