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Norwich City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0: match report


Snodgrass lifts Norwich and boosts Hughton


Relief: Robert Snodgrass’s winning goal against Spurs gives Norwich a vital win Photo: GETTY IMAGES




Robert Snodgrass relieved some of the pressure on manager Chris Hughton and
gave Norwich
City
a huge boost in their fight for Premier League survival.

A second-half goal from Snodgrass was enough to secure a vital victory over
out-of-form Tottenham
Hotspur
and dent the North London club’s hopes of qualifying for the
Champions League.

Hughton was in danger of being sacked if Norwich lost, but his players
appeared to show they are behind their boss with a performance full of
spirit and drive.

This was the fourth game this season Hughton has started on the brink of the
sack, having previously survived with victories over West Ham, West Brom and
Hull.

The victory over Spurs meant Norwich climbed up to 14th in the Premier League
table, four point above the relegation zone.

Tottenham returned to England from their Europa League trip to Thursday at 3am
on Friday morning and the gruelling journey appeared to take its toll during
the first half.

Head coach Tim Sherwood made four changes from the team that lost in Ukraine,
but Spurs looked anything but fresh as Norwich dominated the opening 45
minutes.

But, as so often has been the case this season, the home side could not
convert their possession into chances and goals.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel failed to connect with an early cross into the penalty
area, as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris hesitated.

Martin Olsson failed to pick anybody out after being released down the left by
a superb pass from Bradley Johnson.

Snodgrass was the most dangerous player on the pitch and the winger saw a shot
blocked before producing a cross that almost fell for Sébastien Bassong.

Just before the break, Lloris managed to punch away an inswinging free-kick
from Snodgrass, but the Frenchman was finally beaten two minutes after the
restart.

Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb was caught in possession and Johnson found
Snodgrass, who curled a wonderful shot past Lloris and into the net.

The normally calm and collected Hughton fist-pumped in celebration on the
touchline, as his delight and relief boiled over.

All Spurs had to show for a woeful display up to that point was a Paulinho
shot that had sailed harmlessly over the crossbar in the 23rd minute.

Norwich keeper John Ruddy was finally called into action just after the hour
mark, as he rushed off his line to deny Emmanuel Adebayor after the striker
had robbed Bassong.

Sherwood sent on Roberto Soldado in place of Paulinho in search of an
equaliser. Seconds after being introduced, the Spaniard was teed up by
Adebayor but shot wastefully wide.

Soldado then headed wide from six yards after being picked out by Aaron
Lennon’s right-wing cross.

Snodgrass almost doubled his side’s lead to put the result beyond doubt, when
a 20-yard free-kick bent past Lloris but also curled inches wide of the
post.

Mousa Dembele created a late chance for the visitors by sending first-half
substitute Nacer Chadli into the Norwich area, but Ruddy did well to block
his drive.

Johnson thought he had put the result beyond doubt with a ferocious free-kick
that thundered against the underside of the Spurs bar, but the ball bounced
right on the line.

One goal proved to be enough for Norwich and Hughton lives to fight another
day.


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Norwich City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0: match report

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