Norwich 2 Swansea 2 match report: Elliott Bennett wings it as Canaries draw comfort at home

 

Goals do not come easily to  Norwich City but there is something about playing Swansea that reminds them how to do it: in four meetings with the Welsh side in the Premier League they have found the net 12 times. Yesterday’s double would have counted for more, though, had they enabled Chris Hughton’s side to match the points they took from a 4-3 victory at the Liberty Stadium back in December.

What made it worse, more-over, is that they held a 2-1 lead with just 15 minutes remaining, and with three points instead of one they would have been seven points clear of the bottom three, room enough to breathe easy. As it is, after only one win in 15 matches, they must continue to sweat a little longer.

Norwich go to Arsenal next weekend but it may well be the three following games that determine the Canaries’ fate: Reading and Aston Villa at home, sandwiching Stoke away. Generally, their record against struggling teams this season is good.

“It is good that two of those games are at home,” Hughton said. “But all the teams around us are capable of beating each other. I think we can do enough in the last six games to secure our Premiership status.”

Norwich might have had a penalty in the first half when Robert Snodgrass was bundled over by Wayne Routledge in the box, although the winger still managed to deliver a cutback for Michael Turner, whose shot was beaten away by the visitors’ goalkeeper, Michel Vorm.

Otherwise, Swansea were the dominant force, going ahead when Michu (pictured) swept home his 17th goal of the season after being set up by the impressive Jonathan de Guzman. Nathan Dyer might have doubled their lead had he not scuffed the ball soon afterwards, yet a minute later Norwich were level.

Elliott Bennett, who had a fine game once a switch of wings meant he did not need to worry about Dwight Tiendalli’s attacking forays, was released by Kei Kamara to hit a splendid cross from the right that eluded Vorm and was headed in by Snodgrass at the far post. It was only a fifth goal in 11 matches for the home side. Norwich ended the first half on top.

At the start of the second, Swansea regained control. All the more galling to their manager, Michael Laudrup, then, that they should concede for the second time again in the match from an Elliott cross, Turner this time the player to profit from inattentive defending, arriving at the far post to sweep home the free kick.

Then came the first of two misses by Michu, the first a weak header dealt with easily by Lee Camp, before Kamara, who had seen a header beat Vorm but just clear the bar, wasted an opportunity created by a penetrating Snodgrass run by waiting for the ball to come to him, allowing Tiendalli to intercept.

An equaliser, therefore, came as a relief to Laudrup. Luke Moore scored it after substitute Angel Rangel headed Tiendalli’s cross into the danger area, sparing the Dane the need to reflect on a fourth consecutive defeat.

“We had a spell in which mistakes could have cost us dearly but we showed character to come back,” Laudrup said. “It is good to have ended the losing run.”

It might have ended with a win had Michu not blazed over the bar in the 90th minute, by which time Norwich might easily have been reduced to 10 men had referee Michael Oliver spotted a nasty challenge by Grant Holt on Chico Flores. 

Norwich (4-4-1-1): Bunn (Camp, 15); Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido; E Bennett, Howson (Tetley, 81), Johnson, Snodgrass; Hoolahan (Holt, 80); Kamara.

Swansea (4-4-2): Vorm; Tiendalli, Flores, Williams, Davies (Rangel, 64); Ki Sung-Yeung, De Guzman, Michu, Routledge (Pablo, 64); Moore, Dyer (Lamah, 75).

Referee: Michael Oliver

Man of the match: Elliott Bennett (Norwich)

Match rating: 8/10

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas