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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Saturday 23 November 2019; 3:00pm
0 2
Half Time: 0 - 0 
Cantwell 54', Srbeny 90'+2
Attendance: 39,241
Fixture 13
Referee: Anthony Taylor

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Match Summary
Match Report
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  Sidibé (Coleman 66' booked)
  Holgate booked
  Schneiderlin booked (Iwobi 56')
  Walcott (Calvert-Lewin 66')
  Subs not used
  Bernard (injured)
  Delph (injured)
  Gbamin (injured)
  Gomes (injured)
  Besic (loan)
  Dowell (loan)
  Garbutt (loan)
  Hornby (loan)
  Kenny (loan)
  Pennington (loan)
  Ramirez (loan)

  Aarons booked
  Zimmerman booked
  Byram booked
  Tettey booked
  McLean booked (Amadou 88')
  Cantwell (Buendia 80')
  Pukki (Srbeny 90'+1)
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Arsenal 2-2 Southampton
Bournemouth 1-2 Wolves
Brighton 0-2 Leicester
C Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Everton 0-2 Norwich
Man City 2-1 Chelsea
Watford 0-3 Burnley
West Ham 2-3 Tottenham
Sheff United 3-3 Man United
Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle

1 Liverpool 37
2 Leicester City 29
3 Manchester City 28
4 Chelsea 26
5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19
6 Sheffield United 18
7 Burnley 18
8 Arsenal 18
9 Manchester United 17
10 Tottenham Hotspur 17
11 Bournemouth 16
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 15
13 Crystal Palace 15
14 Newcastle United 15
15 Aston Villa 14
16 Everton 14
17 West Ham United 13
18 Norwich City 10
19 Southampton 9
20 Watford 8

Match Report

At the end of another dreary first half at Goodison Park, you were left with the feeling that we, as Evertonians, were just biding our time… for Theo Walcott to be substituted around the 70-minute mark; for Alex Iwobi to come on like a fortnight ago and make the kind of telling contribution that makes a mockery of his selection among the substitutes and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s deployment in the No 10 role; for Silva to throw on Dominic Calvert-Lewin either in place of or addition to Cenk Tosun, etc…

Mostly, though, it felt like the Everton fraternity is simply marking time until Marco Silva’s time is up and the Board put a merciful end to a failed tenure. By 5pm this evening, that timescale appeared to have compressed dramatically with the Portuguese’s future at Goodison Park now to be measured if not in hours then perhaps days after a 2-0 defeat that was shocking even by the dreadful standards already set this season.

Many Blues expected Silva to pick up three points against a Norwich side who came into the match rock bottom, eke out a few points from a daunting December programme and limp his way to May where, maybe, the Everton hierarchy would make a bold decision to replace him with someone more experienced and more qualified.

Now, there is an urgency about the managerial situation at Goodison with the team in danger of spiralling out of control in a manner evoking the death throes of Ronald Koeman and Roberto Martinez’s reigns. Indeed, there was a very “last days of Martinez” feel to this match after Norwich took a second-half lead and the dread set in that not only would Everton not recover but, just like Sheffield United did in September, the Canaries would complete the job with a late second.

That they, of course, did and it triggered a chorus of loud boos and a rapid emptying of the stands as disgusted fans poured out into the streets around Goodison amid a crushing sense of collective deja-vu while many of those who remained to the bitter end made no secret of their feelings.

That Everton always provide accommodating opposition for any team or player struggling through a poor run is the stuff of gallows humour and social media meme but after two wins and a draw since the frustrating events at Brighton last month, there can’t have been many Blues who foresaw what unfolded today.

Norwich arrived on Merseyside without an away win, just a single goal on their travels since they regained promotion and a stench of the doomed about them. But they matched Everton in a dull first half and should really have gone into the interval a goal to the good when Onel Hernandez was played in behind the centre-backs but was foiled by Jordan Pickford.

By full-time, they had run rings around a desperately poor Toffees outfit, carved them open to score their first in the 55th minute, added a somewhat fortunate but predictable second in stoppage time and were just a Teemu Pukki goal — after a flying start in the top flight, the Finn was seven games without a goal — from putting the cherry on top of the “Everton, That” cake.

In his post-match comments, Silva blamed a lack of intensity, mobility and pace in his team’s game but they were a direct consequence of a team selection that was, on its face, a safe one based on the win at Southampton but which had the pedestrian Sigurdsson as its attacking fulcrum. Frankly, the Iceland international isn’t worth a place in the side let alone the captaincy and yet not only was he handed the honour of leading the side out, he played the whole game. Never mind that it was Iwobi’s introduction that was the catalyst for the victory at St Mary’s Stadium or that the mercurial Nigerian has always played with an energy, purpose and directness about his game since arriving from Arsenal.

Shorn of options elsewhere by the injuries to André Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Silva had to use another lead-footed midfielder in the form of Morgan Schneiderlin but he might have been regretting even that decision as the Frenchman ambled behind the play while Pukki managed to squirm away from Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate before prodding the ball to Todd Cantwell who had time and space to pick his spot past Pickford for the opening goal.

Up front, despite turning in a distinctly average display a fortnight ago, Tosun was the beneficiary of Silva’s reluctance to change his starting XI but was fortunate to stay on the pitch for the duration this afternoon after offering almost nothing up front. Instead, it was Djibril Sidibé, admittedly poor on the day but no worse than anyone else, who came off and Seamus Coleman was thrown on for reasons best known to the manager. The “present and future of Everton”, an Italian teenager who must be wondering where he went wrong in life, remained on the bench.

After all of his three subs were on the pitch, Silva had more or less the same 4-2-4 formation as against Sheffield United but despite Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s industry and some intermittent penetration from Iwobi, they looked just as likely to score as they did against the Blades.

Indeed, in the end, while the statistics will show that the hosts had seven shots on target, with a further handful charged down, only one of them, a Tosun effort across Tim Krul from a lovely Iwobi pass, was the only one that forced a meaningful save from the opposition keeper.

Tosun had lashed a shot wide in the first period and Walcott’s ball across the face of goal had fizzed just beyond Richarlison’s out-stretched boot while at the other end, Schneiderlin’s vital deflection of a Cantwell half-volley perhaps saved Everton from going into the break a goal down.

There was a strong sense that Silva needed to make a change at the break, something the manager himself alluded to in his post-match interview, but despite Pukki getting in behind the defence and being shut down by Lucas Digne’s covering challenge, he delayed because the Blues had a brief flurry of increased tempo and pressure on the Canaries’ goal early in the second half.

A trio of shots were blocked by Norwich’s dogged defence but the pendulum swung dramatically the other way moments later when Cantwell was put in to make it 1-0. And were it not for Sam Byram making a hash of a glaringly free header five minutes after that, it would have been 2-0.

Sigurdsson had a couple of shots from the edge of the box that were aimed more or less straight at Krul and Davies had a dipping shot from distance but that didn’t unduly trouble the Dutch keeper either and there was a general lack of authority, belief and effectiveness about Everton’s attacking play.

It was that bad, so disorganised, passionless, lethargic and lacking in leadership that even if they had managed to rescue a point, it wouldn’t have been enough to dampen the growing sense that Silva’s week-to-week case for remaining in the post now needs to come to a definitive end.

The Board should now act — it must — and perhaps only the lack of immediately viable and available candidates has prevented them from doing so thus far. And further delay is surely just postponing the inevitable.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

With the final international break of the calendar year out of the way, Everton return to Premier League action this weekend with the visit of the division's bottom club, Norwich City.

Marco Silva named an unchanged side for the game with Norwich City, with Tosun leading the line while Kean and Calvert-Lewin are on the bench.

The game got underway and Norwich showed they were determined to give Everton a game, Sigurdsson getting an unwelcome facial massage that needed treatment early on. The Blues were called upon to defend as the red-shirted Canaries moved the ball around well enough, almost getting a shot in on Pickford.

Norwich notched up the first corner of the game with another probing attack on Sidibe's side and a clean header was goalbound but grasped easily by Pickford, and Everton went up the Park End to win their first corner, played low to no-one in particular by Walcott, a complete waste.

Hernandez attacked down the Everton left and wriggled inside to have his shot at Pickford, in what was looking to be a very open game. Everton attacked well, Tosun firing across goal after a neat exchange with Sigurdsson.

Walcott dug out an excellent low cross aimed for Richarlison but the Brazilian couldn't convert. Everton played out of the back but Scheneiderlin passes straight to a Norwich player and then dives in recklessly to rectify and earns an unnecessary yellow card.

Zimmerman was beaten for pace by Richarlison, and impeded him illegally, earning himself a yellow card from referee Taylor. Digne put it onto Tosun's head but it lacked the power and direction needed to beat Krul in the Norwich goal.

Everton threatened from a corner, only to see Norwich break well with Hernandez forcing a fine save from Pickford and Everton scrambled the ball away. Everton's attacked suffered from poor passing accuracy, Richarlison getting caught in a sandwich.

The Blues were getting the calls from Taylor, Walcott getting fouled in a good position wide right, from where Digne fired in a great ball, Byron beating Davies to the header for another Everton corner. But it was a weird near-post attempt from Sigurdsson that fooled even the Everton players.

Richarlison then got the wrong side of a foul on Aarons, giving away a dangerous set-piece that needed a good header behind from Mina. From the Norwich corner, Richarlison defended it well, but the break was stopped by a strong challenge and Everton were under pressure again. Cantwell had a glorious chance but Schneiderlin deflected his shot over the bar.

Everton had struggled to really master Norwich's game plan, with the visitors leading on points at the break, thanks to some fine speedy attacks that probably deserved a goal, while Everton had if anything wasted their opportunities at the other end, especially from a string of poorly delivered corners.

Before the break, another lively probing attack wins a corner for Norwich, with the zonal marking looking chaotic as Holgate headed away and some boos for the referee when the whistle went.

Pukki really gave the Everton backline a fright after the restart, bursting through, brushing Holgate aside easily and needing a fine intervention from Digne to prevent the shot on goal.

Some fine passing won an Everton corner that Sigurdsson this time delivered better but headed away, but Tosun's effort was blocked. Strong pressure from Everton on more corners but the ball just would not drop fro the Blue shirts and Norwich survived the strongest attack sequence of the game so far.

Walcott got free but Krul was out quickly and Norwich went up the other end, and scored far too easily, Pukki bamboozled both Holgate and Mina to feed Cantwell who slotted with consummate ease past a bewildered Pickford. Very poor.

Iwobi replaced Schneiderlin, apparently planned before the goal, but Silva now under massive pressure to rectify an intolerable situation.

But Norwich were buoyed by the goal and continued to give Everton an unwelcome challenge. From a corner, a free header for Byram was amazingly driven wide when it seemed easier for Norwich to score.

The Blues were teetering, unable to exert any kind of grip on the game, with Silva visibly frustrated and the crowd even more so. He gave Calvert-Lewin a lengthy pre-switch lecture, before switching out Walcott, with Coleman also coming on for Sidibe.

Sigurdsson had a couple of chances after that but neither were strong enough nor well directed to break the duck. The frustrations in the Goodison crowd, however, were palpable. Coleman created havoc with a fine low cross but it evaded Calvert-Lewin at the far post and Everton remained a goal down.

Mina was called for a foul and another set-piece put the Blues under more pressure, the ball defended away, however. Sigurdsson had a couple of bites, one blocked, the other driven wide of Krul but the Norwich keeper spread himself well to stop it. Tosun was next to lash a shot goalwards only for Krul to palm it away. Iwobi then fired over.

Iwobi put in a teasing cross, but Krul did well. Things got heated between Holgate ad Aarons over something after Cantwell injured himself, both getting yellow cards. VAR then checking Holgate's perceived encroachment on Krul's space.

Calvert-Lewin did a brilliant job bringing down a long forward pass from Davies but he could not follow it up and another Everton attack dissolved into nothing. Sigurdsson was rolled over, a decent shooting position a little far out. Digne's attempt was far too weak.

Davies had a decent shot from distance but Krul would not be beaten that easily, as the final minutes of a hugely disappointing game for the Blues ticked away. A dismal performance was underlined in the final minute by a second goal for Norwich, when substitute Srbeny benefitted from a ball played through to him by Sigursdsson and finished well past Pickford despite attentions from at least four ineffective Everton defenders.

Utterly dismal stuff from the Blues who lose another must-win game in front of a very angry Goodison Park crowd. Will this be the final straw for Marco Silva's tenure as Everton manager?

Kick off: 3pm, Saturday, 23 November 2019

Everton: Pickford; Sidibe (66' Coleman), Mina, Holgate, Digne; Davies, Schneiderlin [Y:] (52' Iwobi); Walcott (66' Calvert-Lewin), Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Tosun.
Subs not Used: Lossl, Keane, Baningime, Kean.

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Zimmermann [Y:], Godfrey, Byram, Tettey [Y:], Hernandez, Trybull, McLean (88' Amadou), Cantwell (80' Benuida), Pukki (90' Srbeny).
Subs not Used: Roberts, Vrancic, Emi, Stiepermann, Fahrmann.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 39,241

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

With the final international break of the calendar year out of the way, Everton return to Premier League action this weekend with the visit of the division's bottom club, Norwich City.

It's an opportunity for Marco Silva's team to record back-to-back league victories for the first time this season following the 2-1 win at Southampton a fortnight ago.

Since their stunning triumph at the Etihad Stadium last month, the Canaries have failed to register a win and have scored just two goals in their last five matches. It means that they come into this weekend mired in 20th spot, four points from safety.

That, combined with a run of three matches now without defeat in all competitions, has ratcheted up expectation among Evertonians that this should be a comfortable three points for the hosts. However, Silva's side have rarely made it easy for themselves and as such there are no easy matches.

Nevertheless, Everton will come into this fixture with a degree of confidence as they look to close the gap between themselves and the top five, which currently stands at just three points.

In addition to long-term absentees, André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Silva is almost certain to be without Bernard and Fabian Delph, both of whom were rated as doubtful by the manager yesterday.

Cenk Tosun, meanwhile, has been cleared to play after he was forced to sit out of Turkey's two most recent Euro2020 qualifiers because of a minor groin injury.

Everton may have won their last game but it remains to be seen whether he keeps faith with the same starting XI, particularly as it was only after Alex Iwobi in particular entered the fray that the Blues found the cutting edge to carve out the winner for Richarlison.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott and Tosun were in the line-up at St Mary's but with Silva demonstrating little faith in Moise Kean as a starting striker and Dominic Calvert-Lewin having been named among the subs in each of the last three Premier League games, both the former Gunner and the Turk could yet feature from the start again. Iwobi, meanwhile, will push Sigurdsson hard for the No 10 role.

If results go the Toffees' way this weekend, they could well find themselves in the top half of the table heading into what has long been regarded as a daunting run of fixtures.

A strong performance against a struggling Norwich side that already looks doomed would go a long way towards providing the team with the confidence to approach December with less trepidation than they otherwise would.

Kick off: 3pm, Saturday, 23 November, 2019
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Last Time: Everton Norwich

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Sidibé, Holgate, Mina, Digne, Schneiderlin, Davies, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Richarlison, Tosun

Lyndon Lloyd

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