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Match Report: Swansea City 2-3 Norwich City (Norwich Fan's Perspective)

Tuesday 14th February 2012
The Canaries left victorious from the Liberty Stadium getting the better of a five goal thriller with a double from Grant Holt and a deflected Pilkington effort in possibly the Yellows best away result of the season. This win lifts Norwich up to 8th in the Premier League just four points off big spenders Liverpool who lost away at Manchester United.

The two promoted teams have set the Premiership alight, despite limited budgets, with attractive successful football making this a perfect recipe for a breathtaking spectacle.

Only Manchester United have taken all three points from the Liberty Stadium. Swansea's last home game ended as an unfortunate draw with a 92nd minute own goal to deny the Swan's all three points against a Chelsea side filled with their multi-million pound players whilst Norwich's last away game was an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Sunderland.

Norwich started by far the better side, taking the game to Swansea. The Yellows dominated possession and forced Swansea keeper Vorm into early well held saves. The Canaries were always susceptible to the break and this was punished in the 23rd minute when Swansea's record signing Danny Graham slotted the ball into Ruddy's top left corner after an incredible through ball from Nathan Dyer.

Norwich continued to threaten the home side's goal, however, again from the break, a last ditch tackle from Elliott Ward (who returned to the side for his first appearance of the season after a long term injury) saved his team from going 2-0 down.

The second half began with only one side involved. Norwich came out the traps after what seemed to be another inspiring half time team talk from Paul Lambert. It took less than two minutes for the equalising goal which came from a towering header by Grant Holt. The ball was crossed in from a Fox free kick, then Russell Martin hit a wayward shot which the home fans cheered, expecting it to go out, only to be recovered by the stretching Ward who pulled it across to give the big man his 7th Premiership goal of the season.

Just as Norwich threatened to do all afternoon, four minutes later they took the lead through Anthony Pilkington, grabbing his second goal in as many games. This one, however, took a huge slice of luck deflecting off Neil Taylor leaving the Swansea keeper with no chance, being wrong footed. The assist came from winger Elliott Bennett who was lively all afternoon.

Grant Holt grabbed his second of the game in the 62nd minute in a crazy second half turnaround from Norwich. Bennett, with another assist, carved the Swansea defence apart leaving Holt to calmly finish with a right footed well placed shot past Vorm. He received a yellow card for his celebration for taking off his shirt to silence the abuse from the home fans.

 

The game was nearly put to bed from a thunderous shot from Kyle Naughton; only a world class save by the Dutchman Vorm prevented this. He was called to action again minutes later from substitute Wes Hoolahan who really should have done better from his close range effort, set up by ever present Holt.

The game took a massive turnaround after Holt pulled Swansea captain Ashley Williams' shirt in the box giving the home side the chance to get back in the game five minutes from time. Top scorer Graham calmly took the resulting penalty putting the ball past Ruddy's right giving the Canaries a nail biting final few moments.

Swansea gave Norwich an onslaught towards the end, fighting for the point that seemed unlikely after the Yellows' two goal lead. First came Graham, dragging the ball wide after he was left unmarked in the box, then Steven Caulker forcing a great save from the Norwich number one.

Norwich held out to take all three points which overall was deserved. This is the Canaries first win at Swansea since 1962. Swansea will hope their incredible home record continues however both sides looked established top flight teams and more than deserve their places in the best league in the world.

My man of the match goes to centre back Elliott Ward. He looked solid against a great Swansea side and his incredible sliding tackle when Swansea were leading 1-0 could have made the difference in the 90 minutes. He's been so unfortunate with a long term injury this season after being a regular for Norwich in their Championship campaign. He also set up Holt's first goal.

Norwich take on millionaire Championship outfit Leicester City in the FA cup at Carrow Road next week. Leicester, with a budget that dwarfs the Canaries by a considerable amount, lay 12th in the Npower Championship seven points off a playoff place. Norwich will hope to show that money is not the key when it comes to escaping the difficult league.

Swansea now have a week off after losing to Bolton in the Cup 2-1 at the Reebok Stadium.

@JCossey7 on Twitter.
James Cossey

Total articles: 6

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