Norwich City boss Paul Lambert refuses to get embroiled in Premier League referee row after Everton draw
Paul Lambert remained tight-lipped over the refereeing controversy surrounding Norwich's stirring 2-2 Premier League comeback draw today against Everton at Carrow Road.
City were behind twice - the second goal following a contentious incident during the build up to Nikica Jelavic's slot when Wes Hoolahan appeared to be blocked off by referee Andre Marriner prior to the Croatian's strike. Hoolahan led a posse of protesting home players who appealed to Marriner prior to the restart of the game after Jelavic's cool second.
England left back Leighton Baines was fortunate to remain on the field after committing a series of further bookable offences following a first half yellow card. City also had appeals for a penalty waved away in first half stoppage time when Andrew Surman slammed against Phil Jagielka's arm from close range just inside the Everton penalty box. Lambert waited for Marriner at the final whistle as the official left the field - flanked by his assistants and security staff - but the City chief declined to reveal exactly what he said to Marriner.
'I asked him if he was going out in Norwich tonight,' said Lambert. 'He said he was going for a Chinese. I'm not going to get involved in that. I've spoken to him. I understand his point of view, but in the heat of the moment you claim for absolutely everything. I think nine times out of ten that is a free kick to us. The referee was saying he got in the way a little bit, which is why everybody stopped, but fair play to Everton. They continued and got the goal.'
Lambert preferred to heap praise on his players for a thrilling riposte after Jelavic's second. The former Rangers man opened the scoring in a bright start for David Moyes' men before Jonny Howson's first goal for the club sent City in level at the break. Jelavic's second sparked a superb response from the hosts who deservedly levelled again when second half substitute Aaron Wilbraham had his initial shot saved by Tim Howard but showed composure to square for Grant Holt to roll home from eight yards out.
'I thought it was a brilliant game,' said Lambert. 'That is up there with the games I have seen in my time here. I thought my team were outstanding against a brilliant side. I couldn't fault my team. Considering the pedigree of Everton we never gave up and I felt we were more than good value for something. I thought we were relentless at times. We played with enthusaism, we had drive and energy and we passed the ball well again. But it is alright having that, you need to have an end product and we did.'
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