If Arsene Wenger wants to trade hard luck stories, Paul Lambert was ready to call and then see his French counterpart after the spate of penalty appeals that peppered Saturday’s pulsating Premier League tussle at the Emirates.

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Arsenal’s manager raged at the injustice of a late spot kick chance turned down for the hosts when Robin van Persie ended up in the net after a far post tangle with Kyle Naughton. Lambert, correctly as it turned out with the aid of the television cameras, suggested Gervinho was clearly offside, stationed inside the six yard box before the ball reached the Dutchman.

But that was a mere aside to two strong penalty appeals of his own in the first half. Francis Coquelin’s awkward challenge from behind on Wes Hoolahan retained an element of doubt, but the second for a blatant shirt pull by Laurent Koscienly on Russell Martin left Lambert perplexed.

“It is a stonewall penalty, the one on Russell Martin,” he said. “My player had his shirt pulled. No doubt Arsenal will moan about the one they didn’t get but if you look at it, Gervinho is offside so I think they might be clutching at straws with that one.

“Every time we went forward we had a threat. No-one can point the finger and say we didn’t deserve something. It wasn’t just battling.

“I thought we were excellent. It was marvellous. As good as in my time. I thought Tottenham was absolutely huge and I never thought I would see that in my time again but I thought we surpassed it. I thought we were brilliant. They have done that for the three years I have been here.

“They play with a freedom. I never set my stall out to get beat. Yeah, we might get turned over but we never go anywhere to frustrate teams. I think we were unlucky not to win the game.”

City’s recent downturn looked set to continue when Yossi Benayoun curled past John Ruddy inside two minutes.but Lambert was always confident the Canaries would rise to the challenge in such inspiring surroundings.

“What a place to play football. The pitch is like a carpet. Brilliant arena to play. If you can’t play here then you should maybe look at another career,” he said. “The gulf between the two clubs is a stratosphere. You can see it the minute you walk in the place that it is dripping with quality. I wasn’t worried because I knew I had another 89 minutes to go. They won’t capitulate. They hang in, which they have done, which I thought was great. I would rather get beat trying to go on the front foot than sitting back and waiting for things to happen and that is what we did.”

Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt cancelled out Benayoun’s opener but van Persie’s clinical brace threatened to leave Norwich with little more than a hard luck story until Steve Morison coolly despatched Jonny Howson’s sublime pass.

Lambert insisted City’s collective display was the perfect response to those recent suggestions a long hard season had caught up with his squad.

“No, I never felt we had run out of steam,” he said. “We got beaten by Liverpool because they were better than us. Manchester City were better than us in that 20 minute period. Blackburn, I thought we were fine but goals change the course of the game.

“You have got to remember the magnitude of where we have come from. All of sudden you are asking us to come to a club like this with the resources and compete. I am proud as anything of the team. They never know when they are beaten, which is a great trait in any footballer.”

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11 comments

  • I sink de refferree did not see the Nowidge player deliberately put his shirt in my players hands and then duck into a boot from my player to try to get him sent off, Refferreees never see deese things when it is Arsonhole

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    Pondlife

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • Now, look at that caption photo. Apart from the fact it was a shirt pull, isnt a two footed tackle, high (and in the face to boot!) regarded as a straight red? .....whoops, sorry, sounding a bit too much like a certain London manager!

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    zebbee

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • Can anyone assist with a couple of tickets for Sunday 13 May game Vs. Aston Villa ? I am coming back to Norwich at the weekend and really would like to get to the game. I have not been able to get to a City game this season, and, to be back in Norwich this weekend and not get to the game is too cruel to contemplate. Can anyone help with this dilemma please ??

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    Dubai Canary

    Monday, May 7, 2012

  • You have to be a bit concerned about whether PL will be with us next season when he says things like he didn't expect to see another performance like to one at Spurs again in his time, don't you? Or is my glass half empty? Actually, after the Arsenal match, my glass, and those of us watching, was well an truly emply. Cheers!

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    canarydownunder

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • Hi Ged, MB suggests I ask you about tickets for Sunday 13 May. What do you have to say ? You don't want to go and watch that rubbish anyway - do you ?? OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Monday, May 7, 2012

  • Great bit of banter DC and MB, isged still walking back from the emirates stadium LOL.

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    yarco

    Monday, May 7, 2012

  • I actually think that this bizarre maneuver by Koscienly was actaully a muddle-headed dive. He hung on to Russ' shirt, faked being shot with a high velocity rifle and threw himself to the ground with such force that his legs flew up like a ballet dancer and he ended up kicking the pseudo-scotsman in the head. The ref was probably laughing so much that he forgot to give a penalty.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • Wish I could help, DC, but cannot. My only planned game of the season was v Everton, but a ticket mix-up stymied that. Cruel life. Perhaps Ged could help-he`s well in, he claims!! Good luck.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, May 7, 2012

  • is that "walking" with and "l" or an "n" yarco?

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • It left us all full of pride, Paul. Went about the game in the right manner, with not much to play for, and matched them completely. So happy for Steve Morison, what a good turn of pace and incredible finish, that's fantastic play from any Striker. And even more praise for Howson, having a huge influence on our attacks, assists galore, what a set-up to carry into next season.

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    Billy

    Monday, May 7, 2012

  • But you`re right, zebbee! On screen it looked horrendous; simultaneous mega shirt-pull and attempted kick in the head. As clear a penalty shout as you can get.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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