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Steven Naismith haunts his former Everton pals

Everton 0-2 Norwich City

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

The popular forward, who left the Toffees 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.

Everton had two good early chances, with Aaron Lennon seeing a shot blocked by Steve Whittaker and Gerard Deulofeu was then denied by John Ruddy.

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

Nelson Oliveira played the ball around the corner to an unmarked Naismith. The Scot slipped in the act of shooting and in doing so deflected his left-footed shot off his right leg and over Maarten Stekelenburg into the top corner.

The stunned silence was swiftly replaced by applause from all around the ground for a player who many Evertonians did not want to see leave.

With just over 20 minutes left, Koeman sent on Yannick Bolasie and Kevin Mirallas, and the Belgian almost made an immediate breakthrough with a free-kick that Ruddy pushed around the post.

But, four minutes later, Murphy picked the ball up wide on the right and beat two men before he curled home an unstoppable shot from 20 yards.

Belfast Telegraph


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