Premier League
EvertonEverton2NorwichNorwich City0

Everton 2-0 Norwich: Andros Townsend and Abdoulaye Doucoure inspire win over bottom club

By Ben CollinsBBC Sport
Andros Townsend scores a penalty for Everton against Norwich
Andros Townsend scored his fourth goal in six games in all competitions

Manager Rafael Benitez says Everton "will get better" after they beat the Premier League's bottom club Norwich to return to winning ways.

It also means the Toffees, who are on 13 points from six games, have won their first three home games of a top-flight season for the first time since 1989-90.

Andros Townsend gave Benitez's men the lead with a 29th-minute penalty, awarded with the help of the video assistant referee after a clumsy foul by Ozan Kabak on Allan.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then struck late in the second half to secure the Toffees' fourth win from six league games since Benitez took charge this summer.

Asked whether he expected this start, Benitez said: "Watching them in training, I expected that we could do well, but in the Premier League you never know. I'm a bit surprised but I'm quite happy and I think that we will get better."

Some Everton fans voiced their frustration after last week's 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa was followed by a Carabao Cup exit at Championship side QPR in midweek.

And there were more murmurs around Goodison Park as Norwich pressed for an equaliser in the second half.

But Doucoure's strike keeps the Canaries waiting for their first point since they secured an immediate return to the Premier League.

Only Portsmouth (2009-10) and Crystal Palace (2017-18), with seven, have had a longer losing streak from the beginning of a Premier League campaign.

And in a sequence that includes the last 10 games of the 2019-20 season, manager Daniel Farke has now suffered 16 consecutive top-flight defeats.

Doucoure strike settles Everton nerves

Everton 2-0 Norwich: Rafael Benitez 'really pleased' with Toffees' start to season

Everton made one change to the side who lost at Villa last week, with England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford returning after two games out with a shoulder injury.

With Richarlison and club captain Seamus Coleman still out, Alex Iwobi and Salomon Rondon kept their place after coming in at Villa Park.

And the two combined to set up an early chance for Townsend, who fired straight at Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul.

Iwobi then linked up with Demarai Gray and the ball bounced into the path of Allan, who took a heavy touch into the box and went down as Kabak made a hopeful swing for the ball.

Referee David Coote was advised to look at the pitchside monitor, and replays showed that Kabak caught Allan across his thigh.

Townsend - who scored just twice over his final two seasons with Crystal Palace - sent Krul the wrong way for his fourth goal already this season.

But his two first-half attempts were Everton's only efforts on target until Doucoure settled the nerves by firing inside the far post from Gray's pass on 77 minutes.

In the meantime, two long-range strikes by Mathias Normann forced diving saves from the returning Everton keeper Pickford either side of half-time.

And while Norwich's losing start to the season continues, the fight they showed during the second half will be far more encouraging for Farke than the manner of last week's 3-1 loss at home to fellow promoted side Watford.

Everton 2-0 Norwich: Daniel Farke says key moments went against the Canaries

Player of the match

GrayDemarai Gray

with an average of 7.62

Everton

  1. Squad number11Player nameGray
    Average rating

    7.62

  2. Squad number14Player nameTownsend
    Average rating

    7.59

  3. Squad number16Player nameDoucouré
    Average rating

    7.47

  4. Squad number6Player nameAllan
    Average rating

    7.19

  5. Squad number61Player nameDobbin
    Average rating

    6.91

  6. Squad number12Player nameDigne
    Average rating

    6.90

  7. Squad number24Player nameGordon
    Average rating

    6.89

  8. Squad number26Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    6.86

  9. Squad number22Player nameGodfrey
    Average rating

    6.81

  10. Squad number13Player nameMina
    Average rating

    6.81

  11. Squad number5Player nameKeane
    Average rating

    6.76

  12. Squad number17Player nameIwobi
    Average rating

    6.65

  13. Squad number33Player nameRondón
    Average rating

    6.36

  14. Squad number1Player namePickford
    Average rating

    5.71

Norwich City

  1. Squad number22Player namePukki
    Average rating

    5.88

  2. Squad number16Player nameNormann
    Average rating

    5.87

  3. Squad number24Player nameSargent
    Average rating

    5.76

  4. Squad number21Player nameWilliams
    Average rating

    5.69

  5. Squad number1Player nameKrul
    Average rating

    5.67

  6. Squad number20Player nameLees-Melou
    Average rating

    5.65

  7. Squad number23Player nameMcLean
    Average rating

    5.62

  8. Squad number5Player nameHanley
    Average rating

    5.58

  9. Squad number2Player nameAarons
    Average rating

    5.53

  10. Squad number4Player nameGibson
    Average rating

    5.40

  11. Squad number15Player nameKabak
    Average rating

    5.33

  12. Squad number18Player nameTzolis
    Average rating

    4.79

  13. Squad number17Player nameRashica
    Average rating

    4.59

  14. Squad number30Player nameGiannoulis
    Average rating

    4.14

Line-ups

Everton

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Pickford
  • 22Godfrey
  • 13Mina
  • 5Keane
  • 12DigneBooked at 56mins
  • 14TownsendSubstituted forGordonat 76'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 16Doucouré
  • 6Allan
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forDobbinat 89'minutes
  • 11GraySubstituted forDaviesat 83'minutes
  • 33Rondón

Substitutes

  • 2Kenny
  • 4Holgate
  • 15Begovic
  • 24Gordon
  • 26Davies
  • 31Lonergan
  • 32Branthwaite
  • 50Simms
  • 61Dobbin

Norwich

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 15KabakBooked at 54minsSubstituted forRashicaat 69'minutes
  • 5Hanley
  • 4Gibson
  • 21WilliamsBooked at 84minsSubstituted forGiannoulisat 86'minutes
  • 20Lees-MelouBooked at 80mins
  • 16NormannSubstituted forTzolisat 69'minutes
  • 23McLean
  • 24Sargent
  • 22Pukki

Substitutes

  • 7Rupp
  • 8Gilmour
  • 10Dowell
  • 17Rashica
  • 18Tzolis
  • 28Gunn
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 35Idah
  • 44Omobamidele
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
38,821

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home11
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 2, Norwich City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 2, Norwich City 0.

  3. Booking

    Anthony Gordon (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Dimitris Giannoulis (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Gordon (Everton).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Christos Tzolis (Norwich City).

  7. Post update

    Ben Godfrey (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Max Aarons (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Salomón Rondón (Everton).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Lewis Dobbin replaces Alex Iwobi.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Max Aarons (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Milot Rashica with a headed pass.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Dimitris Giannoulis replaces Brandon Williams.

  13. Post update

    Ben Gibson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Salomón Rondón (Everton).

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ben Godfrey (Everton) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Keane.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Keane (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lucas Digne with a cross following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tom Davies (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Booking

    Brandon Williams (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Brandon Williams (Norwich City).

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