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23:09 27th December 2011


A SECOND-HALF brace from Gareth Bale was enough to earn Tottenham a 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over City at Carrow Road.

Bale fired home after good work from Emmanuel Adebayor in the 56th minute and then sprinted on to an excellent through-ball from Luka Modric to chip home his second 11 minutes later.

After the match City boss Paul Lambert praised his players for their hard work against one of the best sides the Canaries have faced so far in the Premier League:

"They are a team vying for the Premier League title and they have players all over the park who can change a game for you in a second," he said.

"Harry's got them playing some wonderful football and I can't fault my lads for the way they kept going and going. Of course the goals we conceded were disappointing, they always are, but I thought we went out there and gave it a right good go against one of the best sides in the country."

Marc Tierney missed the game after suffering a groin strain in training yesterday and Lambert praised his replacement Adam Drury for his performance: "Adam has not played for a while and I thought he came in and put in a good, solid display.

That is what you will always get with Adam, he will never let you down."

Before the game Lambert made two changes to the team which drew 2-2 at Wolves before Christmas, with Ritchie De Laet coming in for Spurs loanee Kyle Naughton and Drury coming in for the injured Tierney.

Once the match got underway it was Spurs who enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the opening exchanges, though a Bale shot from 16 yards comfortably saved by Ruddy in the 6th minute was their only serious threat on goal.

Adam Drury made a solid start on his first Premier League appearance of the season for the Canaries but there was a moment of concern when he required treatment after picking up a knock from Walker - thankfully the City veteran was able to continue.

In the 16th minute nice work by Hoolahan gave Fox the chance to try his luck with a well-struck effort from outside the area but if flew straight into the arms of Friedel.

The Canaries came more into the game as the half progressed but the next opportunity on goal fell to Gareth Bale, the Welsh international letting fly from 22 yards only for his effort to deflect narrowly wide of the post off a City defender.

On 32 minutes there came two let-offs for City in the space of a minute. First Russell Martin breathed a huge sigh of relief after Bale blazed over the bar after robbing the Norwich defender and racing into the clear - then in their next attack Van Der Vaart's long ball was touched past Ruddy by Adebayor but ran off the pitch before he could get on to it again.

Bale was next to have a go with a rasping drive brilliantly palmed wide by Ruddy, while at the other end a superb backheel by Holt set up a City counter-attack which ended with a chip from Morison that was narrowly wide of the post.

As the first half ended Adebayor let fly with a low effort which flew just wide of the post, although Ruddy looked to have it covered in the replays.

: Norwich City 0, Tottenham Hotspur 0

In the 52nd minute Spurs defender Gallas was shown the yellow card for tripping Surman right on the edge of the Tottenham box. Surman dusted himself down and fired in the resulting free-kick himself and it was a good effort, blasted inches wide of the post.

But just over three minutes later Spurs edged ahead with the opening goal of the game, Adebayor showing great footwork in the box to hold off several defenders before squaring for Bale to fire home.

Just after the hour-mark Ritchie De Laet went down clutching his leg and it was clear he would be unable to continue. On came Leon Barnett, slotting in at centre-back with Russell Martin moving out to his old position at right-back.

But on 67 minutes City were punished for losing posession near Tottenham's box as Modric played a superb pass into the path of Bale and the winger sped towards goal before netting with a neat chip over the helpless Ruddy.

Spurs made a substitution in the 72nd minute, Danny Rose replacing Assou-Ekotto. Three minutes later Lambert made a double switch for Norwich, Bennett and Pilkington coming on for Drury and Crofts.

The visitors were firmly in control of the game although Russell Martin went close with a header from Pilkington's corner in injury time which was deflected just wide.

Final score
: Norwich City 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2

Ruddy, Martin, Drury (Bennett 75), Morison, Whitbread, Crofts (Pilkington 75), Holt (c), Surman, Hoolahan, Fox, De Laet (Barnett 62). Subs not used: Rudd, Johnson, Jackson, Wilbraham.
Friedel, Bale, Kaboul, Parker (c) (Livermore 90), Adebayor, Van Der Vaart (Kranjcar 85), Gallas, Modric, Walker, Sandro, Assou-Ekotto (Rose 72). Subs not used: Gomes, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Pienaar.

Michael Oliver


    Data provided by Press Association


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