Belfast Telegraph

Osman rescues Toffees

Midfielder Leon Osman scored his second goal of the season to earn a 1-1 draw for Everton at home to Norwich.

The Toffees fell behind to Grant Holt's close-range strike in the 28th minute.

But nine minutes from time Osman deflected substitute Royston Drenthe's shot past former Everton goalkeeper John Ruddy to prevent a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat.

Tim Cahill's lay-off from Leighton Baines' cross presented Marouane Fellaini with an early opportunity from close range, but he could not lift his shot over diving goalkeeper John Ruddy, while Osman's deflected shot was headed behind by Russell Martin.

Despite having dominated the opening exchanges, Everton went behind from Norwich's first shot.

Phil Jagielka's header went straight up in the air and, when Steve Morison clipped the ball back in, Holt did well to hold off John Heitinga on the edge of the six-yard box before expertly turning the Dutchman to score off the inside of the far post.

Striker Louis Saha went close twice with a deflected shot that was clawed out by Ruddy almost under his crossbar and a low angled drive just wide.

Holt was continuing to pose a threat, though, and goalkeeper Tim Howard was relieved to see the striker's looping header drop wide of the post early in the second half.

Everton substitute Denis Stracqualursi's first touch set up Saha for a shot which Ruddy parried as the hosts' momentum grew.

The appearance of Drenthe - who has missed the last three matches with injury - added an injection of pace and unpredictability and it was he who brought Everton a change in fortune, as when he cut in from the right in the 81st minute to unleash a shot and Osman got the slightest of touches to divert the ball inside the near post.


From Belfast Telegraph