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16:45 1st January 2014


NORWICH City battled against both Crystal Palace and the testing conditions at Selhurst Park to earn a point as the match ended 1-1 on New Year's Day.

Bradley Johnson got the Canaries' reward for an excellent period of play in the first half with the game's opening goal, but Jason Puncheon levelled from the spot five minutes later after Leroy Fer felled Mile Jedinak.

Nathan Redmond and Gary Hooper had chances for Chris Hughton's side after the break, but Fer's sending off seven minutes from time left them hanging on at the end for a share of the spoils.

At the final whistle, City were 15th in the Barclays Premier League table, still three points clear of the relegation zone that the Eages continue to occupy.

Michael Turner returned from suspension to take the place of Ryan Bennett in central defence, while Steven Whittaker replaced Russell Martin in the Canaries’ other change.

Cameron Jerome passed a late fitness test to make the hosts’ starting eleven, with Barry Bannan dropping to the bench, where he sat alongside veteran striker Kevin Phillips.

Johnson nodded over Wes Hoolahan’s cross for City in the third minute, but Palace earned a free-kick on 12 that skipper Mile Jedinak guided just over John Ruddy’s crossbar.

Much of City’s joy in the early stages was coming from set-pieces too, and Sebastien Bassong forced the first save from Julian Speroni with a header from a Robert Snodgrass free-kick.

On the half hour, Martin Olsson was caught in possession by Jason Puncheon, and the winger was able to find Jerome at the back-post, but he sliced his shot high and wide.

City then had a decent spell of possession which resulted in the game’s opening goal on 39 minutes – Hoolahan and Hooper ambushed a hesitant Damien Delaney in the box, and the latter was able to lay the ball into the path of Johnson.

The midfielder then proceeded to hit a first-time shot with his right foot that curled in off the inside of the post – his second goal of the season.

Soon after, Marouane Chamakh was lucky to get away with just a booking as he grabbed Hoolahan around the throat and forced him to the floor.

Then the drama continued in the 43rd minute – Puncheon swung in a corner and Fer appeared to push Mile Jedinak to the floor, with Mike Dean immediately pointing to the penalty spot.

Puncheon stepped up to send Ruddy the wrong way and level the game up with just a minute left on the clock to half-time.

HALF-TIME: Crystal Palace 1-1 Norwich City

City had the second half’s first opening on 51 minutes when Hoolahan slid a delightful ball into the path of the onrunning Nathan Redmond, but Speroni was equal to his shot.

Soon up the other end, Jerome spurned another chance for Palace, firing over the bar after a melee in the box following a Puncheon corner. The Canaries then suffered the disappointment of seeing Turner limp off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury – Bennett replaced him.

Puncheon drilled wide as Palace looked the more likely side to grab the game’s third goal, with Tony Pulis’ side not allowing the Canaries to get any rhythm in possession.

Hooper’s shot on the spin was the only a half-chance Chris Hughton’s side had fashioned, and the City boss introduced Johan Elmander to add bulk to the visitors’ attack.

Johnson fancied a second when he volleyed from the edge of the box but a Palace defender managed to throw himself in front of the ball.

Things became very difficult for the Canaries with seven minutes left when Fer lunged in on Jedinak, earning a second yellow card and consequently an early bath.

The home crowd were eager for their side to notch a winner but the Canaries held on for a share of the spoils.

FULL-TIME: Crystal Palace 1-1 Norwich City
GOALS: Eagles: Jason Puncheon (pen 44) – Canaries: Bradley Johnson (39)

CRYSTAL PALACE: Speroni; Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Ward; Puncheon, Jedinak (c), Dikgacoi (Parr 45), Bolasie (Williams 80); Chamakh (Gayle 62), Jerome. Subs not used: Price (GK), Phillips, Moxey, Bannan.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Turner (R Bennett 54), Bassong (c), Olsson; Fer, Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan (Elmander 69), Redmond; Hooper (Martin 85). Subs not used: Bunn (GK), van Wolfswinkel, Becchio, Josh Murphy.



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