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Premier League

  • 10 December 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 26816
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Norwich City 4-2 Newcastle: Ten-man visitors fall to second straight league defeat as Grant Holt scores twice in thriller

Norwich City 4-2 Newcastle: Ten-man visitors fall to second straight league defeat as Grant Holt scores twice in thriller

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Restored to the starting line-up, the Canaries skipper proved the difference as a hectic second half at Carrow Road saw Dan Gosling sent off for Alan Pardew's men

Two goals from captain Grant Holt proved key as Norwich City poached a 4-2 victory over ten-man Newcastle in a Premier League fixture that exploded into life in the second half.

Wes Hoolahan bundled the opener over the line from a disputed corner in the first half before Demba Ba broke through the defence to equalise on the stroke of half-time.

Norwich then hit Newcastle with a four-minute double blow, with Holt regaining the lead through a header at the second attempt before Steve Morison arrived to dispatch the third, also with a fine headed effort.

Dan Gosling was sent off for the visitors when he was adjudged to have committed serious foul play on Russell Martin and, despite Ba raising Newcastle's hopes with a well-taken second moments later, Holt put the result beyond doubt with another excellent aerial goal.

With Newcastle missing first-choice centre-backs Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Lambert elected to recall supersub Holt to the starting XI alongside Morison, with Hoolahan also coming in as one of four changes to head a midfield diamond.

For the visitors, right-back Danny Simpson was called on to fill in the centre of defence alongside the inexperienced James Perch, with Shola Ameobi preferred up front to Hatem Ben Arfa.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Holt did the hard work in bullying his way past Perch into the area, but his angle coming in from the right meant that he had to shoot with his unfavoured left foot and his effort was easily blocked by Simpson.

Gosling then fluffed a useful looking chance, as Newcastle mustered a rare attack with Ba dropping deep to aid in the build-up. It came to Gabriel Obertan on the right, whose cross found the former Everton man as he floated away from his marker in the box, but his volley dropped lamely short of the near post.

As the match approached the half-hour point, there were shouts for handball as Davide Santon appeared to take a cross from the right onto his left forearm in the area, but referee Martin Atkinson ignored the appeals.


                   Dan's not the man | Gosling recieves red for his foul on Russell Martin

With half-time looming, Tierney was fed down the left by Surman on another of his rampaging runs but his cross was poor. Tim Krul picked it out at the far post and seemingly did well to keep it in play, but he was ruled to have carried it out.

From the resulting corner, an almighty scramble ensued in which Krul saved from Andrew Crofts' header before Hoolahan got the last touch and bundled the ball over the line.

A very simple goal then got things back to level terms on the stroke of half-time. Hanging around in front of the assembled Norwich back four, Yohan Cabaye dinked an elegant ball over the top and Ba broke the offside trap to find himself one-on-one with John Ruddy, before slotting coolly home.

Despite the first 15 minutes of the second half being dominated by a superior-looking Newcastle, it was the Canaries who took the lead again. David Fox's corner was cleared back to him, and he used the second ball to launch it towards Holt. The captain's first header was blocked but he was able to take another bite and this time saw it drop into the net off the underside of the bar.

Barely a moment later Norwich had another, Holt tussling on the edge of the area and ensuring that the ball was distributed to Crofts on the right, who had all the space he could need to line up a cross. Morison, who had previously had a very quiet game indeed, rushed onto it to extend his excellent scoring form with a bullet header.

Things then went from bad to worse for the visitors when Gosling clattered viciously into Martin, appearing to both tread on him and catch him with his shoulder, earning himself a straight red card.

The Magpies found a reply when Ameobi was allowed to wriggle free of his marker on the right and delivered a sumptuous through-ball to put Ba into the danger area. The Senegalese took Martin out of the equation with a delightful first touch before burying his second of the afternoon into the bottom corner.

Lambert moved to close the game out by introducing Bradley Johnson, and he contributed immediately by delivering a fine free-kick into the crowded area, where Holt was waiting to stoop low and power a fine header into the top corner to secure all three points for the Canaries.

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