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Match Reports

Everton v Norwich City

15 May 2016


CITY were beaten 3-0 by Everton in their final Barclays Premier League match of the season.

Alex Neil's Canaries were playing for pride after relegation to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed on Wednesday despite their 4-2 victory over Watford.

But they faced a reinvigorated Toffees side who, once they had taken the lead through James McCarthy in the first half, cruised to a straightforward victory at Goodison Park.

Leighton Baines' penalty just before the break doubled their advantage before Kevin Mirallas all but ended the contest with a tap-in just three minutes after the restart.

From midweek, Neil made two changes: Matt Jarvis came in for Wes Hoolahan, while Cameron Jerome replaced Dieumerci Mbokani. John Ruddy and Steven Naismith started against their former club.

Everton handed full debuts to Academy starlets Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell as David Unsworth took charge alongside Joe Royle in their first match since Roberto Martinez's departure on Thursday. Goalkeeper Tim Howard played his final game for the club after a decade on Merseyside.

The hosts' leading scorer Romelu Lukaku tested Ruddy within the first minute as he was picked out in the left channel, but City's 'keeper was equal to his half volley.

City were forced into a change after just ten minutes when Martin Olsson pulled up with a muscle injury, Robbie Brady entered the play as his replacement.

Two minutes later, Ruddy was called into action again, twice denying Lukaku - firstly getting a strong right hand to a low shot before adjusting his position to keep out the Belgian's deflected second attempt.

Ruddy could do nothing about the opener on 19 minutes, however - Jerome saw a header saved up the other end before a fast counter-attack led to McCarthy powering in from 20 yards for the home side.

Swiftly after, Lukaku turned a Kevin Mirallas cross over the bar as Everton continued on the ascendency, with City struggling to put together any attacking moves.

Mirallas found the sidenetting when Lukaku turned provider not long after, but Norwich rallied and Nathan Redmond whipped a shot narrowly over Howard's bar following a spell of pressure.

Neil's team were seeing more of the ball and created another opening four minutes before half-time when Jerome teed up Jarvis, but the winger skewed his effort off target under a challenge.

Everton strengthened their foothold in the game just before half-time, though, when they were awarded a penalty.

Substitute Brady was deemed to have tugged Lukaku down in the box by referee Lee Mason, and Baines made no mistake from 12 yards.

HALF-TIME: Everton 2-0 Norwich City

Three minutes into the second period, Everton got their third - McCarthy held up play for long enough to slide in Jonjoe Kenny on the overlap, and Mirallas was left free at the far post to turn home his deflected cross.

The home side were content with keeping the ball and not forcing any more openings, and City nearly got a goal back when Brady fired a low shot that Howard did well to keep out at his near-post.

The second half had a distinct end of season feel to it, however, but City's fans continued to sing and back their team despite defeat inevitable.

Ross Barkley, who had come on for Dowell, set off on a determined run half the length of the pitch on 75 minutes before scrambling a shot at Ruddy, who made a simple stop.

City kept going until the end, but a difficult season came to a close in poor fashion as Everton eased over the finishing line.

FULL-TIME: Everton 3-0 Norwich City

GOALS: Toffees: James McCarthy (19), Leighton Baines (pen 44), Kevin Mirallas (48)

EVERTON: Howard, Baines, Stones, Jagielka (c), Pennington (Kenny 29), Barry, McCarthy (Lennon 53), Davies, Mirallas, Lukaku, Dowell (Barkley 69). Subs not used: Joel (GK), Cleverley, Osman, Connolly.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin (c), Bennett (Bassong 49), Olsson (Brady 10); Redmond, Dorrans, O'Neil, Jarvis (Hoolahan 71); Naismith, Jerome. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Whittaker, Andreu, Odjidja.

REFEREE: Lee Mason

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