Norwich City 1 Swansea City 1

Norwich City's Johan Elmander challenges Swansea's Ashley Williams in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City's Johan Elmander challenges Swansea's Ashley Williams in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Sunday, December 15, 2013
3:28 PM

Gary Hooper’s brilliant first half volley earned Norwich City a point in a 1-1 Premier League draw against Swansea City at Carrow Road.

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Hooper’s third top flight goal in his last four outings cancelled out Nathan Dyer’s 12th minute opener but Michael Laudrup’s side were full value for a hard-earned point after their midweek European exertions. Michel Vorm denied Hooper in the best chance of the second period with a one-handed parry but Chris Hughton’s men never really threatened to knock the Swans out of their stride.

Hughton retained the same line up that beat West Brom 2-0 at the Hawthorns with Ricky van Wolfswinkel given another week to step up his fitness bid for the Canaries’ festive programme after his return to full training on Friday following a muscular toe problem. Swansea made eight changes from the line up that lost to St Gallen on Thursday night in the Europa League. Laudrup restored Dutch international Vorm to his side, although the keeper is scheduled to undergo an operation that will sideline him for a month in the New Year in a bid to be ready for Holland’s World Cup quest in Brazil.

The Canaries’ started on the front foot with Nathan Redmond bursting down the right before a cut back that Johan Elmander slammed against Ashley Williams. Steven Whittaker’s buccaneering run seconds later ended with a rash attempt to take the net off that instead flew into the Lower Barclay.

Whittaker was heavily involved in the opening skirmishes but his weak clearance was seized upon by Pablo Hernandez who cut inside and slammed a right-foot shot that brushed John Ruddy’s side netting. Ruddy confidently came through a crowd scene to gather Jonathan de Guzman’s floated free kick with Swansea slipping into their smooth rhythm after a bright start from the hosts. Michael Turner was adjudged to have bundled over Michu in the 11th minute but de Guzman’s right-foot curler raised few alarms for Ruddy as it drifted over his cross bar.

Swansea broke through a minute later, Dyer holding off Sebastien Bassong’s weak aerial challenge to race through onto Williams’ raking pass and lift over the stranded Ruddy 16 yards out. The hosts’ were convinced they should have had a penalty two minutes later when Leroy Fer’s far post header from Redmond’s stand up cross clearly struck the outstretched arm of Angel Rangel but referee Oliver waved away vociferous home appeals led by Fer. Swansea continued to dominate possession, much to the growing frustration of the Norwich crowd, who implored Hughton’s side to press higher out of their defensive shape.

Dyer was breaking into Norwich’s final third with worrying regularity, but the next incursion came down the opposite flank with Ben Davies’ picking out Michu who skied over under pressure from Bassong eight yards out.

Hooper had his first real sighter of the contest in the 27th minute after pulling onto Rangel’s shoulder but his glancing header from Whittaker’s angled cross slid wide. Redmond then drove beyond Davies but Vorm claimed his hanging cross with the Canaries’ flickering into life as an attacking force. Hooper harassed Williams into a mistake seconds later before bearing down on Vorm, who forced the striker to slice wide 14 yards out after he opted to veer infield.

Martin Olsson’s teasing cross was hacked behind shortly after by Jordi Amat with Swansea finally shaken out of their collective comfort zone. But a sickening injury for Dyer brought a prolonged halt to the proceedings before the interval when he appeared to take the full weight of Bassong on his right ankle after the Norwich captain rose to head clear on the halfway line before landing on top of the Swans’ goalscorer. Swansea confirmed at half-time the midfielder had departed for hospital to undergo scans on a suspected broken ankle.

Swansea were indebted to Williams’ quick reactions to head Fer’s close range poke up and over from underneath his own bar before Bassong planted a free header into the crowd from 12 yards with the hosts’ finishing the opening period much stronger.

Elmander won a key flick in midfield to trigger another flowing counter which prompted Jonny Howson to wastefully drag wide with Redmond powering up on the overlap. Dyer’s injury delay forced six minutes of additional time at the end of the half and it was Hooper who outrageously levelled when he moved onto Elmander’s knockdown to chest and volley over the back-pedalling Vorm 25 yards out. Redmond could even have nudged Hughton’s side in front in the seconds that remained when he backed Davies up into his own penalty area but curled wide.

Bassong continued to pound away in the opposition box with another header slipping wide shortly after the interval after shaking off the attentions of Rangel. Ruddy remained vigilant to collect under pressure from Williams after Jonjo Shelvey worked a sharp corner routine that caught Norwich dozing. Whittaker accepted the invitation to range forward but the Scottish international dragged his left footer from 25 yards.

Alejandro Pozuelo underlined Swans’ still carried plenty of attacking threat despite Dyer’s injury exit when he exchanged passes with Michu but curled over from the edge of the Norwich penalty area.

Norwich were again denied by desperate defending from Swansea in the 68th minute when Turner’s initial header struck the bar and hit the back of Amat’s head after Bassong had provided sufficient nuisance value for Vorm to miscue his punch. The Dutch keeper was fortunate again when he miscued a second attempted punch but the ball spiralled behind, but Vorm redeemed himself in the 76th minute with a one-handed parry to deny Hooper his second goal from eight yards out.

Luciano Becchio made his entrance in the immediate aftermath for Elmander with Swansea freshening up their frontline by introducing Wilfried Bony for Michu. The Argentine’s first meaningful contribution serviced Fer who drilled at Williams before Bassong again powered forward but headed Bradley Johnson’s free kick over on the angle of Swansea’s six yard box. Bony had Ruddy scrambling across his line in the 86th minute with a right footer guided wide after the visitors’ sprung a sharp counter from a Norwich corner. The England keeper then raced from his line to smother Shelvey’s attempted dink with his chest as the visitors’ finished the stronger.

• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Bassong, Turner, Olsson, Redmond (Murphy 83), Fer, Howson, Johnson, Elmander (Becchio 76), Hooper. Subs (not used): Nash, Martin, Hoolahan, Garrido, Bennett.

• Goal: Hooper (45)

• Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Amat, Davies, de Guzman, Canas, Dyer (Pozuelo 44), Shelvey, Hernandez (Lamah 83), Michu (Bony 75). Subs (not used): Tremmel, Taylor, Routledge, Tiendalli.

• Bookings: Canas (handball, 55); Vorm (time-wasting 62); Rangel (foul on Fer, 64).

• Goal: Dyer (12)

• Added on time: 6 minutes / 3 minutes

• Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

• Attendance: 26,876

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19 comments

  • Good game, generally good atmosphere and, overall, not a bad result. Absolute shame on the 'fans' who sarcastically cheered when Elmander won a header. Vocal minority who seem determined to undermine CH and the team...and I have no idea why.

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    PutneyCanary

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • i think elmander needs a rest,apart from one flick on and his assist for the goal he didnt do much and is not a prem player.Becchio won more headers!Fer and howson need to start every game imo,the team must be built around those two.

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    tonyb

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • I'll say one thing for the Vicar, he was born lucky. Combination of a lovely strike by Hooper + bad results for the other teams around us, saved his bacon again. If only Hooper was taller he could be Holty's kid bro. 2 points dropped rather than 1 point gained. If a home draw to Swansea was a "fair result" on the balance of play, then it shouldn't have been. Fixtures like that have to be 3 point bankers. Disappointing over the 90 mins but a point is a point + it's better than nowt- OTBC.

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    Timbo

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Hey MellowYellow.......are you pretending you are me?

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • I thought Redmond had a poor first half and would not have complained had he not appeared for the second half. However, he then slowly got into the game and started to put some decent crosses in so the manager substituted him, great move, I think not. Fer looked totally out of place on the left wing and for me, Wes should have been introduced with either Howson or Johnson making way for Fer in a position he excells at. The introduction of Becchio showed exactly why he is forth choice striker, he looks overweight, slow and certainly cannot play the target man roll. Until we made that change we looking in with a chance of grabbing all three points. We need to go out and sign a decent target man over Christmas then pehaps the results will start to come.

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    TrevorKeith

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • We learnt from last season that Howson is no good at the holding midfield role, yet he spent most of his time there today, and Fer on the wing was obviously not working and was a "likely" tactical shift to the centre, but no lets just ride it out and see what happens, dont want to be over adventurous eh Chris....

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    Jimhow

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • We learnt from last season that Howson is no good at the holding midfield role, yet he spent most of his time there today, and Fer on the wing was obviously not working and was a "likely" tactical shift to the centre, but no lets just ride it out and see what happens, dont want to be over adventurous eh Chris....

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • …..Ho! Ho! Ho!....Ho! Ho! Ho!.....Another game just crying out for Wes!....without him it's like Christmas without Santa!.......Wake me up when the Christmas holidays are over!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Played well, draw just about fair. Thought Elmander played well and Fer is far too good in middle of the park to be played out of position for me, maybe time for Howson to have a rest? Overall a positive performance, onwards and upwards, OTBC!

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    MellowYellow

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Agree with Algarve, and about Holahoop, should have been after the hour as well, although the better side we came out the second half looking like a team wanting to consolidate a draw, not rip their throats out, shame.

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    Gruff

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • if bassong could header every ball we would have won!

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    tonyb

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Reasons to be cheerful.

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    Lobbo

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • I thought we were dreadful against Man City and Liverpool, thank heavens we didn't play them this weekend. I missed this one, as I fell asleep after ten minutes.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Very much a game of 2 halves, and honestly, 2 points lost rather than one gained. In the first half, we were frankly, awful, saved only by Hoopers brilliant goal. The stats said it all....35% possession in the first half. We were the better team in the 2nd half, and deserved another goal. but, like against Cardiff and Villa at home, we couldn't make possession tell. For me, the sub should have been Hoolahan, not Becchio. But I'm not the manager. Will RVW make the difference next week? I certainly hope so, because these matches are the ones we need to win to survive.

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    Algarve Canary

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Actually, at the risk of sounding contradictory, Swansea could have easily nicked it at the death, when for reasons that only Chris Hughton might fully appreciate, they suddenly started to play attacking football in the eighty fifth minute. Shrewd strategy hey Chris. Still fuming that he didn't bring Wes on after an hour or so, might have completely changed the game. Its almost as if he doesn't want success. What do you think Stew, are you still sober?

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Couldn't agree more Algarve, the whole thing was somewhat unimaginative, and Wes has that unpredictability about him which might have unsynchronised the Swans synchronised display. You're right about Becchio too, a decent man, who lacks premiership flair, one for the January sales I suspect. Young Josh should go out on loan to get more first team experience. Redmond looks threatening, but needs to be able to cross and shoot accurately. I thought John Ruddy looked decidedly twitchy at times. I've got a funny feeling he's scared he might get picked for England. Bassong has a wonderful heart, but the style of a carthorse. Hoops is the man. If the others are the araldite glue, he is the hardener, otherwise the team would not gel in the first place, let alone fall apart. What say you Stew?

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • I missed the first half hour, but thought that second half we played some decent football and looked more progressive than we have for a while under Hughton. As for Wes, I like him, but he doesn't generally play that well when he is brought on as I think he struggles to get to the pace of the game. I agree with you Putney about the fans who cheered when Elmander won the ball. No matter what you think of him he does always put in a lot of effort and does not deserve that reaction. As fans we are entitled to our opinions, but should be getting behind the players unless they are blatantly out of order.

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    Preston Canary

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • A draw was fair but not good enough. If we had won the home games we ought to have won - Villa, Cardiff, Swansea - we'd be on 25 points now. 9th.

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    Cecil

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Agree with Algarve, and about Holahoop, should have been after the hour as well, although the better side we came out the second half looking like a team wanting to consolidate a draw, not rip their throats out, shame.

    Report this comment

    Gruff

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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