Tottenham twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Norwich at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Saturday.
The hosts made a bright start to the game, with Marco Stiepermann wasting a good chance to open the scoring ten minutes in. However, just moments later, an unmarked Deli Alli fired over from the edge of the box.
Spurs grew into the contest, but it was Norwich who opened the scoring through Mario Vrancic. Juan Foyth was dispossessed with ease, and Vrancic ran through before firing into the bottom corner on 18 minutes.
The Canaries thought they had doubled their lead on 33 minutes through Teemu Pukki’s strike, after he latched onto an outstanding Vrancic pass before slotting home. However, following a VAR review, the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside.
Tottenham drew level ten minutes into the second half, Christian Eriksen curling home a wonderful free kick. Dele thought he had put the north Londoners in front moments later, but he too was offside. Instead, the hosts moved back in front through a Serge Aurier own goal on 61 minutes.
The Lilywhites drew level with seven minutes remaining though, Harry Kane comfortably finding the corner from the penalty spot after being fouled in the box. The away side pushed for a winner, but both sides had to settle for a point.
Key Talking Point
Norwich came into the clash with Spurs sitting at the bottom of the table despite scoring relatively freely – mostly on account of their dismal defensive record.
As a result, Daniel Farke will have been desperate to see his side put in a bright performance and take the game to their opponents. They looked hungry from the off, winning every loose ball. They pressed forward and forced Spurs into countless mistakes in the first half, and were rewarded for their positive start on 18 minutes.
The hosts pressed and forced Foyth into a mistake, allowing Vrancic to race forward and give his side the lead. Once again, the Canaries forced another opposition player into a mistake minutes later – this time Aurier – before playing the ball through for Pukki, who thought he had doubled their lead. Alas, VAR.
Although they were able to move back into the lead after Tottenham had equalised, Farke will be devastated that that his side were unable to see out the game. Nonetheless, he will take plenty of positives from the display.
Honestly Norwich deserves to win this match,
Beautiful football ✔️ Confidence level #NORTOT
— Mykel (@HisNameIsMykel) December 28, 2019
— The Scouse Nomad (@G2theb4) December 28, 2019
Starting XI: Krul (5); Aarons (6), Zimmermann (6), Hanley (6), Lewis (6); Tettey (5), Vrancic (8*); Emi (6), Stiepermann (6), Hernandez (5); Pukki (7).
Substitutes: McLean (6), Trybull (6), Cantwell (N/A).
STAR PLAYER – In only his second Premier League start of the season, Mario Vrancic was outstanding.
The midfielder looked to break up play and press the opposition when out of possession, while he was positive on the ball. Vrancic helped press Foyth into a mistake, before carrying the ball towards the edge of Spurs’ box and produced a cool finish to give his side the lead.
He then played a simply world-class pass through to Pukki, who thought he had doubled his side’s lead before it was ruled out. Vrancic picked up the ball near the halfway line and spotted the striker’s run, playing a pinpoint pass into his path. He continued to shine and although his side were unable to pick up the win, it was an impressive display.
That is a great ball! #Vrancic. Vertonghen blatantly didn’t think Pukki would be able to bring that down on the move.
— Bear Swift (@Writer_Bear) December 28, 2019
Key Talking Point
Jose Mourinho brought in Tanguy Ndombele, who was left out of the squad on Boxing Day, for the clash, while Christian Eriksen was handed his first full match in the league under Mourinho and Giovani Lo Celso was also given a rare start. These changes were partially to do with the hectic festive fixture schedule, but also due to injuries and suspensions to other key midfielders.
Nonetheless, it was an opportunity to impress. However, Spurs made a sloppy start to the game, with the midfielders in particular losing possession on countless occasions in the opening exchanges. The hosts took advantage of their slow start and moved into the lead, with Foyth the one to be dispossessed on that occasion.
Serge Aurier was caught on the ball in the build up to Pukki’s disallowed goal, but Mourinho’s men got away with it that time. The manager made two changes at half time, hooking the hapless Argentine, and although they looked brighter going forward and soon drew level, they were once again punished for their defensive frailties as Aurier found the back of his own net.
While Kane was able to salvage point from the penalty spot late on, it was a disappointing display by Mourinho’s men.
— Sean Clarke (@Seancgalway) December 28, 2019
Spurs aren’t being aggressive. They play like they have to wait for the other team to take initiative. No creativity. Mourinho has got a lot to do…#NORTOT
— Olafuyi Paul (@paulolafuyi) December 28, 2019
Starting XI: Gazzaniga (4); Aurier (3), Foyth (3), Alderweireld (5), Vertonghen (4); Ndombele (4), Lo Celso (4); Eriksen (7*), Alli (6), Sessegnon (6); Kane (6).
Substitutes: Sanchez (5), Moura (6), Lamela (5).
STAR PLAYER – It was a hugely disappointing display by Spurs, who looked lethargic and lost for ideas for large parts of the game. However, it was Christian Eriksen who was the standout performer.
The midfielder was handed a rare start under Mourinho and although he was quiet in the first half, he showed the necessary quality to bring his side level. His free kick was world-class, calmly curling the ball into the top corner. As the north London side grew into the contest, Eriksen became more and more influential, dictating play and linking up with the likes of Lucas Moura.
What a goal from Eriksen. If this is one of his last games and goals for us, it is a remarkable contribution. #NORTOT
— Khya Gott (@Khya_Gott) December 28, 2019
Norwich next host Crystal Palace on Wednesday before travelling to take on Preston in the third round of the FA Cup.
Tottenham, meanwhile, face a trip to Southampton on Wednesday. They then face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.