Paul Lambert's team fought to the very end and managed to get the goal they probably deserved in the closing stages after wasting several chances throughout the match
NORWICH -- After a fast-paced, all-action display at Carrow Road on Saturday, Norwich City claimed a draw in the final moments against Fulham to secure an unlikely point.
Portuguese striker Orlanda Sa scored the opening goal of the game in the first minutes after great work from Moussa Dembele, but the hosts eventually responded.
Paul Lambert’s team had more than its fair share of chances, but they couldn’t take any of them and were left to rue poor finishing, until Simeon Jackson headed in in injury time to secure a point.
After the disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Tottenham in midweek, Lambert made four changes to his team and lined up with a different formation too.
In defense, former Liverpool and Sevilla man Daniel Ayala made only his second Premier League start for the Canaries, replacing the injured Ritchie De Laet, while Kyle Naughton returned to the starting eleven after being ineligible for the visit of Spurs. In midfield, Bradley Johnson replaced Andrew Crofts and Anthony Pilkington came in for Grant Holt.
Fulham, however, made no changes at all from the team that drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day with there only being one difference to bench too as Matthew Briggs dropped out for Damien Duff.
The match started with a quick tempo and the Norwich fans were in full voice, but Fulham soon gave their own fans something to shout about as Martin Jol’s side took the lead inside five minutes.
Moussa Dembele eased past Johnson in the midfield before slipping a good ball through to Sa, and before knocking the ball away from Ayala, he shot from the edge of the box, giving John Ruddy little chance.
The visitors almost doubled their lead a matter of moments later, as Sa continued to problems, this time coming in from the left, but his effort was cleared off the line brilliantly by Naughton.
After that, Norwich began to dominate, feeding off the energy from the stands and creating a number of opportunities.
Johnson had the first clear chance, arriving at the penalty area late only to shoot wide, but a deflection caused the first of four corners.
From the second of the following corners, Zak Whitbread went close first as he saw his header tipped on to the cross bar, and soon after, Morison had two great opportunities, though both went straight at the goakeeper.
With the first half drwaing to a close, Fulham probably should have got its second goal as a ricochet in the area saw the ball drop kindly for Dempsey, but his header came back off the bar.
The visitors managed to keep the lead into the second half as whatever chances Norwich had were wasted, but there was a renewed sense of optimism for Norwich after the break as Grant Holt replaced the poor David Fox.
The first chance of the second half came ten minutes in and Norwich could have equalized, but for a great block John Arne Riise.
Morison did brilliantly to get on the end of a pass behind Stephen Kelly before flicking the ball to Wes Hoolahan in the center, and despite being tackled, the ball fell for Anthony Pilkington, but the winger’s attempt was put behind by the Norwegian left back.
Moments later, Norwich went even closer, b as Naughton cut inside Kelly, before shooting from a tight angle, but after beating David Stockdale, it clipped the bar and went over.
Despite a number of chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half, the Norwich fans were beginning to get extremely frustrated, particularly at the passing in the midfield.
With ten minutes left, after a raft of substitutions, Norwich felt it should have had a penalty as Simeon Jackson went down under pressure from Hangeland, but Howard Webb wasn't intersted.
Soon after, Jackson went close from left side of the area as the attacker looked to find the top-far corner, but Stockdale did well to parry it away.
Norwich continued to pile on the pressure in the final ten minutes and the next to come close was Whitbread, with a chance similar to the one in the first half, but this time Stockdale held on to it.
With just two minutes left of normal time, fan favorite Holt should have equalized, getting on the end of Elliott Bennett's cross from the right, but his header went well over from five yards.
The Canaries eventually got their goal injury time as Bennett's brilliant cross from the right was headed in by Jackson and the home fans went crazy, with relief so evident on the faces of many supporters.