NORWICH CITY 1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1REJUVENATED City were denied victory over Spurs at Carrow Road by a superb individual goal from Gareth Bale despite a vastly-improved performance.
The Canaries shrugged off their FA Cup hangover to turn in a performance full of energy and desire and were good value for their 1-0 lead at the break, courtesy of Wes Hoolahan’s close-range effort after the half-hour.
But in a game played into strong winds Spurs came back more strongly in the second half and eventually grabbed a point when Bale ran from inside his own half before firing home past Bunn ten minutes before time.
After the match, City boss Chris Hughton said: "There are mixed emotions after that one. I'm disappointed we didn't win as I couldn't see them scoring even though they put us under a lot of pressure, Mark Bunn had to make an excellent save for us. I thought it was going to be our night.
"We wanted a reaction after the last two games. it's sometimes difficult to consistently keep up the intensity of your play right throughout the season, we've got a lot of lads who have played a lot of games and you're going to have highs and lows.
Before the game Hughton made nine changes to the team which slumped to a shock cup exit at home to non-league Luton Town on Saturday, with only full-backs Javier Garrido and Russell Martin surviving.
"But at 1-0 I thought we were good value, but they've got such good quality. We gave Spurs a difficult evening tonight."
City started the game brightly, with Alex Tettey particularly lively and industrious in the opening exchanges.
Chances were few and far between during the first 20 minutes, though Spurs ‘keeper Lloris caused momentary panic with a mis-timed punch which looped back towards his own goal before being cleared, while at the other end Bassong used his strength to muscle a threatening Dempsey off the ball in City’s box.
In the 21st minute a clever pass from Snodgrass put Holt in behind the Spurs defence, but the City skipper blazed his first-time shot well over the bar.
Three minutes later Holt powered into the box past two Spurs defenders before going down under the challenge of Assou-Ekotto, but referee Neil Swarbrick waved away appeals for a penalty.
Holt was in the thick of things as usual for the Canaries and Lloris reacted well to tip the big striker’s downwards header around the post.
But Holt was involved again as City took a deserved lead after 31 minutes, getting a head to a cross from Snodgrass and Pilkington passing low into the six-yard box for Hoolahan to sweep home.
A rare Tottenham attack in the 41st minute saw Defoe find himself clean through but Bunn pulled off a great save, diving to his right to parry the Spurs striker’s shot to safety.
Half-time: Norwich City 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0
The Canaries came out of the blocks well straight away after the break, Hoolahan a whisker away from turning Martin’s angled drive home just a minute after the restart.
But Spurs hit back with a spell of pressure which ended when Bunn got down well to smother a low drive from Bale in the 50th minute.
Just before the hour-mark Holt was booked after sliding in on Kyle Walker in the centre circle.
Spurs were enjoying much more quality possession by this stage as they pressed for an equaliser but it was City who carved out the next chance of note as Holt flicked on to Pilkington and the winger fired a 20-yard drive into the side-netting.
In the 68th minute Snodgrass was infuriated by the award of a free-kick against him following a tackle on Assou-Ekotto and eventually was booked for dissent for his protests.
Spurs made the first change of the match on 71 minutes, new signing Lewis Holtby replacing Dempsey.
The pace was fast and frantic and Hoolahan became the latest City player to receive a caution in the 75th minute, for a foul on Bale.
But just as City began to eye the possibility of another big Premier League 1-0 win at Carrow Road, Bale stunned them with a super solo effort, running from inside his own half before checking inside and firing an unstoppable shot past Bunn into the corner.
A late substitution almost paid dividends for Spurs as the man brought on Sigurdsson shot goalwards in the 88th minute but Bunn dived across to his right to palm it wide.
Final score: Norwich City 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1
Norwich City: Bunn, Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Turner, Snodgrass, Holt (c), Pilkington, Hoolahan (Howson 80), Garrido, Tettey. Subs not used: Camp, Whittaker, Jackson, Fox, E.Bennett, R.Bennett.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Dempsey (Holtby 71), Vertonghen, Lennon (Sigurdsson 86), Parker, Bale, Defoe, Dembele, Dawson (c), Walker, Assou-Ekotto. Subs not used: Freidel, Gallas, Naughton, Livermore, Caulker.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick