REVIEW: CITY 2-2 NEWCASTLECITY and Newcastle played out a captivating 2-2 draw at Carrow Road as the Canaries extended their unbeaten league run.
The first half carried on the recent traditions of frenzy and goals between the two teams, with Newcastle landing the first blow after only 23 seconds.
City were asleep from kick-off and Ayoze Perez was played in inside the box and left unmarked to finish confidently beyond John Ruddy.
Ruddy then kept Aleksandar Mitrovic out but Alex Neil's men responded admirably and after a five-minute blitz, they suddenly found themselves ahead in the game.
Firstly, Wes Hoolahan played a ball down the line to Cameron Jerome, who overpowered Jamaal Lascelles to square to Jacob Murphy, the winger not able to miss from a yard out.
Jerome then got himself on the scoresheet, capitalising on a nightmare error from Karl Darlow to walk the ball home to the delight of the Barclay Stand behind the goal.
A stunning Ruddy stop kept out Mitrovic before Steven Whittaker's driven effort flashed wide, with both sides toing and froing in a high-octane encounter.
Eight minutes into the second half, Matt Ritchie found the underside of the crossbar as Newcastle pressed.
Rafael Benitez's charges were dominating the ball but City's defensive shape remained solid and the visitors were forced to bring on returning frontman Dwight Gayle with 15 left on the clock.
It was a defender who drew them level, however, when the Canaries failed to clear effectively from a free-kick and Jamaal Lascelles volleyed in at the back post.
HOW THEY LINED UP
With the league leaders in town, Neil made five changes from the 5-1 thrashing of struggling Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Portuguese pair Ivo Pinto and Nelson Oliveira were both missing from the matchday squad; Whittaker and Jerome came into the starting eleven.
Alex Tettey returned from his suspension to replace Youssouf Mulumbu, while Alex Pritchard and Josh Murphy dropped to the bench, replaced in the team with Yanic Wildschut and Murphy.
City were hanging on to their advantage for most of the second half but they finally cracked inside the final ten minutes.
Substitute Alex Pritchard was culpable for the foul that was penalised with a free-kick. Neil's defence initially looked to have dealt with it, but Lascelles was hovering at the back post.
The Magpies' skipper showed composure to guide his finish in the narrow gap between the near post and Ruddy, earning the table toppers a share of the points.
WHAT IT MEANS
It was another truly entertaining 90 minutes of football at Carrow Road, but this time for different reasons.
Both teams showed their attacking intent throughout, and the final result was probably fair on both sets of players. At the close of play, City remained just outside the play-off places with Saturday's trip to Burton Albion to come.
GOALS: Canaries: Jacob Murphy (12), Cameron Jerome (17) - Magpies: Ayoze Perez (1), Jamaal Lascelles (81)
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Klose, Dijks; Howson, Tettey; Ja. Murphy, Hoolahan (Jo. Murphy 86), Wildschut (Pritchard 59); Jerome (Lafferty 80). Subs not used: McGovern (GK), Bassong, Bennett, Godfrey.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles (c), Dummett; Shelvey, Colback (Diame 54); Ritchie (Atsu 70), Gouffran, Perez; Mitrovic (Gayle 76). Subs not used: Elliot (GK), Hanley, Hayden, Gamez.
REFEREE: Andrew Madley
We have limited availability on tickets for City's first ever visit to the Pirelli Stadium, where they take on Burton Albion. For details, click HERE.
To view the Canaries' upcoming fixtures in full, click HERE.