Norwich City 1-1 Crystal Palace - Canaries mark 2020 with disheartening draw with Palace
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Connor Wickham’s late equaliser denied Norwich City three points on New Year’s Day, with VAR overturning the initial offside decision five minutes from time as they drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace at Carrow Road.
City took the lead through Todd Cantwell after five minutes, as the young midfielder latched on Emi Buendia's deflected shot to score his sixth Premier League goal of the season.
Once again, City failed to make their dominance count as they were unable to extend their lead and secure three points.
City made three changes to the starting XI that drew with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, with Cantwell, Sam Byram and Kenny McLean returning to the side as Daniel Farke sought to freshen up his team.
The Canaries were playing their third fixture in seven days, with a return of one point over the festive period. Prior to kick-off, City had picked up only one victory from their last 15 games, coming away at Everton in November.
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Roy Hodgson's men are amid an injury crisis of their own, prompting the ex-England boss to name four academy graduates on the Eagles bench.
Palace were unchanged from the side who drew with Southampton at the weekend, with Max Meyer having a goal disallowed by VAR for a tight offside call in the first-half of that game.
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It was the visitors who started the brighter, with Luka Milivojevic's shot from the edge of the penalty area deflected wide as City scrambled to clear a free-kick.
Despite the Eagles early pressure, it was City who took the lead courtesy of Todd Cantwell. The England U21 international exchanged passes with Buendia, who got crowded out inside the area before he could unleash a shot. The Argentine's effort ricocheted into the path of Cantwell, who finished with aplomb.
Celebrations were muted as the effect of Saturday's incident with VAR still prominent within the back of supporter's minds, but replays showed Cantwell was clearly onside.
A period of dominance from the Canaries followed, but Farke's men were unable to turn prolonged spells of possession into clear cut chances.
Palace still posed a threat on the break, with Jordan Ayew's glancing header from a Martin Kelly cross saved comfortably by Tim Krul.
Buendia has been City's shining offensive force in recent weeks, and the Argentine almost scored a sublime debut Premier League goal, controlling a high pass off his chest before hitting a dipping volley towards goal, only for Vincente Guaita to catch the effort.
Zimmermann's mistake in the 36th minute nearly proved costly as Jairo Riedewald waltzed through on goal, his cut-back eventually found James McArthur, but the towering German defender made amends with a stunning block to deny the Scot.
The ebb and flow of the game continued thereafter, this time it was City who nearly profited from a turnover as they worked the ball to Max Aarons on the right. His low cross picked out Cantwell, but his half volley was saved well by Guaita.
Teemu Pukki latched onto a Kenny McLean's long pass in first-half stoppage time, beating a lunging Mamadou Sakho to the ball.
The Finn twisted past James Tomkins but couldn't escape the attentions of the defender, with his effort eventually smothered by the ex-West Ham man.
City's last effort of the half saw Tettey find Aarons on the right-hand side of the area; he burst into the box and delivered a low cross to the back post, but nobody was on the receiving end to convert.
Buendia continued to be City's creator in chief, weaving his way past several Palace defenders before finding Vrancic on the edge of the area. The Bosnian cut back but was fouled by Max Meyer.
From the subsequent free-kick, Buendia stepped up and curled an effort towards goal, only to see his effort saved wonderfully by the fingertips of the Eagles goalkeeper.
City's search for that decisive second goal went on, with Cantwell teeing up Tettey but his shot was deflected by the recovering Cheikhou Kouyate.
Buendia's corner found McLean in space, he glanced a header towards the back post where Vrancic was waiting, but he could only stab his effort into the side netting.
City suffered a scare in the 66th minute as Palace took a free-kick quickly. Ayew was unopposed as he delivered a cross from the right, only for City to clear through McLean as Palace struggled to find a finish.
The Canaries offensive passages were threatening, and they went close to doubling their advantage after McLean rattled the crossbar with a thunderous strike from inside the box.
In the dying embers, the Eagles found an equalising goal. Zaha worked himself into a one versus one situation with Aarons, beating him and then crossing for Connor Wickham who tapped into the net.
The linesman initially flagged for offside before VAR ruled the striker was played onside by the diving leg of Zimmermann.
Small margins would dictate that City failed to secure three points at home. Despite leading for seven of the last nine games, City have failed to convert that into points.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Zimmermann, Byram; Tettey (Idah, 90), Vrancic; Buendia, McLean, Cantwell (Hernandez, 78); Pukki (Stiepermann, 83). Subs not used: McGovern, Lewis, Trybull, Amadou.
- Bookings: Zimmermann, Aarons, Hanley, Stiepermann, Tettey
- Goals: Cantwell 5
- Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Kelly (Pierrick, 83), Tomkins, Sakho (Kouyate, 45), Riedewald; Milivojevic (C), McArthur, McCarthy; Zaha, Meyer (Wickham, 60); Ayew. Subs not used: Hennessey, Woods, Kirby, Daly.
- Bookings: None
- Goals: Wickham 85
- Added on time: 1 min/ 4 mins
- Referee: Jonathan Moss
- VAR: Jarred Gillett