Southampton were denied a third straight Premier League victory after a horrendous mistake from goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga gifted Norwich a point at St Mary’s.

Nigel Adkins’ men have hit a rich vein of form in November, with the victory over Newcastle on Sunday making it three without defeat and giving them real hope of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.

The Canaries have also improved after a slow start under Chris Hughton but needed a stroke of luck to prolong to prolong their unbeaten run, that now stands at seven games, and continue their upward trajectory.

Unsurprisingly the game was overshadowed somewhat by the return of referee Mark Clattenburg, as he picked up the whistle for the first time since Chelsea falsely accused him of racially abusing Jon Obi Mikel in the defeat against Manchester United last month.

As they have done in recent weeks the Saints started brightly and almost took a deserved lead through captain Adam Lallana’s volley that sailed over after he was picked out in the penalty area by Rickie Lambert.

But that proved to be a warning shot to the visitors who found themselves behind after 32 minutes, albeit in controversial circumstances as the ball appeared to strike Lambert on the arm before he dispatched it past Mark Bunn for his sixth of the season.

Norwich rallied and forced an equaliser on the stroke of half time through Robert Snodgrass, who saw his low free kick squirm under the body of Gazzaniga to give Adkins another goalkeeping headache.

TheĀ 20-year-old Argentine did redeem himself after the break, keeping out Grant Holt’s header at point blank range. At the other end Mark Bunn, deputising for the injured John Ruddy, dived low to claw away Jason Puncheon’s fizzing strike before Lambert and Lallana wasted a succession of late chances.

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