March 8 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Norwich City survived Leroy Fer’s late sending off to earn a Premier League point in a 1-1 New Year’s Day draw at Crystal Palace played in atrocious conditions at Selhurst Park.
The game only went ahead after two pitch inspections following heavy rain and winds but City returned to Norfolk with a point against the Eagles that extended their unbeaten away run in the league to three matches following the victory at West Brom and draw at Sunderland before Christmas.
Bradley Johnson superbly sidefooted Norwich in front in the 39th minute but Palace levelled from the penalty spot through Jason Puncheon five minutes later when Fer was adjudged to have shoved Mile Jedinak. The Dutch international picked up a second yellow in the 83rd minute for a lunging challenge on the Eagles’ captain but City played out the time that remained with few real alarms.
Hughton made two changes to his starting line up from the weekend Premier League defeat to Manchester United. Steven Whittaker replaced Russell Martin with Michael Turner returning from suspension to partner Sebastien Bassong in central defence. Jonny Howson missed his fourth festive game with a back injury.
Palace appeared to have the best of the elements behind them in the opening period with a howling gale whipping rain straight into John Ruddy’s goalmouth. Robert Snodgrass teased a free kick into the area that Johnson headed wide under pressure. Snodgrass again aimed for Johnson but Damien Delaney headed clear at his near post. Puncheon fluffed his lines at the far post after Wes Hoolahan was robbed by Joel Ward. Snodgrass took emergency action to halt Yannick Bolasie 25 yards out but Jedinak whipped a free kick up and over Ruddy’s bar.
Turner’s positioning bailed out Norwich in the 15th minute when Cameron Jermone rose unmarked but failed to anticipate the trajectory of Puncheon’s cross. Kagisho Dikgacoi was cautioned for a clear tug back on Martin Olsson which gave Snodgrass the chance to pick out Bassong who headed at Julian Speroni from 16 yards. Dikgacoi then attempted a speculative volley after a prolonged period when the elements continued to dictate the flow of a bitty contest.
Jerome sliced a sharp chance wide at the far post in the 31st minute after Puncheon had initially closed down Olsson. Ruddy needed treatment in the immediate aftermath following a sliding stop which had taken him on a collision course with his right-hand post. Leroy Fer surged forward to control Snodgrass’ cut-back but dragged tamely wide at the other end and then Turner was out-muscled by Delaney in his bid to get a decisive touch to Snodgrass’ hanging corner with the blustery conditions returning after a brief respite.
City, however, defied the worsening weather to make the breakthrough in the 39th minute with Johnson sidefooting past Speroni from 20 yards on his right foot after Hoolahan and Hooper had robbed Danny Gabbidon. Palace surged forward in search of a response with Olsson heading Jerome’s goalbound header off his own line seconds after Chamakh and Hoolahan had both been cautioned following an altercation where the home striker appeared to grab Hoolahan around the throat.
City’s lead lasted barely five minutes when Fer was adjudged to have shoved Jedinak at Ruddy’s near post and Puncheon sent the Norwich keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Ruddy’s handling was tested severely immediately on the restart when he was forced to bat away Puncheon’s swerving cross. Hoolahan slipped a reverse ball inside Ward for Redmond but his cross was kicked away by Speroni at his near post. Turner then miscued his intended clearance before Jerome lashed over from seven yards when City were unable to deal with the dipping corner that followed, but the big centre back was forced off minutes later after appearing to suffer an injury in his attempts to clear.
Pulis introduced Dwight Gayle for Jerome just past the hour mark in a clear signal of intent from the Eagles’ chief. Gary Hooper was picked out by Johnson in the 68th minute for his first clear sighter of the day but after rolling Gaibbdon he dragged at Speroni from 20 yards. Elmander replaced Hoolahan shortly after but the Swede’s first involvement was a painful one when he suffered a gashed mouth in an aerial duel with Jedinak.
Referee Dean waved away home penalty appeals in the 76th minute when Ward’s curling centre struck Johnson’s outstretched hands inside the visitors’ penalty area. Johnson’s deflected strike then slammed against Adrian Mariappa 20 yards out after Palace failed to deal with Snodgrass’ initial free kick. City were caught out by Palace’s swift set piece in the 81st minute but Ward’s cross drifted behind to groans from the Eagles’ fans.
Norwich were forced to play out the remaining seven minutes of normal time with 10 men when Fer earned a second yellow for diving in at Jedinak which prompted Hughton to withdraw Hooper for Martin in a bid to preserve a hard-earned point.
• Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Ward, Bolasie (Williams 80), Jedinak, Dikgacoi (Parr 45), Puncheon, Chamakh, Jerome (Gayle 62). Subs (not used): Price, Moxey, Bannan, Phillips.
• Bookings: Dikgacoi (foul on Olsson. 16); Chamakh (foul on Hoolahan, 41).
• Goal: Puncheon (44).
• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Turner (Bennett 54), Bassong, Olsson, Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Redmond, Hoolahan (Elmander 69), Hooper (Martin 85). Subs (not used): Bunn, van Wolfswinkel, Becchio, Murphy.
• Bookings: Fer (foul on Jedinak, 44) Hoolahan (foul on Chamakh, 41).
• Sending off: Fer (foul on Jedinak, 83).
• Goal: Johnson (39).
• Added on time: 2 minutes / 4 minutes
• Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
• Attendance: 25,189 (2,588 away)