ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Norwich City 1
LONDON • Wes Hoolahan's scruffy equaliser prevented Everton from gaining on the Premier League's leading sides as Roberto Martinez's men were held to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road yesterday.
Victory would have taken Everton to within a point of fifth-placed Tottenham. However, after Romelu Lukaku gave them a 15th-minute lead, they squandered a glut of opportunities to extend their advantage.
Norwich 1 Everton 1
Manchester City 2 Swansea 1
Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 0
West Ham 0 Stoke City 0
Sunderland 0 Watford 1
Bournemouth v Manchester United
Hoolahan levelled the score early in the second half, scuffing in from close range to consign Everton, who had eliminated Norwich from the League Cup in October, to a third consecutive draw and inch Norwich a point clear of the relegation zone.
Alex Neil's side might have emerged with all three points, only for Cameron Jerome to produce a glaring miss with 20 minutes remaining, hoisting the ball over the bar from Hoolahan's flick.
Lukaku had earlier become the first Everton player to score in seven successive games in 40 years, since Bob Latchford in December 1975, when he headed in a cross from Gerard Deulofeu.
The Belgium striker will bid to close in on Jamie Vardy's recently set Premier League record of scoring in 11 straight games against Vardy's club Leicester on Saturday.
Lukaku has 28 Everton goals this calendar year but might have had three more in a first half the visitors dominated to such an extent they could have been coasting at half-time.
The fit-again Leighton Baines hit a post and Arouna Kone was twice denied by Declan Rudd.
Yet, Norwich responded a little more than a minute after the restart through Hoolahan's effort.
Ryan Bennett, on for Andre Wisdom, headed Robbie Brady's corner goalwards and the 33-year-old Hoolahan forced it in despite the presence of Ross Barkley at the post.
It was not pretty but the Canaries cared not a jot as it was just their fourth goal in seven league games.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN