Norwich won just their third Premier League game of the season to move off the bottom of the table, while also piling pressure on under fire Everton manager Rafa Benitez.
A quick fire double from Norwich in the first half - an own goal from Michael Keane and what turned out to be a deserved winner from 20-year-old Adam Idah – made the difference. Richarlison scored a stunner for Everton but it ended up being no more than a consolation.
Josh Sargent’s low cross to the right was met by Keane, whose wayward touch turned the ball into his own net at the near post rather than clear it to safety.
Norwich were in dreamland moments later with Idah’s first ever Premier League goal. Keane again left plenty to be desired, dragged out of position on the counter attack by the clever run of Teemu Pukki to leave Idah bearing down on goal in acres of space to finish.
The Canaries were good value for their lead because Everton, despite dominating possession, weren’t anything special at all. What’s worse is that defensive lapses against a usually goal-shy opponent had let them down and given them a mountain to climb.
The visitors were poor going forward throughout the first half, with Anthony Gordon’s willingness to run and run the best they could really muster. Andre Gomes was noticeably poor on the ball and Benitez’s team were generally giving the ball away too easily.
The game changed for Everton when Richarlison emerged from the bench for his first appearance in over a month because of injury. The Brazilian showed great improvisation and athleticism to send an overhead kick beyond the reach of Tim Krul.
It was a lifeline that Everton probably hadn’t deserved up to that point. But it then ensured that the final half hour would be about whether they could make the most of it and get back on level terms.
Norwich had to change both full-backs in the final 15 minutes of the game, which could have made things tricky. But replacement left-back Dimitros Giannoulis made a key block just moments after coming on that continued to keep Everton at bay.
Ultimately, the Toffees didn’t have the quality to get the equaliser and serious questions will now be asked regarding Benitez’s future at the club.
Norwich player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Tim Krul (GK) - 6/10 - Looked shaky at time and spent some time in stoppage time getting treatment. But overall did everything he needed to.
Max Aarons (RB) - 7/10 - Left the pitch in some pain with just over 10 minutes left to play. Had done well up to that point.
Grant Hanley (CB) - 7/10 - Headed away anything that came his way.
Ben Gibson (CB) - 6/10 - Not asked enough demanding questions.
Brandon Williams (LB) - 7/10 - Gave a combative performance and had an entertaining battle with Everton's Gordon down that flank.
Josh Sargent (RM) - 7/10 - Worked hard off the ball. His low cross from the right caused the own goal.
Pierre Lees-Melou (CM) - 7/10 - Regularly broke up Everton's rhythm in central areas and frustrated the visitors.
Jacob Sorensen (CM) - 7/10 - Won a lot of duels in midfield.
Milot Rashica (LM) - 6/10 - Hit the post in stoppage time. Worked hard throughout.
Adam Idah (ST) - 8/10 - Played with physicality and maturity well beyond his 20 years and was rewarded with the first top flight goal of his career.
Teemu Pukki (ST) - 6/10 - Looked to stretch Everton's back four and his intelligent movement created the space for the second goal.
Sam Byram (RB) - 7/10 - Slotted into the back four well in what could have have been difficult circumstances late in the game.
Dimitris Giannoulis (LB) - 7/10 - Made a key block straight after coming on.
Christos Tzolis (RM) - 6/10 - Provided some freshness off the bench.
Everton player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Jordan Pickford (GK) - 5/10 - Caught cold at the near post for the opening goal and wasn't really given a chance with the second.
Seamus Coleman (RB) - 4/10 - Only lasted nine minutes into the second half.
Ben Godfrey (CB) - 5/10 - Switched to right-back after Coleman went off.
Michael Keane (CB) - 3/10 - Didn't have his body shape right which led to scoring an avoidable own goal. Also could have done more for the second Norwich goal.
Vitality Mykolenko (LB) - 5/10 - Not enough pressure on the cross for the opening goal. Will hope to improve.
Anthony Gordon (RM) - 7/10 - The youngster gave Everton good energy on the flank
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) - 5/10 - Not the same impact he would usually expect to have.
Andre Gomes (CM) - 3/10 - Disappointingly poor with his passing. Stunk the place out in the end.
Demarai Gray (LM) - 5/10 - Not as involved as fans would have hoped. Norwich contained his threat too easily.
Salomon Rondon (ST) - 4/10 - Starved of meaningful service and was largely ineffective as a result. Subbed early in the second half.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) - 5/10 - Lasted longer than his strike partner but the service still wasn't coming and he couldn't really do much.
Yerry Mina (CB) - 6/10 - Posed a threat at attacking set pieces and made a crucial block late on that stopped Norwich extending their lead further.
Richarlison (ST) - 6/10 - Made a difference after coming on. His overhead kick got Everton back into the game and gave them a lifeline that didn't look like it would have come from anywhere else.