Norwich City find themselves in dire straits following a 0-1 loss on Wednesday as Everton paid a visit to Carrow Road.
Michael Keane’s header shortly after halftime made the difference as City, hopeful of picking up something from the tie, desperately looked to book their place in the Premier League’s 2020/21 campaign.
It is a heavy blow for the Canaries who remain firmly rooted to the foot of the table, six points adrift of safety.
Daniel Farke’s debilitated side started far sharper than they were against Southampton last week, and largely had the beating of their guests in the first half.
Onel Hernandez was left ruing a squandered opportunity on the brink of the break when he wriggled into space in the edge of the area, only to see his effort ricochet off the stubborn Everton defence.
The breakthrough came just ten minutes into the second half, rather out-of-nowhere but certainly not against the run of play. Lucas Digne’s corner found the head of Keane – who had outjumped the defence – within six yards of goal, and the 27-year-old defender launched a towering header beyond a hapless Tim Krul for his third league goal in Everton colours.
Norwich’s introduction of Teemu Pukki in the second half revived the relegation-fighters’ performance somewhat, but they were unable get the better of the visitors.
It was not enough for the Canaries, who whimpered to a third consecutive defeat; their worst run since November 2019. They look onwards now to a string of difficult fixtures to close out an unenviable season. Farke’s men are yet to visit Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City this season.
For Everton, it is a good result. Carlo Ancelotti’s men finally made reparations for their 0-2 loss in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park in November and, with the three points earned today, keep their hopes of reaching Europe alive. The Toffees are just four points behind the projected Europa League qualifying spots.