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Match Reports

Everton v Norwich City

20 September 2016


STEVEN Naismith struck against his former side as Norwich City progressed to the fourth round of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 at Premier League outfit Everton on Tuesday evening.

The Scotland international netted towards the end of a first half which offered few clear-cut opportunities; the Toffees often controlling possession but City limiting their chances well.

Latching onto an intelligent flick from debutant forward Nelson Oliveira, Naismith moved clear of his marker before lifting beyond Maarten Stekelenburg on 42 minutes.

City began the second period in positive fashion, at times threatening to extend their advantage before Everton began to assert themselves as they looked for a route back into the game.

Resilient defending preserved the Canaries' lead however, and they deservedly struck what would be a decisive blow just over 15 minutes from time when Josh Murphy netted in style.

Collecting the ball on the right flank, Murphy moved smoothly into the box before whipping home a delightful left-footed effort to kill off the home side's challenge. 

Alex Neil made a total of ten changes from the team which started Saturday's 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest, with Robbie Brady the only player to retain his place as he shifted to left-back in place of Martin Olsson.

Those alterations meant a maiden appearance in City colours for striker Nelson Oliveira, while Alex Pritchard started a senior game for the first time since joining from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

Goalkeeper John Ruddy was recalled to the starting XI for the first time since suffering a groin injury in the second match of the campaign, with Louis Thompson and Youssouf Mulumbu chosen to anchor midfield.

The Canaries were skippered by Sebastien Bassong, who began in central defence alongside Ryan Bennett, while Steven Whittaker and Josh Murphy were also included.

Among the substitutes, there were places for youngsters Carlton Morris, Ben Godfrey and Ray Grant - as well as Sergi Canos.   

Nelson Oliveira had already made a couple of tidy contributions before his involvement in Steven Naismith's opener.

The frontman, making his first appearance for the Club, had shown neat touches throughout the first half, helping to create space for those around him on a number of occasions.

Oliveira's awareness as the interval neared proved telling, with his flick around the corner for Naismith releasing the Scotland international to break the deadlock of a relatively chanceless first half.

That goal gave City the impetus to begin the second period on the front foot, and then ultimately something to protect ahead of notching a second to effectively wrap up the game.

City's win takes them into the fourth round of the EFL Cup, with the draw to take place later this week.

We'll be first with who City will face in the next stage of the competition, so keep an eye on our channels to see who Alex Neil's men will come up against next.

GOALSCanaries: Steven Naismith (42), Josh Murphy (74).

EVERTON: Stekelenburg; Williams, Deulofeu (Mirallas, 67), Barkley, Lennon (Bolasie, 67), Cleverley, Gueye, Valencia, Coleman (c), Funes Mori, Holgate (Kone, 83). Subs not used: Robles (GK), Jagielka, Barry, Oviedo.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Bennett, Bassong (c), Brady; Mulumbu (Godfrey, 90), Thompson; Jo. Murphy, Naismith, Pritchard (Turner, 89); Oliveira (Lafferty, 46). Subs not used: Jones (GK), Canos, Morris, Grant.

REFEREE: Andrew Madley   

The Canaries return to league action on Saturday when they host Burton Albion in the Sky Bet Championship (3pm).

Tickets for the game at Carrow Road are on general sale HERE.

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