The Everton players underperformed in their shock 2-1 defeat to Norwich City on Saturday despite Richarlison leading a late fightback.
The pressure on Rafael Benitez increased as his Everton side crashed to a shock defeat to bottom-placed club Norwich City. The Toffees could be described as toothless at best for their overall performances, as Dean Smith’s men get a breather from bad results.
Despite a strong start to the game, Everton were condemned to two quickfire goals from Norwich, which gave the home side the much-needed command over proceedings. Michael Keane found himself in an unfortunate position to nod home Josh Sargent’s cross into his own net.
Just over a minute since the opening goal, Brandon Williams intercepted a loose ball and made the run into the final third. The left-back then slipped the ball into the box for Adam Idah, who managed to slot it past Jordan Pickford to double Norwich’s lead and give them a commanding position in the game.
Everton huffed and puffed to no avail in the first half, and went into the break with a significant deficit to overcome. Benitez decided to make necessary changes early in the second half, as he changed his team’s shape with the introduction of Yerry Mina and Richarlison. The Brazilian had an early impact, as he pulled a goal back with a spectacular overhead kick to give Everton some hope.
— Everton (@Everton) January 15, 2022
In the end, Norwich were able to hold on to the slender lead without much pressure from Everton. The Toffees may have had the opportunity to build on the Richarlison goal, but they failed to capitalise. However, it’s a big blow for Benitez as the pressure continues to mount on the Spaniard. Here’s how the Everton players fared in their disappointing loss to Norwich City.
Jordan Pickford: 5/10
Pickford cannot be blamed for either goal as his defence switched off on both occasions. There was a moment when he did put his side in trouble, which luckily did not lead to a goal for the Canaries.
Seamus Coleman: 3.5/10
It was no surprise seeing him leave the field in the second half as Coleman had an evening to forget. He made that ill-fated pass to Gordon which led to Norwich’s second goal.
Michael Keane: 3/10
Since conceding that own goal, Keane endured an off night, at least for the rest of the first half. He did recover and played better in the second period, although the damage was already done and the Toffees were unable to recover from it.
Only Teemu Pukki (3) has scored more Premier League goals for Norwich at Carrow Road this season than Michael Keane. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/ePWuwoycVK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 15, 2022
Ben Godfrey: 4/10
A terrible night for Godfrey, who would have envisaged a better day to celebrate his birthday. On to the pitch, the defender was sloppy on multiple occasions, which could have badly hurt the Toffees.
Vitaliy Mykolenko: 3/10
A poor first Premier League start for Mykolenko. Sargent got the better of him on his flank, while Mykolenko also got away with a terrible backpass in the second half from which Norwich should have scored.
Anthony Gordon: 7/10
A hardworking performance from the youngster, who went head to head with Williams on the flank. Those around him probably limited his impact as some of the things he tried could have been dealt with better by other Everton attackers.
Andre Gomes: 4.5/10
Chosen over Allan to lead the midfield and dictate play from deep, which he was unable to do. Gomes might have underestimated the opponents and the pace of the game, which cost him with his sub-par midfield display.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 4/10
Since his return from injury, there has been a considerable drop in his performances. Against Norwich, it was all the more evident as he could not progress beyond a certain point of the pitch and looked restricted in his movements.
Demarai Gray: 6/10
A constant threat from the flanks as Gray and Gordon were the players trying to create something to salvage the scoreline. Yet again, those around him failed to capitalise on his movements.
Salomon Rondon: 4/10
Another baffling decision from Benitez to start with Rondon, who had an uneventful game. He barely had any impact in the final third, and there was no visible chemistry with Calvert-Lewin up front, as his influence sitting a bit deep was of no use.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 5.5/10
Calvert-Lewin still doesn’t look at his sharpest as he slowly nurses himself back to full match fitness. After an uncharacteristically quiet first period, he was a little more purposeful in the second period, although he couldn’t help his side stage a comeback.
Richarlison hit the bicycle kick 😯 pic.twitter.com/1ymnmGuU9A
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 15, 2022
Richarlison looked like someone who could stage the unlikely comeback, and he did aid with a fantastic acrobatic goal to pull one back. Everton looked like a team who could change things around for a period under his influence, but Norwich did well to hold on to the slender lead and not concede any more goals.
Yerry Mina: 6/10
Mina was a solid substitution, with his introduction improving the Everton backline in the second half after a dreadful first half.