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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:33 1st September 2012
By  Gema Gifford

Tottenham Hotspur 1, Norwich City 1

City earned themselves a well-deserved point at White Hart Lane after coming back from a goal behind to register a 1-1 draw.


The Canaries had created the better of the chances throughout the game and could only have felt aggrieved to be 1-0 down after 68 minutes - Spurs debutant Mousa Dembele registering his first for the Club after his move from Fulham with a well-struck effort after good work by Jermaine Defoe.


However, the Canaries didn't give in and with six minutes of the game remaining Robert Snodgrass hit home after connecting with Grant Holt's flick in the area - a goal that City more than deserved after a solid, committed display. They could have taken all three points if it wasn't for a great performance by Spurs' 41-year-old goalkeeper Brad Friedel who made some superb saves including an injury-time stop from Bradley Johnson's strike.

 

And after the game City boss Chris Hughton believed his team were well-worth a point: "I'm very proud. I was proud of the performance especially in the first half. I thought we played very well and had to cope with a lot - but I thought we had the better of the opportunities.

 

"What impressed me was that we never dopped, we always were looking for that equaliser - and I don't think there will be anyone who doesn't think we deserved it when it came."

 

Hughton named the same side that faced QPR at Carrow Road a week earlier to earn a 1-1 draw and register their first point of the season. New signing Alex Tettey was named on the bench for the first time since his move to Carrow Road last week. And Sebastien Bassong made a swift return to Spurs to face his old team-mates in the centre of the Canary defence.


City boss Hughton received a warm reception at White Hart Lane having represented the club as a player, coach and caretaker manager. His old side, now under the stewardship of former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, had a busy transfer period and new signings Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen started the game - with Emmanuel Adebayor and Mousa Dembele named on the bench as was former Canary loanee Kyle Naughton.

It was a bright opening few minutes for the Canries who were sporting for the first time their all-black away strip - but it was Spurs who had the first strike on goal, Aaron Lennon with a run then laying off the ball for Sigurdsson who shot wide from distance in the second minute.


On eight minutes City were awarded a free-kick after Benoit Assou-Ekotto tripped Snodgrass far right. The Scot stepped up and curled a great delivery into the Spurs' box for Russell Martin to get on the end of it, forcing Brad Friedel to tip his goalbound header on to the bar and under great pressure the hosts just managed to clear the rebound.


It was proving an even contest with City breaking after the quarter-of-an-hour - Simeon Jackson showing some pace on the left and trying a low shot which was wide of Friedel's goal. Jermaine Defoe responded with an attempt of his own which again was wide.


Midway throught the half and the Canaries had another great opportunity after some good build-up play, Spurs' partially clearing a Russell Martin cross only to Bradley Johnson who returned it with interest - his shot just narrowly rising over the upright.


Sigurdsson and Defoe remained the hosts' main threat, but for the time being were just unable to make the most of any final ball or get past a strong display by the Canary defence.


Just on the half hour John Ruddy had to parry a shot from Gareth Bale who had cut inside to create himself the shooting opportunity.


With just fours minutes of the half left we saw the best move of the match so far - Johnson and Pilkington did well on the right and the former Huddersfield man put in a great cross for Snodgrass to meet at the back stick but Friedel again kept City at bay, pulling off a great stop and William Gallas did enough to stop Simeon Jackson poking in the rebound.


The Canaries were playing well with their midfield on top - again Pilkington putting in a great cross for an onrushing Jackson just before the break - the Canadian just not able to connect. A good half with some good chances for the Canaries ended 0-0.


Half-time: Tottenham Hotspur 0, Norwich City 0


Tottenham made one change at the break with Mousa Dembele making his debut and replacing Sandro.


Spurs created the first opportunity of the half - Sigurdsson having a go through a crowd of players which Ruddy did well to get down to, to make a comfortable save.


Referee Mark Halsey then awarded the Canaries a free-kick about 20 yards from goal after Simeon Jackson was barged off the ball by Gallas - Snodgrass took the free-kick but it was too wide to trouble the American goalkeeper.


The Scot then turned provider a couple of minutes later after Garrido's ball fell to him on the right and his delivery found Holt - but the number 9 couldn't quite find the target with his header.


Ten minutes into the second half and Bale had a dig from distance which just dipped over the bar - AVB then made his second change of the game bringing on Adebayor for Sigurdsson.


On 58 minutes the hosts were awarded a dangerous free-kick in the 'D' - Bassong adjudged to have clipped Defoe - the England international took the set-piece seeing it deflected off the wall for a corner kick.


The Canaries went close to opening the scoring after 62 minutes, Friedel yet again coming to their rescue - this time denying a low angled drive by Pilkington.


After troubling the Canaries two weeks ago at Craven Cottage it was new signing Dembele who was their underdoing again after 68 minutes. Defoe found him with a pass just inside the box and after twisting and turning he unleashed a shot past Ruddy into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Spurs.


Jackson got up well to try and reach a Snodgrass header but it was just a little too high and he couldn't quite connect - it proved his last contribution of the game as Steve Morison came on to replace him as City's first substitute.


With just under 10 minutes to play came Spurs' final substitution - Tom Huddlestone coming on to shore up their midfield at the expense of Defoe.


But with six minutes left the Canaries got a well-deserved equaliser through Robert Snodgrass who latched on to a flick by Holt who had done well to get on the end of a Bradley Johnson knock-down.


It was becoming a frantic ending to the game when after only being on the pitch for seven minutes Huddlestone was shown red for a late challenge on Jonny Howson seeing Tottenham reduced to 10 men.


The Canaries had time for another great opportunity in injury time when Fridel blocked Steve Morison's attempt and it was reworked out by Holt for Johnson to have a drive which was again blocked and his second attempt went high over the bar.


The final few moments were seen out for a well-earned and deserved away point.


Final score: Tottenham Hotspur 1, Norwich City 1

 

SPURS: Friedel, Vertonghen, Lennon, Bale, Gallas (c), Defoe (Huddlestone 81), Sigurdsson (Adebayor 57), Walker, Livermore, Sandro (Dembele 46), Assou-Ekotto. Subs not used: Cudicini, Naughton, Townsend, Caulker.


CITY: Ruddy, R. Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Snodgrass, Howson, Holt (c), Jackson (Morison 73), Pilkington, Garrido, Barnett. Subs not used: Rudd, Turner, Surman, Hoolahan, Tierney, Tettey.


Attendance: 36,142

    Data provided by Press Association

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