Jelavic is all-round success story for Moyes
Norwich City 2 Everton 2
Sunday 08 April 2012
Norwich claimed the point that conventional wisdom says will keep them in the Premier League – their 40th – while Everton maintained a level of form that will take them towards their FA Cup semi-final date on Saturday with Liverpool in good heart.
Everton will hope their defending shows an improvement on the ramshackle display it became at times in the second half yesterday; but in Nikica Jelavic they have a strong, mobile forward whose two goals showed he also has the light touch of a confident, stylish goalscorer. His manager, David Moyes, was delighted with the all-round contribution of the Croatian he signed from Rangers in January. "He scored two really good goals," said Moyes, "He sees scoring goals as his main job but he is a real presence at centre-forward as well and links up play; he's adapted really well and made a big difference to us."
Norwich's manager, Paul Lambert, refused to say his side were safe but was delighted by their performance. "I have nothing but praise for my team," he said. "They played with enthusiasm and hunger against a brilliant side with a brilliant manager."
Lambert was especially pleased with his own January signing, Jonny Howson, scorer of the first of Norwich's two equalisers. "I've told Jonnyhe's just given one of the best midfield performances I've seen," he said.
Everton went ahead after 21 minutes of domination when the centre-back Phil Jagielka, turning on a pass from Leighton Baines, fed Jelavic, who found the far bottom corner of thenet with a deft flourish of the outside of his right boot.
Norwich's first serious shot on goal came after 35 minutes when Andrew Surman fired just wide. Four minutes later, the Canaries were level, the former Leeds captain Howson arriving unmarked in the six-yard area to score his first goal for the club from Wes Hoolahan's low cross.
Everton regained the lead in the 61st minute in circumstances that incensed the home team. Norwich appeared to stop playing, believing they should have had a free-kick midway in their own half; the referee, Andre Marriner, however, clearly waved play on, and Everton did so, Baines feeding Steven Pienaar, whose pass was turned in by Jelavic with another fine finish.
Norwich, fired with a sense of injustice, levelled for the second time in the 77th minute. Substitute Aaron Wilbraham broke free and after having his shot saved by Tim Howard, set up Grant Holt for a simple finish.
Norwich (4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Ward, Drury (Naughton, 75); E Bennett, Fox (Wilbraham, 65), Surman, Hoolahan (Crofts, 90); Howson; Holt.
Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Gueye (Coleman, 45), Gibson, Neville (Fellaini, 56), Pienaar; Cahill (Anichebe, 81); Jelavic.
Referee Andre Marriner.
Man of the match Howson (Norwich).
Match rating 8/10.
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