Norwich 2 Everton 1: Canaries nick first Prem win since November as pressure builds on Toffees to sack Rafa Benitez

YOU know you’re in trouble when even Norwich fans are taking the p*** out of you.

But Rafa Benitez still hasn’t quite hit rock bottom as Everton boss.

Because the way his team are playing there is a very real chance that they could be relegated for the first time since 1951.

Norwich hadn’t scored in 551 minutes of Premier League football until the terrible Toffees rocked up at Carrow Road.

But Michael Keane’s 16th minute own-goal was immediately followed by Adam Idah’s first of the season to leave Benitez clueless and friendless on the sideline.

'Can we play you every week?!' demanded the delirious home fans as their team ended a six-match losing streak to soar to the dizzying heights of 18th place in the table.

But this was no laughing matter for the travelling Evertonians who have had their fill of the man they serenaded with chants of 'fat Spanish waiter'.

It was all too much for one irate scouser who staged a solo pitch invasion as he tried to get up and close personal with the former Liverpool boss.

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Keane turned into his own net after 16 minutesCredit: Rex
Adam Idah made it 2-0 on 18 minutesCredit: Reuters
It was another close range finish from the IrishmanCredit: Reuters


And though he was quickly intercepted by the stewards, his message was all too clear.

Time’s up, Rafa. 

For Everton have now managed just six points from their last 13 League games and don’t know where their next win is coming from.

And if they really are playing for Benitez as he claims then he has even more problems than he thought.

Hopeless at the back and toothless in attack, at no stage did they ever look like getting anything out of this game.

And though they remain six points and three places above the relegation zone for now, that gap is narrowing all the time.

Even against the leakiest defence in the division, it was not until the belated introduction of substitute Richarlison that they posed any kind of threat to Norwich keeper Tim Krul.

The Brazilian international sparked brief hopes of a comeback with a spectacular 60th minute bicycle kick to set Norwich nerves jangling.

But it was never going to be enough to get Rafa  off the hook as the familiar ‘Benitez get out of our club’ banner was unfurled in the away end.

Because as much as he beckoned and gestured to his players from the technical area, his players had simply left themselves with too much ground to make up after their catastrophic start.

For the first quarter of an hour there was nothing to choose between two deeply unimpressive sides.

But then Vitali Myokleno gave Josh Sargent too much time to fire in a low cross and the panicking Keane stuck out a leg to stab the ball into his own net.

It was exactly the helping hand Norwich had been crying out for to end a goal drought which was stretching to almost ten hours.

And 92 seconds later they were celebrating again when Seamus Coleman gave the ball away for Brandon Williams to play in Idah for a nerveless shot past the advancing Jordan Pickford.

It could have been even worse when Pickford was forced to dash 20 yards out of his area to prevent Teemu Pukki from reaching a long through ball with the Everton defence nowhere to be seen.

Mind you, even when they were in position they weren’t much use as £17million newcomer Mykolenko demonstrated when he passed straight to Idah right in front of goal.

But the young Irish international wasn’t able to capitalise on that occasion, which briefly opened the door to an unlikely Everton escape.

Richarlison’s opportunist strike after Krul’s weak punch from a Demarai Gray cross was the signal for the visitors to throw caution to the wind and it took a brilliant block by Dimitris Giannoulis to deny Anthony Gordon an 84th minute equaliser.

But it was too little too late for the visitors and even eight agonising minutes of stoppage time could not deny Norwich their first win since Dean Smith’s first game in charge back in November.

Milot Rashica could have ended those nerves right at the death when he hit Everton on the counter to shoot against the post.

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But it really didn’t matter by then because Everton’s goose was already cooked and all that remained was for the familiar chants of 'You’re getting sacked in the morning' to echo around the stadium at the final whistle.

Quite how much longer the Everton board will put up with this is anyone’s guess.

But the supporters have already made their minds up and there is no coming back for Benitez in their book.


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