Kane snatches point with late penalty at Norwich
Norwich City 2-2 Spurs
Sat 28 December 2019, 19:31|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane's penalty seven minutes from time rescued a point as we twice came from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Mario Vrancic fired the Premier League's basement side ahead in a difficult first half in which Teemu Pukki controversially had a second goal for the hosts ruled out by the VAR, but we made changes at the break and deservedly equalised when Christian Eriksen curled home his second league goal of the season with a 20-yard free-kick.
Six minutes later, though, the Canaries' luck changed as they benefitted from a Serge Aurier own goal to regain the lead against the run of play. We piled on the pressure and eventually found a second equaliser in the 83rd minute when Kane kept his composure to score from the penalty spot after being fouled by Christoph Zimmermann in the area. Erik Lamela, off the bench for his first appearance since 22 October following a hamstring problem, tested Tim Krul from distance but that was the closest we went to finding a winner on a somewhat frustrating early evening in Norfolk.
We had two good chances inside the first 12 minutes that could have seen a tricky first period unfold very differently, Dele Alli leaning back and blasting skywards as he ran onto Kane's square pass on the break, with Kane then denied by goalkeeper Krul after bringing Toby Alderweireld's long ball under his spell and getting a shot away from the right angle with the Norwich defence rapidly retreating. Prior to those attempts, Marco Stiepermann might have fired the hosts into an early lead after a mix-up between Eriksen and birthday boy Tanguy Ndombele in central midfield, but Paulo Gazzaniga made a smart save down to his right.
Both teams were guilty of making mistakes and following one from the Canaries, Eriksen played a clever ball across the box for Ryan Sessegnon to run onto and strike, but he was denied by Max Aarons' block. Within seconds, though, Norwich were celebrating at the other end. Emi Buendía dispossessed Juan Foyth - in as one of four changes from the Boxing Day win over Brighton for his first Premier League start of the season - and the ball was played forward for Vrancic to run through the middle and squeeze a shot low beyond Gazzaniga in the 18th minute. Norwich were denied a second by VAR a quarter-of-an-hour later as Pukki expertly controlled Vrancic's cross-field pass and fired home, but was adjudged to have been off-side by the tightest of margins on the video replay.
Jose Mourinho made a double change at the break with Davinson Sanchez and Lucas Moura replacing Foyth and Jan Vertonghen as we slightly altered our shape and, after a superb recovery tackle by Zimmermann to deny Dele when he was through on goal within two minutes of the restart, we found an equaliser on 55 minutes. Jamal Lewis clearly handled Lucas' ball forward for Kane just outside the box and Eriksen stepped up to bend the resulting free-kick into the top corner via a very slight deflection off the wall.
Dele finished off a lovely move with a flick over Krul three minutes later as we continued on the front foot but knew straight away that he was off-side - only for Norwich to then regain the lead in fortuitous circumstances from their point of view. Buendía played forward to Pukki, Alderweireld got back to him and poked the ball away but it hit the retreating Aurier as he ran across goal and crept in off the right-back.
We dominated the play after that and you sensed at least one more goal was coming. Dele just couldn't connect with Kane's first-time ball across the box on 79 minutes but when the determined Lamela won the ball deep and sprung Dele free, the latter found Kane on the outside and he was brought down by the sliding Zimmermann as he entered the box from the right. A VAR check validated referee Kevin Friend's decision to award us a penalty and Kane made no mistake despite the delay to fire us back level on his 200th Premier League appearance - the first three of which co-incidentally came while he was on loan at Carrow Road in 2012/13. Lamela's speculative left-footer from range had to be tipped over by Krul but despite seven added minutes, we couldn't carve out a winner.
There's an argument to say Pukki's effort being ruled out for off-side shortly after the half-hour mark was a key moment in the game, but crucially we kept ourselves within touching distance of the Canaries throughout the contest and in the end, Kane came up with our key moment.
The striker was brought down in the box by Zimmermann in the 81st minute but the clock had ticked onto 83 by the time he stepped up to take his penalty after the VAR looked at the incident. As he so often does, Kane was ice cool as he kept his focus to blast home and secure a point.
Jose Mourinho said afterwards: "We played so well, we created, we played beautiful football, we scored goals and we conceded goals that are difficult to digest. We started the game so well, so dominant, good chances. I remember clearly Sessegnon’s shot blocked, Dele facing the goalkeeper over the bar, then we conceded a really bad goal. Then we conceded a really bad second goal that was off-side. We go to the second half and we take all the possible risks you can take. The team accepts that, accepts the responsibility, we scored and had 30 minutes to win – and then the second goal comes. A team with a normal soul would die in that moment, but that didn’t happen to us. We kept playing, I think we played even better, great spirit, great intensity, incredible effort, really good. The second goal came and we still had 15 minutes to play. We tried to win, they tried to draw and it was a draw, very frustrating for us to create so much, and to concede with so little."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Norwich City 2-2 Spurs
Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul, Aarons, Hanley (c), Zimmermann, Lewis, Tettey (Cantwell 85), Vrancic (Trybull 75), Buendia, Stiepermann (McLean 70), Hernandez, Pukki. Substitutes (not used): Fahrmann, Byram, Amadou, Srbeny.
Spurs (3-5-1-1): Gazzaniga, Foyth (Sanchez 46), Alderweireld, Vertonghen (Lucas 46), Aurier, Lo Celso (Lamela 74), Ndombele, Eriksen, Sessegnon, Dele, Kane (c). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Tanganga, Dier, Skipp.
Goals: Norwich - Vrancic 18, Aurier (OG) 61; Spurs - Eriksen 55, Kane 83 (pen).
Yellow cards: Norwich - Vrancic 22, Lewis 54, Krul 55; Spurs - Lucas 69, Alderweireld 90+3, Eriksen 90+6.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich.
Weather: Light cloud, gentle breeze, eight degrees.