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Match Reports

Norwich City v West Ham United

13 February 2016


CITY surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with West Ham United in a dramatic game at Carrow Road.

After a goalless first 45 minutes, City made their early second half pressure tell when Robbie Brady's dispossessed Michail Antonio and finished superbly.

Wes Hoolahan then drilled home from close-range to double their lead, and it looked as though the Canaries were heading for a huge win in their battle to stay in the Premier League.

Dimitri Payet levelled for West Ham on 74 minutes, however, and the visitors' talisman then teed up Mark Noble their leveller, a searing drive, three minutes later.

Both sides had opportunities in the closing stages, but this was two points lost for the Canaries and they head to league leaders Leicester City in a fortnight without a victory in their last six top flight matches.

From last weekend's defeat at Aston Villa, Alex Neil made three changes as John Ruddy returned between the sticks in place of Declan Rudd for his first league start since the end of November.

Also coming into the starting line-up were Nathan Redmond and Cameron Jerome, with Youssouf Mulumbu and Dieumerci Mbokani dropping out.

West Ham came into the match on the back of a midweek extra-time FA Cup win over Liverpool, but they had lost their two previous Premier League matches on the road.

Norwich started very brightly after a rousing pre-match atmosphere, but neither goalkeeper was tested in the opening exchanges.

Ruddy was the first to be called into action in the 18th minute when Enner Valencia got a fierce shot away from a narrow angle, with City's stopper getting a fingertip to it to turn it over the bar.

Robbie Brady curled a close-range free-kick just above Adrian's crossbar, with set-pieces the theme of a first half that kept referee Mike Jones extremely busy as the man in the middle.

Jonny Howson drilled a half-volley just over before up the end, James Collins looped a header off target after Dimitri Payet's initial free-kick was cleared.

City finished the half strongly, but the goal didn't come and the teams entered the break with nothing separating them despite it being a lively contest.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-0 West Ham United

Jerome had a decent effort inside the first minute of the second half, curling narrowly wide from outside the area, but City were eventually rewarded for their persistance on 55 minutes.

Just as he did in the reverse fixture at Upton Park, Brady caught West Ham unawares in the middle of the park, this time robbing Michail Antonio before finishing delightfully with his weaker right foot.

Slaven Bilic responded by bringing on two substitutes in the shape of Andy Carroll and Victor Moses, but Norwich doubled their advantage on 65 minutes through their other Ireland international Hoolahan.

When Steven Naismith's shot deflected off a Hammers defender, Hoolahan was in the right place to sweep home right-footed for his fourth goal of the season.

But in a spell of four minutes, West Ham managed to turn the game around.

It started when Payet levelled; the France international converted after Ruddy had parried Moses' initial effort when City failed to deal with a counter-attack.

Then on 77 minutes, the home crowd were left stunned as Payet was found in the box to turn provider for Noble, who rocketed a shot into the top corner to draw Bilic's side level.

Neil brought on Mbokani and Graham Dorrans, but it was the visitors who looked the most likely to get the winner.

Somehow substitute Emmanuel Emenike failed to turn Carroll's flick home in the final minute of the game, and the points were shared after a dramatic second half.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United

GOALS: Canaries: Robbie Brady (54), Wes Hoolahan (65) - Hammers: Dimitri Payet (74), Mark Noble (76).

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Martin (c), Klose, Bassong, Brady; Howson, O'Neil; Redmond, Hoolahan (Dorrans 85), Naismith (Olsson 76); Jerome (Mbokani 84). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Bamford, Jarvis, Pinto.

WEST HAM UNITED: Adrian; Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Song (Moses 62), Noble (c); Antonio (Emenike 70), Payet, Obiang; Valencia (Carroll 62). Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Oxford, Parfitt-Williams, Browne.

REFEREE: Mike Jones


GOLDEN GOAL TIMES: 53.55, 64.33, 73.13, 75.59

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