Holt-led Norwich rally leaves Swans flapping
Swansea City 2 Norwich City 3
Sunday 12 February 2012
Norwich City now lie only four points behind Liverpool in the Premier League, yet the manager, Paul Lambert, insists his only target for his over-achieving Canaries is survival.
Lambert witnessed his side move into eighth position – their highest placing this season – after Grant Holt inspired his team-mates with two of three goals in a 17-minute second-half blitz to inflict a rare home defeat for Swansea.
Anthony Pilkington's deflected effort sandwiched Holt's fine double before Danny Graham, who opened the scoring in a thrilling contest between two enterprising Championship clubs from last season, added his second for Swansea from the penalty spot with four minutes remaining at the Liberty Stadium.
Norwich held on and their superb achievement was highlighted by the fact only Manchester United of the previous 12 visitors to south Wales had managed to take home all the points.
But, despite hitting the dizzy heights of the top half of the division, Lambert was keen to keep his feet on the ground. He said: "I don't care where we finish as long as its 17th position or above. Our priority is to stay in the League.
"If we do that, it will surpass anything we did in League One or the Championship. I thought we were excellent today and our passing was brilliant."
Norwich rallied superbly after Swansea took the lead in the 23rd minute when Graham hammered home his fifth goal in four games against the East Anglian club after a neat pass by Nathan Dyer.
Lambert told his players not to panic at half-time and Holt responded by heading home 90 seconds after the restart from Ward's hooked cross.
The second goal came three minutes later when Elliott Bennett set up Anthony Pilkington to beat Michel Vorm via a deflection off Neil Taylor's legs.
Bennett assisted again as Holt netted his ninth League goal of the season on 63 minutes before the forward pulled back Ashley Williams in his own area to allow Graham to set up a grand finale.
Swansea's manager, Brendan Rodgers, who takes his side to Tenerife for a five-day break today, said: "We are disappointed to lose but everyone on the staff has worked wonders this season and thoroughly deserves the break."
Swansea (4-3-3): Vorm; Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor; Britton, McEachran (Gower, 63), Sigurdsson; Dyer (Lita, 74), Graham, Sinclair (Routledge, 74).
Norwich (4-4-2): Ruddy; Naughton, Martin, Ward, Drury (Barnett, 56); Bennett (Hoolahan, 76), Surman, Fox, Pilkington; Holt, Jackson.
Referee Martin Atkinson.
Man of the match Holt (Norwich).
Match rating 8/10.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Paul Scholes column: Rio Ferdinand and John Terry row was bad but they could have kept playing for England
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City report: Jerome Boateng thrashes home winner against former team
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'