Norwich City played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Premier League Southampton on Saturday as they twice came from behind to earn a replay in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
Due to some ridiculous ticket pricing, the normally packed Carrow Road looked more like Portman Road as just 12,479 decided to turn up. It seems that there were around 2,000 Saints fans there, so that means around 14,000 City fans decided to take a week off from the dismal football we’ve seen lately.
In spite of that though, the players put in another decent performance, albeit on the back foot for much of the match.
Alex Neil made five changes to th side with McGovern, Whittaker, Pritchard, Josh Murphy and Cameron Jerome all back in the side.
McGovern had to be on his toes when he twice saved from Tadic and then again from Long before the deadlock was broken in the 38th minute by Virgil van Dijk.
The Big Dutch centre back was up from the back for a corner that wasn’t cleared and the ball came back out to Tadic on the right. He picked out a lovely left footed cross to Van Dijk at the far post with another switch off from a Norwich player the problem.
Alex Tettey was completely unaware that Van Dijk was behind him and he smashed a cracking right footed half volley past McGovern, adding a few more quid to his reported transfer price.
The second half was just eight minutes old when Saints’ 19 year old keeper, Harry Lewis brought down Jerome in the box for a penalty.
The 10,479 scratched their heads as Steven Whittaker stepped up to take it but fair play to him, he thumped the penalty past Lewis to equalise.
City didn’t really push on after equalising and there was an inevitability about Yoshida’s header that put the visitors in front on 67 minutes. At the time, Timm Klose was off the field having taken himself off the field after a kick to the achilles.
Alex Neil was annoyed and called his decision making ‘naive’ as he basically blamed the goal on Klose. Mind you, Russ Martin was right with Yoshida as he rose and simply didn’t win the header.
It looked as though the game might be up because Alex Neil’s side don’t normally score late goals but this time, Steven Naismith decided to buck the trend as he headed a great cross from Whittaker past Lewis in the 92nd minute to send the 10,479 into raptures.
This was another decent performance against a Southampton that didn’t field a weakened team, it was still a strong side. The Canaries played well but it’s a shame that they didn’t kick on after Whittaker’s equaliser.
If you fancy a trip to the south coast, the replay is on Wednesday 18th January at 7.45pm.