For match photos scroll to ‘PHOTOSTREAM’ above left. For stats click on the STATISTICS tab. For manager reactions scroll down.
An error from Southampton goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga helped Norwich City to secure a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s. The 20-year-old Argentinian was at fault for Robert Snodgrass’s leveller, with the midfielder’s free-kick beating him at the near post.
Southampton took the lead when a free-kick into the box ricocheted off Rickie Lambert before he prodded home. Norwich pulled level on the stroke of half-time as Snodgrass’ free-kick squirmed past Gazzaniga, but neither side could eke out a winner after in a tense second half.
It was Southampton who started the brighter, and Mark Bunn, deputising for the injured John Ruddy, did well to punch clear a sixth-minute corner. A trademark Lambert knockback was cleared soon after by Ryan Bennett, who then had to be alert to block a fierce Jason Puncheon drive.
Saints’ spell in the ascendancy was followed by a similar one for Norwich, with Anthony Pilkington getting a lot of joy down the left flank. The visitors may have peppered the box with crosses but Southampton’s backline held firm, with Luke Shaw doing well. The hosts’ captain Adam Lallana came close with an exquisite volley when they returned to the attack.
Southampton took the lead in the 32nd minute from a free-kick. Lallana sent in the ball, which bounced off Lambert’s arm on to Grant Holt before falling kindly for the Southampton forward to poke home. Gaston Ramirez saw a left-footed free-kick whip just wide of the far post nine minutes later, before Shaw did well to stop Holt getting a header in on goal moments later.
Norwich managed to find a leveller before the break after Nathaniel Clyne took down Snodgrass on the edge of the 18-yard box. The right-back was booked for the challenge and the Canaries midfielder took the set-piece, firing a low strike that beat Gazzaniga at his near post.
Southampton looked to make amends early in the second half, with a dangerous Clyne cross blocked by Bennett. Fonte shanked a volley shortly afterwards, before a threatening Snodgrass cross was lashed clear by Southampton’s defence.
Clyne tracked back well to stop Pilkington turning in a Holt through-ball as Norwich continued to threaten, with Shaw denying Snodgrass as he prepared to shoot. Gazzaniga did well to deny a Holt header from the resulting corner, before a quick turn and shot from Puncheon forced Bunn into a smart save at the other end.
Norwich were getting more and more players behind the ball as the second half wore on, frustrating Southampton as they pressed for a winner. Lambert flashed a shot over after Snodgrass threatened, before Shaw limped off to be replaced by Ben Reeves. Fonte blocked a fierce drive late on but neither side could find a winner, despite four minutes of stoppage time.
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins: "The first half we were on the front foot and there was a verve about us. We scored a good goal through Rickie Lambert and could have scored one or two others.
"Unfortunately, the game has changed for us bang on half-time with the goal we have conceded. That gave them a big uplift and in the second half I thought they were the better team. All-in-all, we've got another point. That is eight points in the last four games so we'll take the positives from that and move onto the next game."
Norwich manager Chris Hughton: "It was a fair result. Southampton were better in that first period and we took a little bit of time to get going. We were stung a little bit by the goal, but we were very good in that second half.
"As the game opened up, we defended very well and if anybody was going to score on the break it was going to be us. It was nothing less than we deserved, to get back into the game. We showed enough character to get back in and we've done that. We have had two tough away games and we have done well."
|01 Dec 2012||v Liverpool (A)|
|08 Dec 2012||v Reading (H)|
|22 Dec 2012||v Sunderland (H)|
|26 Dec 2012||v Fulham (A)|
|29 Dec 2012||v Stoke (A)|
|01 Jan 2013||v Arsenal (H)|