With the international break all said and done, the thrill of the Premier League returns at Goodison Park this weekend, as Norwich City travel to Everton on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
One of City’s greatest away wins at Everton came in 1993, a game in which a City name etched itself in the history books after taking the Merseyside squad apart.
Everton 1-5 Norwich City
25 September, 1993
What was on the line?
There wasn’t much hinging on this game in terms of position in the table, being as it was only the ninth game of the season. Nonetheless, the game meant a lot to Evertonians, who saw their team finish a mediocre 13th in the previous season. A team who were once a dominant force in the Premier League were now going through a period of struggle.
The start of the 1993-94 season saw a glimmer of hope, however, with Everton winning five of their eight games and sitting atop the table, hoping to continue this winning mentality against the Canaries and find their lost rhythm in the league.
How did the game unfold?
Everton found themselves quicker off the line than the Canaries and whilst riding the momentum of a hat-trick midweek against Lincoln, Paul Rideout made sure to mark his name on the scoresheet once more, striking a long ball from Andy Hinchcliffe past Bryan Gunn in the 13th minute.
An equaliser before the end of the first-half was what City were looking for, and it’s what Efan Ekoku found. Taking a through ball nicely in his stride, Ekoku made a run past the Everton defence, before sealing the chance with a powerful strike past Neville Southall between the sticks. Back to level terms with the Toffees, the second-half was bound to be a good one.
The Canaries had just found their feet in this game, and everything was falling into place. A cross from Chris Sutton saw Ekoku get his head on the ball once more, beating Southall yet again, and giving City the lead just before the hour had struck.
Invigorated by the brace, City were looking to put the nail in the coffin for Everton. A ball over the top of the Toffees' defence saw Ruel Fox clear on goal, taking a stab at raising the tally, Southall managed to save the effort but luck wasn’t on the ‘keeper's side, as the ball fell perfectly to the feet of Ekoku, who slotted it home in an open goal to complete his hat-trick.
At this point, Everton seemed deflated. The Canaries were sure to be leaving Goodison Park with the three points, and there wasn’t much that could change that. Continuing the brutal scoring, Ekoku capitalised on the mismatch in pace between him and Everton defenders Dave Watson and Gary Ablett. Taking a clear lead, the striker cruised the ball past Southall, guiding his shot on goal, despite Barry Horne’s effort at a goal-line clearance.
Four goals in one game cemented Ekoku in the history books of the Premier League as the first player to score four times in one match.
Sutton had his contribution known, with a fifth and final goal in favour of City, as a result of a well-timed strike past the defeated Southall, rounding off a historic game for the Canaries and Ekoku especially.
Norwich City: Gunn, Culverhouse, Butterworth, Polston, Newman, Sutton, Bowen, Crook, Fox, Goss, Ekoku
What happened next?
City went undefeated for the next seven games, until losing to Oldham 2-1 in November. After a difficult end to the season, consisting of seven losses in ten games, the Canaries finished an average 12th.
Meanwhile, Everton had a mixed bag of results following the loss, leading to Howard Kendall’s sacking in December. Caretaker manager Jimmy Gabriel was arguably worse than Kendall, losing six games and drawing one out of his seven games in charge. Everton finished a demoralising 17th that season, just two points off relegation at 44.
Everton managed to regain some of that lost form over the years, never to be relegated out of the Premier League, no matter how close it has come!