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Published: 09:57 | 18/12/15

Hoolahan nets in Norwich draw


Wes Hoolahan netted a second-half equaliser, as Norwich City drew 1-1 with Everton in Saturday's early Premier League fixture at Carrow Road.

The Ireland international bundled home from close range early in the second half to cancel out Romelu Lukaku's 15th minute opener, and move the Canaries one point clear of the relegation zone.

The Toffees dominated the opening half, and deservedly took the lead on the quarter-hour mark when Lukaku headed home Gerard Deulofeu's deep cross to the far post following Martin Olsson's poor clearance.

It was the 15th goal of a prolific season for the Belgian, who has now scored in his last seven games for Everton, matching the club record set by Bob Latchford in 1975.

Roberto Martinez's side could have been out of sight by half-time, and Lukaku really should have added a second in the 32nd minute, only to his mishit Tom Cleverley's cross at the far post with the goal gaping.

Leighton Baines, making his first start of the season following a ankle injury that has sidelined him since August, then hit the woodwork with a right-footed drive on 38 minutes, while Arouna Kone and Lukaku again also went close for the visitors.

But Hoolahan gave the home side a lifeline two minutes into the second half, scrambling home his second Premier League goal of the season from close range after Ross Barkley could only half keep out substitute Ryan Bennett's header from Robbie Brady's deep corner.

And the Ireland international almost set up a second for the Canaries with a clever backheel in the area on 71 minutes, only to see Cameron Jerome blaze over from 10 yards.

Norwich were indebted to their goalkeeper Declan Rudd, who produced a man-of-the-match performance on only his third Premier League start of the season, for denying Gareth Barry a winner with ten minutes remaining with a brave block from close range.

The draw, Everton's fourth in their last five Premier League matches. sees the Toffees move up to sixth in the table.

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