Premier League - Norwich hang on for Everton draw
Norwich City withstood a battering at Goodison Park to somehow emerge with a point from a frantic 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton.
Leon Osman diverted home substitute Royston Drenthe's shot beyond visiting goalkeeper John Ruddy on 81 minutes to earn Everton a deserved point after Grant Holt had netted with Norwich's only shot on target of the game on 28 minutes.
Having failed to test the goalkeeper in either of their previous two games, Everton had 29 shots at goal compared to seven by Norwich, who miraculously depart Merseyside with a second draw of the campaign in the Premier League after holding Liverpool to the same scoreline at Anfield in October.
Eight of Everton’s 16 Premier League goals this season have now come in the final 10 minutes of their matches, but they will wonder how did they not snag all three points from an afternoon when they were the dominant force.
Paul Lambert's Norwich side had spent most of the first half hemmed in their own half until Holt collected Steve Morison's headed flick-on before turning Johnny Heitinga inside out to slip the beyond the Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who rightly had a look of disbelief on his face as the ball trickled into the net via a post.
The animated Norwich keeper John Ruddy was called into action on eight minutes when he dived bravely to save at the feet of Marouane Fellaini before Russell Martin performed minor heroics to head an Osman shot off his line after a timely pass from Louis Saha on 13 minutes.
Everton continued to pile bodies forward after recovering their gait from falling behind to Holt's opener, but Saha was out of luck as his shot sped wide of the target with Ruddy beaten.
The one-sided nature of the contest continued in the second half as Osman darted into the box only for Ruddy to swat the ball away before an expectant posse of home fans behind the visitors' goal, who were already expecting the net to ripple.
Everton substitute Denis Stracqualursi seemed to have played in Saha for the equaliser just after the hour mark, but Ruddy was again off his line with some relish to block at the French striker's feet.
Everton stuck manfully to their task and were reward when Drenthe bounded to the edge of the Norwich box. His shot seemed set to land in Ruddy's arms until Osman flicked it beyond the keeper for a goal that was the least the home side deserved.
Everton have not kept a clean sheet in any of their 11 home games this season in all competitions, but at least they did not lose this match.
Drenthe thought he had won if for the home side with five minutes left, but Ruddy threw out his right arm to nudge the ball over the bar as Norwich departed the scene with a point many will feel was akin to daylight robbery.