Lambert praises ‘extraordinary’ players

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert was left to rue Leon Barnett's sending off after Stoke grabbed a stoppage time leveller in today's Premier League home opener at Carrow Road.

The Canaries looked to be heading towards a maiden top flight win on their return to the big league when Ritchie De Laet struck against his old club.

Leon Barnett was then red-carded just past the hour mark for hauling down Jon Walters - but the former Ipswich man's penalty was brilliantly saved by John Ruddy.

City's ten men looked to have repelled Stoke's aerial bombardment until Kenwyne Jones pounced three minutes into added on time.

'I thought we were brilliant. The lads' effort was extraordinary,' said Lambert. 'I thought we looked really good and threatening against a really good side but the penalty incident - when it starts is at least three yards outside the penalty box. At least three yards. Bad enough getting himself sent off but the actual contact, the initial contact, was outside. There is no point having a word with the official. I don't know if we'll appeal it because if you lose it then maybe they can increase the ban.

'I think anywhere on the pitch it would be a free kick but its a double hit with the penalty and the red card. It pushes you on the back foot against 11 men but the effort was excellent. He was the last man so he had to go. I think with 11 men we would have seen it through.'