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18:40 9th April 2012


ANOTHER great Canary performance saw Paul Lambert's men run out 2-1 winners against a Champions League-hunting Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

A 13th minute strike from Anthony Pilkington put City ahead but was cancelled out by Jermain Defoe on 33 minutes to see the sides go in level at the break. But City continued to press and at least strong two penalty appeals were turned down in the match by referee Michael Oliver, before Elliott Bennett's 66th minute screamer from 20 yards gave the visitors the lead and ultimately the points for a famous victory.

After the game City boss Paul Lambert: "That was absolutely brilliant. From start to finish the game, the atmosphere, the movement of the ball, the desire to win the game when things were going against us - I thought we were absolutely sensational.

"We keep surpassing everything that's put in front of us at the minute. The players were a credit to themselves and the supporters who were watching us play League One football two years ago. And now we're here at White Hart Lane beating Tottenham - it's incredible."

Paul Lambert made three changes from Saturday's 2-2 draw with Everton. Aaron Wilbraham was given his first Premier League start up front having come on as a substitute against the Toffees to set up Grant Holt's equaliser. Anthony Pilkington returned to the starting line-up having missed the last few games through injury and Bradley Johnson partnered Jonny Howson in midfield.

Fellow midfielders Andrew Surman and Wes Hoolahan dropped to the bench, with David Fox this time not named in the final 18.

Spurs fielded a strike force of Jermain Defoe and Louis Saha, with Emmanuel Adebayor named as a substitute. Scott Parker was missing from the team but Gareth Bale who scored both goals at Carrow Road back in December was in the starting line-up for Harry Redknapp's team.

The opening exchanges were even but the first shot on target came from Spurs in the third minute, Defoe was found in space in City's area and he cut the ball back for Saha to have a shot, which Ruddy parried and Drury cleared his lines.

On eleven minutes Grant Holt had his first opening but his shot wasn't strong enough and a combination of Walker and Friedel cleared the danger. Spurs immediately broke down the other end and Ryan Bennett did enough to head away a searching cross-field ball looking for Aaron Lennon.

But a moment later the Canaries were ahead through Anthony Pilkington. The ball was fed through to Aaron Wilbraham but King got a toe to the ball and it spun to the lurking Pilkington who curled it round Friedel into the empty net to make sure the Canaries have scored against every Premier League opposition this campaign.

City were knocking it around nicely and keeping Spurs under pressure. Holt looked to turn provider on 17 minutes, making a run down the left and putting a ball into Tottenham's area and the home defence had to be alert to the danger, eventually clearing and then Wilbraham wrestled with King in the box, but the ball ran through to Friedel.

Gareth Bale made a break on 25 minutes racing through the centre but the visiting defence managed to get back to him and his shot was deflected for a corner.

The Canaries won a free-kick on the left after Elliott Bennett was fouled by Jake Livermore. Pilkington whipped in a great cross which Friedel had to tip away for a corner. This was swiftly followed by another set-piece on the edge of Spurs' box which Bradley Johnson struck but the wall did its job.

Spurs broke again through Bale and he put in a brilliant cross into Defoe, but the England striker couldn't get a touch and it whistled past the goal to the relief of the Yellow Army behind.

Just after the half-hour the Canaries had a penalty shout when Ledley King wrestled with Holt but referee Michael Oliver waved away appeals and within seconds Spurs were level - Defoe racing away showing his pace and then dinking the ball over Ruddy.

From a City free-kick deep left Elliott Ward found himself with the ball at his feet and he struck it well, requiring Freidel to improvise and make a good stop with his knees to deny the Canary defender.

Spurs made their first change just before the break after Kaboul picked up a knock and he was replaced by former Blackburn defender Ryan Nelsen.

: Tottenham Hotspur 1, Norwich City 1

Harry Redknapp made another change at the break with Adebayor coming on for Saha. The Canaries came out for the second half unchanged.

A minute in and Russell Martin was forced into a sliding block to deny Bale a shot on goal. Wilbraham did well to win the Canaries a corner and Pilkington's delivery saw Holt glance a header across goal but he couldn't quite direct it goalwards.

Kyle Walker picked up a booking for a foul on Pilkington and the winger then stepped up to take the free-kick but it was well wide of Friedel's goal.

On 53 minutes Assou-Ekotto played a neat one-two with Adebayor on the edge of the box and continued his run and hit a shot only to see John Ruddy pull off a wonder save to deny him what looked to be a certain goal.

But on 58 minutes the Canaries should have been ahead again, Elliott Bennett released Holt who hit a delicious cross for where Bradley Johnson was waiting, but he could only hit his shot agonisingly over the bar.

Johnson was then shortly booked for a challenge on Lennon as the Spurs man looked to escape down the right.

Another penalty shout for the Canaries when Adebayor looked to have pushed over Wibraham in the box but again it was waved way and Spurs broke - Elliott Bennett found himself in the referee's book for fouling Defoe in the move.

Bale hit the wordwork after cutting inside and curling his effort - the ball hitting the underside of the bar and Modric couldn't quite gather the rebound and Elliott Bennett nipped in to clear for the corner.

But midway through the half City were ahead again Elliott Bennett found himself in space and hit a tremendous effort into the left corner of the goal for his first for the Club.

With 20 minutes left Steve Morison replaced Grant Holt, which was swiftly followed by Van der Vaart coming on for Livermore.

Two minutes later City boss Paul Lambert made another change Andrew Surman coming on for goalscorer Anthony Pilkington.

More great work from Elliott Bennett set up another chance for the Canaries after he gathered the ball and delivered a fine pass to Jonny Howson, but possibly in two minds whether to shoot himself or cross, he chose to try and find Wilbraham and his pass wasn't accurate enough and Friedel claimed the ball.

A clash of heads between Van der Vaart and Aaron Wilbraham stopped play for a few moments and the City striker had to be substituted with a cut to his head, Simeon Jackson coming on in his place.

Another good Canary move ended with Bradley Johnson having a dig on the volley but unfortunately it curled wide of the upright.

With five minutes of extra time added it was Johnson who had two tries on goal after finding himself space on the edge of the Spurs box, but his first attempt was blocked and then his second curled round the post.

In what was a great performance by the lads they saw the game out for a great victory to put Norwich City on 43 points and take us another massive step closer to guaranteeing Premier League security for another season.

Final score
: Tottenham Hotspur 1, Norwich City 2

: Friedel, Bale, Kaboul (Nelsen 45), Lennon, Modric, Saha (Adebayor 46), Defoe, King (c), Walker, Livermore (Van der Vaart 71), Assou-Ekotto. Subs not used: Cudicini, Kranjcar, Rose, Sandro.

CITY: Ruddy, Martin, Drury, Johnson, Holt (c) (Morison 70), Pilkington (Surman 73), E.Bennett, Wilbraham (Jackson 79), Ward, Howson, R. Bennett. Subs not used: Steer, Crofts, Hoolahan, Barnett

    Data provided by Press Association


    Did you know Norwich City Football Club have appeared in three Wembley cup finals?