Tuesday 16 January 2018

Naismith nets on return to Goodison

Everton 0 Norwich 2

Steven Naismith (right). Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Steven Naismith (right). Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Steven Naismith was applauded by all sides of Goodison Park after scoring the goal that sent Norwich on their way to a third-round League Cup upset at Everton.

The popular forward, who left Everton in January, put the Canaries in front just before half-time against the run of play and Josh Murphy clinched a 2-0 victory with a superb second.

Naismith was given a very warm reception before the game and returned the compliment by refusing to celebrate his goal. The result was a measure of revenge for Alex Neil's team, who were beaten on penalties at Goodison Park in the fourth round last season, and meant a first defeat as Everton boss for Ronald Koeman.

Koeman made six changes from the side that beat Middlesbrough while only Dubliner Robbie Brady remained from the Norwich team that beat Nottingham Forest and for much of the first half the Canaries struggled to get out of their own half.

Naismith had not been in the squad for the previous three league games but his chance arrived in the 41st minute and he took it, albeit with a little luck involved.

The Scot slipped in the act of shooting and in so doing deflected his left-footed shot off his right leg and over Maarten Stekelenburg into the top corner.

With 16 minutes left, Murphy showed Everton how it should be done, picking the ball up wide on the right and beating two men before curling an unstoppable shot from 20 yards past Stekelenburg.

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