Norwich 0-1 Everton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Michael Keane Earns Toffees Win at Carrow Road

Michael Keane, Tim Krul
Michael Keane's header settled the contest | Pool/Getty Images

Everton secured their first win out of lockdown as Michael Keane's header condemned Norwich to their fourth Premier League defeat in five games.

The deadlock was broken ten minutes into the second half following a pretty turgid opening period, as Keane rose highest to flick in Lucas Digne's corner with the help of some static Norwich defending.

The Canaries struggled to create clear chances, with their best opportunities coming when Onel Hernandez hit the post and Lukas Rupp forced Jordan Pickford into a save.

NORWICH

Key Talking Point

If it wasn't already previously, the writing seems to be on the wall for Norwich.

A relatively encouraging opening against Southampton was quickly rubbished when they conceded three goals in the second half.

Daniel Farke
Daniel Farke during the Everton loss | Pool/Getty Images

Daniel Farke dropped Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell - his two most successful goalscorers in the league - for Everton's visit, instead opting for the attacking quartet of Onel Hernandez, Ondrej Duda, Lukas Rupp and Josip Drmic. That four had managed just two goals between them before Wednesday's fixture.

So, perhaps it's not entirely surprising that the home side struggled for clear-cut chances against Everton. While Hernandez looked bright at points - the winger seeing his deflected strike hit the post early on - as did Duda, Drmic was ineffectual leading the line in Pukki's absence.

The Canaries are still marooned at the bottom of the Premier League table, and if they can't find any potency in the final third extremely soon, their relegation from the top flight will be confirmed sooner rather than later.

Norwich City Player Ratings

Starting XI: Krul (6); Aarons (7), Godfrey (6), Klose (6), Lewis (5); McLean (5), Tettey (5); Rupp (5), Duda (6), Hernandez (6); Drmic (5).

Substitutes: Buendia (6), Pukki (5), Vrancic (5), Idah (5), Cantwell (N/A).

Max Aarons

FBL-ENG-PR-NORWICH-EVERTON
Max Aarons battling for possession | KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/Getty Images

It wouldn't normally have been a stand-out performance for Aarons, but bar perhaps Tim Krul and Hernandez, few Norwich players looked efficient throughout the 90 minutes.

The 20-year-old had a strong showing down the right, minimising Bernard's output, won four tackles and was tidy in possession. But there really wasn't much competition for him for the award of Norwich's best player.

EVERTON

Key Talking Point

Carlo Ancelotti, Duncan Ferguson
Carlo Ancelotti with Duncan Ferguson | Julian Finney/Getty Images

While the Merseyside derby was pretty tragic viewing for anyone not of an Everton or Liverpool persuasion, it did at least show that the Toffees were ready for the Premier League's resumption.

Carlo Ancelotti's side arguably should have beaten their local rivals, but the signs were there to indicate they can push for a top ten finish. The defensive steel from the 0-0 draw with Liverpool was present again on Wednesday evening, and their attacking output grew as the game went on.

Keane's header was just reward for Everton's early pressure in the second half, and there were a few occasions on the break when the visiting side could have been more efficient in front of goal.

Nevertheless, it's a win that takes Everton into the top half, where they'll look to remain until the end of the season.

Everton Player Ratings

Starting XI: Pickford (6); Coleman (6), Keane (8), Holgate (7), Digne (7); Iwobi (7), Davies (5), Gomes (6), Bernard (6); Calvert-Lewin (7), Richarlison (6).

Substitutes: Sigurdsson (6), Kean (5), Baines (N/A), Gordon (N/A).

Michael Keane

Michael Keane, Alex Iwobi
Keane celebrating his goal against Norwich | Pool/Getty Images

The England international can be prone to the odd head explosion, but he didn't put a foot wrong on Wednesday alongside Mason Holgate in central defence and scored what turned out to be the winning goal.

Keane was dominant in aerial duels, winning eight in total, as his side picked up their second clean sheet on the trot. In truth, he wasn't stretched dramatically, but it was a classy performance regardless.

Looking Ahead

Norwich's attention turns to the FA Cup on Saturday when they face Manchester United, with a trip to Arsenal in early July their next Premier League outing.

Everton have a tricky fixture at Goodison Park against Leicester next, followed by an away game at Tottenham.