Norwich City 3-3 Blackburn Rovers – Match Review

Grant Holt scored a stoppage time penalty to rescue a point for Norwich who fought back from 3-1 down against Blackburn who looked on course to win their first away game of the season.

The Norwich skipper climbed off the bench for a second consecutive week to save the Canaries again after heading the equaliser against Liverpool seven days prior. The result was incredibly on Blackburn and their boss Steve Kean who must have thought his side had picked up their first victory away from Ewood Park only to be pegged back at the death. However the boo boys who have been hounding the club to sack Kean over the course of the season will have been silenced after Rovers produced an enterprising performance in what as a fast paced and absorbing encounter. The point lifts the away side off the bottom and into 18th although a win would have seen them rise out of the bottom three for the first time in over a month. They’ll be deeply unhappy with referee Anthony Taylor after his decision to punish Steven N’Zonzi for handling in the area with the decision seeming a tad harsh.

Going into the game the consensus was that Kean needed a win and a performance to stave off the sack for another week and his side looked intent on prolonging their manages stay in the dugout. The away side, boosted by an extra time win against Newcastle in the Carling Cup, carved out numerous opportunities to take the lead with Mauro Formica setting the tone with rasping 25-yard drive early on. Thats not to say Norwich weren’t involved as they created chances of their own and but they were only woken up from their slumber after Yakubu sliced an effort wide. David Fox brought the best out of Paul Robinson from range before Elliott Bennett fired into the side netting. That proved to be a costly miss from the former Brighton man as Junior Hoillet deservedly put Rovers in front during first half stoppage time. The Canadian evaded a few challenges before lashing a super striker past John Ruddy from 20-yards.

Improvement was needed from the Canaries and they came out for the second period looking revitalised and they equalised through Steve Morison. The Welshman has been a key figure in recent weeks at Carrow Road and he finished with aplomb from the edge of the area after being set up by Leon Barnett. Once they concede Blackburn usually crumble but they looked to have secured their first win on the road with two quick fire goals. Firstly Yakubu saw his tame shot creep underneath Ruddy’s body before Christopher Samba established a two goal cushion flicking Morten Gamst-Pedersen’s free kick into the net. However it wasn’t to be as Rovers came under siege from a home side determined not to concede defeat in what was a frantic final few minutes. Midfielder Bradley Johnson reduced the arrears with seven minutes remaining with a crisp finish from the edge of the area before referee Taylor pointed to the spot in stoppage time after he adjudged N’Zonzi to have deliberately handled. Despite strong appeals from the visitors the decision stood and Holt kept his cool to slot the ball past Robinson from 12-yards to conclude a frenzied afternoon in Norfolk.

 


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