English Premiership

Osman makes point for Everton

2011-12-17 19:42
Leon Osman (AFP)

Liverpool - Leon Osman's late equaliser earned Everton a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich City on Saturday and prevented David Moyes' side from slipping to a third consecutive defeat.

The hosts were trailing to a cleverly taken Grant Holt goal -- his sixth in eight matches -- when Osman prodded home substitute Royston Drenthe's shot to earn the Toffees a share of the spoils at Goodison Park.

The point left Everton in 14th place in the Premier League table ahead of Wednesday's home game with Swansea City, while Paul Lambert's promoted Norwich are three points above them in ninth.

Seeking a reaction after consecutive 1-0 losses to Stoke City and Arsenal, Everton began in positive fashion and Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy had to smother at the feet of Marouane Fellaini in the eighth minute.

Russell Martin then headed off the line from Osman as the hosts maintained their siege of the Norwich goal, only for the visitors to take the lead with their first attempt at goal in the 28th minute.

Steve Morison's pass found Holt with his back to goal and the 30-year-old did superbly to spin away from Johnny Heitinga and Tony Hibbert before squeezing a shot between Leighton Baines and the right-hand post.

In response, Everton saw Louis Saha send a low right-footed effort narrowly wide of Ruddy's right-hand upright, while Osman drew a save from Ruddy with a rising left-footed effort after eight minutes of the second period.

Holt then sent a looping header inches wide of the top-right corner at the other end, before Osman - back in the side after a hamstring injury - skewed a right-footed shot wide after striding infield from the left flank.

Norwich's forward forays became less frequent as the game progressed, and Saha showed his frustration after heading over from Baines' cross with just over 15 minutes to go.

Moyes turned to Drenthe as the game entered its final stages and the on-loan Real Madrid player supplied the spark that presented Everton with the equaliser in the 81st minute.

The Dutchman picked up the ball wide on the right and stepped away from Bradley Johnson before firing in a low effort that Osman craftily diverted past the wrong-footed Ruddy.

Drenthe almost snatched a winner with four minutes remaining, but his viciously swerving long-range drive was deflected over the bar with some difficulty by Ruddy.

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