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8 March 2014
• Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 26646
B. Johnson 56'
J. Walters 73'
Well, after what was a naff first half, who thought we would get so much drama at the end there! Thank you for joining me for this game. I have been Hayden Gribble and you have been most welcome.
FULL TIME - NORWICH 1-1 STOKE. The boos ring around Carrow Road as the Canaries drop two points in a pulsating encounter. Johnson headed the home side in front but a crazy push from Bassong at the other end handed a penalty to the visitors. Walters converted the spot kick but then saw red just minutes later leading to a frantic and nerve wracking end to a great game.
90' + 3'
WHAT A CHANCE! Johnson hits the ball into the ground and skews his effort wide of the post after the ball was squared from Elmander, who has played very well since coming on. Norwich are throwing the kitchen sink in!
90' + 2'
Bassong is desperate to make amends for his blunder in the penalty incident and he sends a long ball into the box, but Begovic is quick off his line to collect.
There will be FIVE minutes of added on time!
Cameron manages to stop Redmond in his tracks as he blisters his way down the left-hand-side. Both sides need to keep cool heads here but it is getting desperate.
All hands to the deck for Stoke as Crouch is back in a centre-half role to clear a dangerous Redmond cross. This is becoming frantic and the nails are being bitten inside Carrow Road.
CHANCE! Crouch is back in his own half helping his side out but ends up giving the ball away to Bassong, who lays it off the Johnson, but the goalscorer loses his radar and blasts it off target.
HIGH AND WELL OVER! Hooper gets his first whiff of goal but boots his shot well into the top tier of the stand as he squanders some good build up play from the home side.
I don't know, you wait 70 minutes for a game to wake up and then it all kicks off! This should be a grandstand finish to proceedings here as the Canaries look to make their numerical advantage count.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Here comes the cavalry. As Chris Hughton brings on two strikers, Mark Hughes introduces Ireland for Guidetti, who looks like he has gone off with a niggle. The substitute has been substituted!
Red CardJonathan Walters
Oh my word. Walters, the man who has just minutes ago levelled for the Potters, has just gone in with his studs showing on Redmond. His boot was high and referee Andre Marriner was right in front of the incident and has sent the goalscorer off. Yet another twist in this afternoon's events!
It was a moment of absolute madness from the Canaries captain and a moment which could prove pivotal for the home side's season. Chris Hughton looks frustrated in the dugout and I don't blame him.
Penalty GoalJonathan Walters
GOAL! Walters - who scored from the spot in the Potters last Premier League game against Arsenal, steps up and powers the ball side footed past Ruddy into the top corner. It might be against the run of play but they are level!
PENALTY! Bassong shoves Guidetti off the ball in the box. Madness! It's a penalty to Stoke!
Both teams are starting to give the ball away very easily and there is a growing tension spreading all over Carrow Road like a cloud of angst. Norwich really need a second goal to kill this game off as we have 20 minutes to play.
Yellow CardGeoff Cameron
STAT ATTACK: Four of the five Premier League meetings between these two sides have ended in a 1-0 scoreline, with the other a 1-1 draw.
Van Wolfsinkel continues to cut an isolated figure on the pitch. He needs support from an advanced midfielder and maybe Hughton should look at his bench where there are THREE strikers who could do some damage here.
STAT ATTACK: Norwich won 1-0 in the reverse fixture in September, and are one of only two sides to have left the Britannia Stadium with a league win this season.
There has been such a positive reaction from the visitors since that Johnson goal but they are finding it hard to break through the Norwich defence. Bassong and Yobo are forming a wall that the Potters just can't get past.
GREAT SAVE! Redmond has been so impressive in this game. The youngster goes for glory from 25 yards and sees his right-footed shot parried away by Begovic.
The visitors are having a real go at the Canaries here as Odemwingie is caught in an offside position, leading to ironic cheers from the home fans. Carrow Road has come to life!
GOAL! ...and they go in front! Norwich take the lead and Johnson rises highest to power a great header past Begovic and send the home support into delirium!
Yellow CardMarc Wilson
Norwich win a free-kick right near the byline as Wilson commits a foul. The Canaries are building momentum...
STAT ATTACK: Stoke's clean sheet against Arsenal last weekend was their first in 12 league matches.
WHAT A MISTAKE! AND WHAT A SAVE! Oh, Begovic. The Stoke keeper tips Snodgrass' powerful effort straight up in the air and towards and empty net...but the man between the sticks dives back and tips it out for a corner!
CHANCE! Walters gets free down the left-hand-side and swings a ball in for Crouch, but the cross is too tall even for the lanky striker and goes out for a throw. This is becoming end to end stuff!
PENALTY SHOUT! Odemwingie goes flying in the box and looks like he is pulled down by Tettey but referee Andre Marriner says no! It looks like the former West Brom man was looking for that on the replay and it was the correct decision to allow play to continue.
Neither side have have made any changes during the break, but both have come out with fire in their veins!
Stoke get us back underway, kicking from right to left.
Both teams are coming back out from the tunnel, both looking for three points. Whoever wins this may just begin to see daylight between themselves and the relegation places.
HALF TIME - NORWICH 0-0 STOKE. Honours are even at the break as no injury time is played. It was the Potters who came out of the traps early and should have been in front had it not been for some tame efforts from the likes of Crouch and Walters. The Canaries have had just one shot on target in the opening 45...and must improve if they are to get anything from this game.
CHANCE! Van Wolfswinkel is forced to go for goal from distance but his swirling shot is plucked out of the air by Begovic, who in truth has not got his gloves dirty today apart from that earlier Snodgrass effort.
This is so even at the moment. Both sides are looking a little flaky in front of goal and it's not doing the heart rates of their nervous supporters any good!
WELL WIDE! Arnautovic steps up to take the free-kick...and drags his effort well wide. Not the finish Mark Hughes' side would have wanted.
The Potters are just sneaking back into this a little more now, keeping possession and trying to break down the Canaries defenses. N'Zonzi has just won a free-kick in a dangeorus position. Will Ruddy be tested?
STAT ATTACK: Stoke are aiming to win back-to-back league matches for the first time since August.
The sun is beaming here in Norfolk but the football has been less than sunny in some places. Norwich are by far the strongest side as we approach the end of the half...they have ten minutes to break the deadlock and give Mark Hughes some halftime nightmares!
SO CLOSE! Cameron gives away a corner to the home side and the Carrow Road faithful roar their team on. The ball comes in and drifts right across the face of goal as Van Wolfswinkel fails to get the final touch!
We are a third of the way through this game and it is nicely in a balance at the moment. Both sides have had chances to break the deadlock but both have failed to deliver. Both managers are looking very pensive on the bench!
GREAT SAVE! Snodgrass has been by far the best player in a claret and green shirt so far today. He gets free of Shawcross in the box and lashes a shot at goal but Begovic palms it clear. That's more like it!
CHANCE! Nathan Redmond bolts forward almost Gascoigne-esque and lays the ball off for Snodgrass but his low cross is poor and goes out of play for a goal kick. The home side are waking up!
GOING FOR GOLD! Olsson lets the ball bounce once in front of him and then lets rip with a dipping shot from 30 yards. It does little to trouble Begovic, however and goes out for a goal kick.
Chris Hughton is busting a blood vessel on the touchlines as Martin and Snodgrass suffer a lapse in concentration and allow the ball to drift out of play for a Stoke throw. There needs to be more clout in Norwich's play.
The Potters are playing with possession at the moment, sliding small passes to one another and letting the home side chase their shadows. Mark Hughes must be delighted with their start, but will those early misses cost the visitors?
STAT ATTACK: The Canaries have scored just six times in their last 12 league matches.
SAVE! It's sunshine football from Stoke as Walters latches into a brilliant ball from Crouch but leathers his low shot right into the arms of Ruddy. It's yet another chance that has gone begging and the home support is starting to go a little quiet.
Van Wolfswinkel is doing his best to hold the ball up and bring the midfielders into play but he is being out muscled by Shawcross at the moment. Still no clear cut chances for the home side.
WELL OVER! Arnautovic takes the ball down with a brilliant first touch in the box but leans back just too far and scoops his effort well over Ruddy's goal.
So, with ten minutes on the board the home side have not threatened Begovic so far. Is the lack of firepower in the Canaries squad the reason for their predicament? The short answer, is yes. Stoke continue to press.
MASSIVE CHANCE! Oh, what a chance for Peter Crouch! The former England man completely fluffs his lines and scuffs a low shot straight at Ruddy when it was easier to score!
The Potters are looking to pounce on any chance of a break. This looks like it could be a very open encounter here at Carrow Road!
STAT ATTACK: The home side have kept four clean sheets in their last four league home games. Impressive.
Today's match referee is Andre Marriner - who gives the Canaries an early free-kick on the right flank. Snodgrass drifts a curling effort into the box but the visitors clear with ease.
We are underway with Norwich kicking from right to left.
Both teams are looking determined in the tunnel...who is your money on today? Both sides are desperate for three points but who will emerge victorious?
Meanwhile for the Potters, Mark Hughes is forced into making one change to his line-up as Peter Odemwingie replaces the suspended Charlie Adam in midfield.
Chris Hughton gives record signing Ricky Van Wolfswinkel a start for the Canaries this afternoon whilst Gary Hooper drops to the bench.
Stoke (4-2-3-1): Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson; Pieters, Odemwingie, Whelan; Nzonzi, Arnautovic, Walters; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Palacios, Guidetti, Etherington, Wilkinson, Ireland.
Norwich (4-5-1): Ruddy, Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Redmond, Hoolahan; Van Wolfswinkel. Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, Howson, Hooper, Pilkington, Elmander, Becchio.
Hello and welcome to this crucial Premier League match between Norwich and Stoke. My name is Hayden Gribble and I shall be taking you through all the action of these two outfits who are eager to escape the trappings of relegation. Let's have a look at the team news...
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