Everton 2 Norwich City 0 match report: Everton secure Aiden McGeady and three easy points

Everton announced the capture of the Spartak Moscow midfielder before kick-off with superb goals from Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas securing victory shortly after

Goodison Park

If it was routine on the pitch, it was frantic off it. Roberto Martinez had insisted that Everton would sign Aiden McGeady in the summer when his contract with Spartak Moscow expired.

However, on Friday night, as the rain teemed down over Merseyside, a deal was agreed to sell the striker Nikica Jelavic to Hull City for £6m and the agreement to bring the 27-year-old winger to Goodison was brought forward by six months. It involved paying a £2m fee for McGeady (below) which, since the Russian season does not begin until the spring and the winger has not played since November, is a substantial sum.

Nevertheless, as Martinez made an £11m profit on his summer transfers and Jelavic has moved for more than David Moyes paid for him in January 2012, Everton can spare the cash. The desire to make the Croatia World Cup squad was the key to Jelavic’s desire to quit Merseyside as soon as practicable.

 

McGeady has long interested Martinez, who tried to sign him from Celtic when he managed at Wigan. McGeady, however, engineered a rather more ambitious move, spurning the town that produces Uncle Joe’s Mintballs and Heinz baked beans for the Russian capital, although things had lately begun to sour there.

“He was desperate to come back into the British game,” said Martinez, who agreed a four-and-a-half year contract with McGeady, who, happily for Everton, was in Glasgow rather than Moscow during the negotiations.

“He has not played a full game since mid-November and he is going to need time to get back in. He needs a mini pre-season and will join us for some warm-weather training in Tenerife. I have known him for a long, long time. He is a clever, clever footballer who has a real understanding of how to hurt teams.”

A glance at Martinez’s bench demonstrated why Everton might have been keen to accelerate the deal. With Gerard Deulofeu, Sylvain Distin and Ross Barkley, who has a suspected broken toe, all absent, The  People’s Club was short of people. 

Nevertheless, they coped with Norwich easily enough. Given that their last three journeys to the north-west had seen them concede 16 goals, a 2-0 defeat seems almost acceptable. The BBC had asked Robert de Niro and Sylvester Stallone to predict the score and they had gone for a 17-0 home win.

It never quite threatened that kind of scoreline, although Norwich were beaten by the time Kevin Mirallas’s free-kick curled past John Ruddy with an hour gone.

They attacked hard in the last quarter of an hour which saw Robert Snodgrass hit the post, but two goals down at Goodison is a strange time to start competing. With Sunderland and West Ham winning, Chris Hughton is only too well aware how close the cliff edge appears.

It took 23 minutes of shots blazed wide, miscues and pressure for Everton to break through and it came from the 50th and probably best Premier League goal Gareth Barry has scored.

It was delivered from 25 yards and dipped and swerved past Ruddy’s flailing gloves. More importantly, England manager Roy Hodgson, who considers Barry surplus to the national team’s requirements, was watching from the stands.

Line-ups:

Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Osman (Heitinga, 69), Pienaar (Naismith, 71); Lukaku.

Norwich (4-4-2): Ruddy; Whittaker, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Johnson, Fer, Garrido (Redmond, 67); Hooper, Van Wolfswinkel (Murphy, 88).

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Man of the match: Coleman (Everton)

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
'Prison Architect' players decide the fate of inmates
tech
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor