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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:36 11th February 2012

HOLT'S DOUBLE SINKS SWANS

A STIRRING second-half fightback saw the Canaries come from behind to deservedly claim their first away win over Swansea since 1962, with two goals from Grant Holt and an Anthony Pilkington strike earning them a 3-2 victory.

Swansea took the lead against the run of play in the first half through Danny Graham and held on to that slim advantage going into the break.

But Norwich came out all guns blazing in the second half and were soon level thanks to Holt's header - and then moved into the lead when Pilkington's shot deflected past Swansea 'keeper Vorm.

The Canaries moved into a 3-1 lead when good work from Anthony Surman and Elliott Bennett gave Holt the chance to score again with a good finish and although Swansea provided a late scare when they pulled it back to 3-2 with Danny Graham netting his second of the game from the spot late on, it was not enough to deny Paul Lambert's side an excellent victory.

After the game Lambert told Canaries Player: "I thought we thoroughly deserved the win today. We passed the ball well throughout and always looked to have a goal threat in us. We didn't allow them to pass it as much as they normally do and all the lads worked really hard throughout.

"Throughout the time I have been here the lads have been magnificent and they were again today.

"At half-time I told them they were not doing too much wrong and to keep going, to keep playing the way they were. They did and and we got the win, which was what their efforts deserved. Holt has been playing really, really well for us and I also thought Elliott Ward was colossal on his first game back. They were all excellent today."

Lambert made three changes to the side that beat Bolton Wanderers last weekend. Both Daniel Ayala and Zak Whitbread missed the game with hamstring injuries - Elliott Ward slotting in at the back for his first appearance of the season having picked up a knee injury in pre-season. Russell Martin returned to the staring line-up partnering Ward at centre-back.

Elliott Bennett returned to his more familiar midfield role after filling in so well at right-back against the Trotters, while Wes Hoolahan dropped to the bench.

Swansea made one change to their side who had a great win at West Brom last weekend, influential midfielder Joe Allen missing and replaced by Josh McEachran.

The first chance of the game fell to the hosts in the first five minutes when Russell Martin was put under pressure in possession and his attempted clearance deflected into the path of Sigurdsson, but thankfully his shot was charged down by the Canary defence and eventualy cleared. This was swiftly followed by a break down the right by the Canaries but Bennett's well-struck delivery couldn't be controlled by Holt in the box as he got a touch but the Swans cleared their lines.

City were then having the better of the exchanges, Pilkington putting a shot wide on 11 minutes.

The Canaries were awarded a free-kick two minutes later deep in the Swans' half after Jackson was felled by Leon Britton. Pilkington stepped up and although his effort cleared the Swansea wall it was a comfortable collect for Michel Vorm in the home goal.

The first corner of the game swiftly followed, Jackson doing well down the left and putting a ball into the box which Neil Taylor nodded out for the flag-kick. Fox's delivery saw Vorm collect under pressure from both Holt and Martin at the back stick.

City were passing it nicely around the Swans' box, Grant Holt had a low shot on goal after 20 minutes which Vorm did well to get down to save.

But it was the hosts that took the lead after 23 minutes through leading goalscorer Danny Graham. Nathan Dyer slipped a neat ball into the former Watford man in the box who lifted his effort over Ruddy and into the back of the net for 1-0.

Norwich looked to respond, firstly Holt's cross into Jackson was charged out for a corner after good work down the left from Surman and then pressure around the box ended with Elliott Ward having a go from the edge of the area but his shot was too high to trouble Vorm.

The Canary wingers were getting some good crosses in but the Swans were holding out - a great opportunity came on 38 minutes when Pilkington's left-wing cross found Surman with a header but Vorm was in the right position and he made the vital save.

But Swansea should have been 2-0 up with six minutes of the half to play, opening up the Canaries resulting in Sinclair having space to put a ball across City's six-yard box for the on-rushing Graham. But as he was about to pull the trigger Elliott Ward made a great inteception to concede the corner.

The first yellow card of the game was issued to Adam Drury after he caught Dyer late as the tricky midfielder tried to get away from him.

Half-time:
Swansea City 1, Norwich City 0

There were no changes for either side at the break, although the Canaries reverted to the diamond formation.

And it was a great start to the half for the visitors when they were awarded a free-kick less than two minutes in. Fox curled his delivery and it was cleared as far as Russell Martin whose ball looked to be lost for a goalkick but Ward chased it down brilliantly and put it back into the danger area for Holt to loop a header into the net to put City level.

Swansea looked to respond straight away, Ruddy foced to scamper off his line to deny Graham and then Caulker nodded just past the post.

But then City took the lead after 51 minutes, Jackson knocked the ball on for Bennett to run into the area, he pulled the ball back for Pilkington to slot home - although the winger's shot did take a defelction off Taylor to see it past Vorm.

It was proving end-to-end stuff as Swansea tried to respond immediately, this time Sinclair just heading over City's bar.

After 57 minutes Paul Lambert made his first change of the afternoon, Adam Drury being replaced by Leon Barnett.

A moment later Grant Holt put Jackson through brilliantly but he was crowded out by Williams and Caulker and could only cut back the ball and Vorm collected.

But another great move by the Canaries after 63 minutes saw them take a 3-1 lead, great work from Surman and Bennett released Holt on the right and he raced in for his second of the afternoon - although he ended in the referee's notebook for removing his shirt during his celebrations.

Swansea's first substitution saw McEachran replaced by Mark Gower.

After 72 minutes a flick from Holt found Jackson who made a run at goal and cut the ball across the area to set up a shot for Surman, but the City man's effort was too high.

Brendan Rodgers made a double substitution Sinclair and Dyer coming off for Wayne Routledge and Leroy Lita.

Norwich nearly pushed into a 4-1 lead when following a short corner Kyle Naughton had a brilliant drive just tipped onto the bar by Vorm as it was heading into the far top corner.

Wes Hoolahan then made an appearance for the Canaries, Elliott Bennett making way.

Cries of handball rang round the Liberty Stadium as a cross from the right hit Naughton on the edge of his area but the referee waved play on.

With eight minutes to play another good move from City tested Vorm, the Dutchman doing well to tip Hoolahan's effort over the bar after he was found by Holt.

Steve Morison came on for the final moments in place of a hard-working Simeon Jackson.

With five minutes left Sigurdsson tested Ruddy with a free-kick which City's number one tipped over the bar.

But they were given a lifeline just a minute later when Holt tugged back Ashley Wiliams in a melley of players competing for the ball and the referee pointed to the spot. Danny Graham stepped up and slotted the ball past Ruddy for 3-2 and his second of the afternoon.

With a minute left on the clock Morison tested Vorm at his near post and won a corner.

Five minutes of additional time were awarded and two minutes in Swansea had a great chance, Sigurdsson on the right putting in a low ball, which Graham dragged just wide.

Caulker then had a pinpoint header tipped over the bar from a corner - a great save from John Ruddy in the final moments of the game.

It was to prove crucial as the Canaries held on for another big Barclays Premier League win.

Final score:
Swansea City 2, Norwich City 3

SWANSEA:
Vorm, Williams (c), Taylor, Caulker, Britton, Graham, Sinclair (Routledge 73), Dyer (Lita 73), McEachran (Gower 67), Rangel, Sigurdsson. Subs not used: Tremmel, Monk, Moore, Richards.
CITY:
Ruddy, Martin, Drury (Barnett 57), Holt (c), Jackson (Morison 83), Surman, Pilkington, Fox, Bennett (Hoolahan 76), Ward, Naughton. Subs not used: Steer, Johnson, Crofts, Wilbraham.

    Data provided by Press Association

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