English Premiership

Norwich, Everton share points

2013-08-17 21:08
Steven Pienaar (File)
Norwich - Norwich City's record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel marked his English Premiership debut with a goal to earn his new side a 2-2 draw at home to Everton on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Dutch striker, an £8.5 million signing from Sporting Lisbon, scored with a 71st-minute header to earn Chris Hughton's side a point after Everton came from behind to lead.

His goal prevented Roberto Martinez from enjoying victory in his first competitive game as Everton manager, after he succeeded the Manchester United-bound David Moyes during the close season.

Goals from Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman had turned the game in Everton's favour after Steven Whittaker gave Norwich a 51st-minute lead, only for Van Wolfswinkel to steal the show.

The Dutch international was handed a start by Hughton and he came close to making an early breakthrough in the 14th minute, only for Everton centre-back Sylvain Distin to intervene with a timely headed clearance.

Martinez left new signings Arouna Kone and Gerard Deulofeu on the bench, but it did not prevent the visitors from gradually asserting a grip on the game.

Marouane Fellaini headed over from a Leighton Baines corner, Kevin Mirallas shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area, and Barkley drilled an effort inches over the bar in the dying stages of the first half.

The second period looked destined to follow a similar pattern after Mirallas shot into the side-netting in the early stages, but instead it was the home side who broke the deadlock.

Whittaker eluded Fellaini after roving forward from right-back and when his initial shot came back off the post, he reacted sharply to drill the ball home from a tight angle.

Everton were quick to react, however, and they drew level after 10 minutes when Barkley collected a pass from Coleman and rifled a vicious shot inside the right-hand post from 22 yards.

Coleman put Everton ahead four minutes later, gobbling up a rebound from close range after Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy had blocked an effort from Nikica Jelavic with his face.

However, Norwich refused to give in, and with 19 minutes remaining, van Wolfswinkel sharply redirected a shot from Whittaker to crown his introduction to English football with a goal.

Everton continued to push - Ruddy brilliantly saving from Steven Naismith, Russell Martin blocking Jelavic's follow-up effort, and the excellent Coleman grazing the post with a 20-yard drive -- but Norwich held on.

Read more on:    everton  |  norwich  |  english premiership  |  soccer

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