I guess this was the original “two points dropped or one point gained?” type of match.
Personally, I am very much in the latter camp on this particular issue but can understand why folks might feel differently.
There was an electric start when a great run from Milot Rashica picked out Adam Idah in the box and his neat layback invited Teemu Pukki to shoot past Vicente Guaita via the inside of the post. I couldn’t get to the game myself but I can guarantee that Steve and Michael, two of my matchday mates behind me in the Barclay, will have missed the goal due to the charms of the Trafford Arms.
Wilfried Zaha executed an absolute scorcher from the angle of the box that Angus Gunn could have done nothing about. The pendulum started to swing and very shortly afterwards – Max Aarons got into a slightly silly tangle in the box with Tyrick Mitchell as the Palace player wrong-sided him and referee Paul Tierney had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Up stepped Zaha, who appeared to slip in his run-up and the ball skidded harmlessly wide of Gunn’s right-hand post. At least you went the right way, Angus!
There was nothing clear-cut after that and with Mathias Normann and Billy Gilmour coming on to replace Pierre-Lees Melou and Pepe Placheta, City held out for the draw that certainly seemed like the right result on the night.
I’m told that young Jonathan Rowe did himself no harm when he replaced Idah towards the end.
As I mentioned above I didn’t go myself but MFW regular Don Harold used my ticket and this was his view as “the man in the ground”.
“I was expecting a crash, bang, wallop of a game, with Norwich’s new-found willingness to get stuck in something to look forward to.
“The bang came first as Teemu made me very glad I hadn’t stayed for an extra half in the Kings Arms. I think it is the quickest goal I’ve ever seen Norwich score.
“I spent the next hour hoping there wouldn’t be a crash but a piece of Zaha brilliance broke the spell. The fact that he followed it up with an absolutely hilarious penalty miss made it slightly less disappointing.
“The wallop never really came. Angus saved some shots on target and will have been lifted by the acclaim afforded to him by the Barclay.
“The performance showed that every Premier League point is hard to get and, if Norwich continue to show such grit and determination, the hope of miraculously staying up is still alive”.
Dean Smith said afterwards: “It [the result] is fair. I was really pleased with the first half and the start that we made. It was a good goal from Teemu and he will feel that he probably could have scored another one as well, he had a couple of chances, and I was pleased with the first-half performance in general.
“I thought that in the last 10-15 minutes Crystal Palace found the solution to overloading us in midfield and it became a little bit harder and we had less of the ball. I was disappointed with what we did with the ball. The second half they were the better team and deserved it [the draw].”
Pukki was equally pragmatic, saying:
“I think we can be happy with the point today, especially how the game went.
“Of course, going into the lead and then losing it, it’s always a bit disappointing but they were better than us today so we can be happy with the point.”
So we remain in the bottom three and could be there for at least a couple of weeks to come as we all know our next two fixtures are Citeh [h] and Liverpool [a].
Nothing is pre-ordained of course but last night’s possession ratio was City 28%, Palace 72%.
If that is repeated in the next two games the consequences will not be a 1-1 draw in either case but we must bear in mind that as much as we loved him, a Farke team would quite probably have lost that one so yep, a point gained for me.
This squad is becoming quite passionate under Deano: