How does Marshall save compare?

Twice in the space of four days last week, Norwich City goalkeeper David Marshall produced saves that had his opponents shaking their heads in disbelief.

Twice in the space of four days last week, Norwich City goalkeeper David Marshall produced saves that had his opponents shaking their heads in disbelief.

The first came 12 minutes from the end of last Saturday's Championship match at Cardiff when he leapt to his right to keep out Paul Parry's goalbound header, just as the Bluebirds seemed certain to take a 2-1 lead.

The value of that piece of athleticism was underlined 10 minutes later when Ched Evans scored his spectacular winning goal for the Canaries.

Marshall's second wonder save came early in the second half of Tuesday's home match against Hull. Simon Walton's cross was allowed to bounce, striker Fraizer Campbell - no more than three or four yards out - met it with his head and the 'keeper instinctively flicked the ball up and on to the top of the crossbar and out for a corner.

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Campbell, on loan from Manchester United, had his revenge one minute later when he poked in an equaliser off Marshall's body to earn his side a draw, but they might have had all three points but for the save the 22-year-old regarded as his finest yet.

“In terms of the quality and the technique side of things it was probably the best of my career,” he said. “It's one of those saves you make once every few years. At the time you don't even think about it and I haven't seen it since. It's just pure reaction.

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“The cross took a slight deflection but the guy was so close that you just try to get your arm up and I had a bit of luck with it clipping the crossbar.”

Before today's trip to Leicester, the former Celtic man had not been beaten more than once in 13 Championship games - since the 2-1 defeat at Stoke on December 1 - and had managed five clean sheets in that sequence.

As for the save, how does it compare with some of the most memorable from his illustrious predecessors?

t Ken Nethercott v Bobby Smith (Tottenham) FA Cup fifth round replay, Carrow Road, Feb 18, 1959: Film of Terry Bly's winning goal for City has been shown many times, but is there any footage of the save still talked about with a sense of awe by Nethercott's surviving team-mates? His acrobatic effort denied England centre-forward Smith and was described by Nethercott's successor in goal, Sandy Kennon, as “miraculous”. Recalled Kennon: “Smith had got up high and knocked the ball over the 'keeper's head. And Ken dived backwards and just managed to tip it over the bar - it was just magnificent. At that time I remember thinking 'What have I done?' I'd come to Norwich to play, and I couldn't see how I was going to get him out of the team.”

t Kevin Keelan v Malcolm Macdonald (Arsenal) Division One, Carrow Road, Sept 24, 1977: When you have 673 matches to choose from, how do you select one moment of magic? Keelan's performances in the League Cup semi-finals and final of 1975 were up there with the best, but this save from Macdonald in a 1-0 City win sticks in the memory. The Gunners' centre-forward looked certain to score from close range with that famous left-foot, but Keelan, by then 36, somehow got down like a flash to keep it out. If my memory is correct, Macdonald stood and applauded in sheer disbelief - shades of Eusebio after Alex Stepney denied him in the European Cup final at Wembley.

t Chris Woods v Garry Thompson (West Bromwich Albion) Division One, The Hawthorns, April 14, 1984: Woods kept 19 clean sheets in all competitions in a season in which he forced his way into the England squad, but his save at The Hawthorns was one of the best of his career. It was in fact one of four stops in a two-minute spell of frantic action around his goalmouth, as he dived to turn Thompson's powerful header round the post. Malcolm Robertson, covering the game for the Eastern Daily Press, described the save as “remarkable”. He wrote: “It was the most compelling action I've witnessed this season . . . absolutely marvellous.”

t Bryan Gunn v Adolfo Valencia (Bayern Munich) UEFA Cup second round, first leg, Olympic Stadium, Oct 19, 1993: Gunn's best 90 minutes for City may well have been in the televised match at Millwall in 1989, but his most famous save was undoubtedly the one that preserved the Canaries' 2-1 lead in Munich. The club's official handbook the following season reported: “The Germans' big chance came after 75 minutes, when another Jorginho cross fell perfectly on to the head of Valencia six yards out. His contact looked deadly, but somehow Gunn spread himself to produce the most incredible save of his distinguished career, and keep City on course for their greatest ever result.”

t Andy Marshall v Dion Dublin (Coventry) FA Cup fourth round, Highfield Road, Jan 28, 1995: Marshall, 19, was making only his sixth senior appearance for City, and was on as a substitute after on-loan 'keeper Simon Tracey had been stretchered off following a clash of heads with Dublin. With 65 minutes gone, Peter Ndlovu's low cross from the right was met at the near post by Dublin's outstretched boot and the ball was on its way in when Marshall swooped down to his right and flicked it up eight feet and over the bar. “Phenomenal” was the verdict of Coventry boss Phil Neal. City drew 0-0 and won the replay 3-1. Tracey was back for the fifth round tie at Everton, which City lost 5-0.

t Robert Green v Geoff Horsfield (Birmingham) Division One play-off final, Millennium Stadium, May 12, 2002: Green's five seasons as City's first-choice 'keeper were full of heroics, but was there a better example than this? His save from Horsfield in the first half in Cardiff was described as “phenomenal” by Ron Atkinson, in the commentary box. Jeff Kenna's cross from the right was met by the head of Tommy Mooney, Horsfield knocked it goalwards and Green, miraculously, stuck out his right arm and managed to claw it away. “That's as good a save as you will see this season,” said Atkinson.

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