At the bottom of the Premier League, Norwich City is looking for a way out of relegation trouble with not much light at the end of the tunnel. While they’ve looked good at times, too often have they then failed to deliver the much needed points. It was one of those games again against Crystal Palace on the New Year’s Day. Norwich went up early on and held on to their lead into the final minutes of the game, only to see the win slip away. Their effort was faultless, but in the Premier League it’s just not enough – Norwich needs to kill off the game when given the chance or they will keep on losing all-important points in their battle of survival. Crystal Palace was a mean visitor and gave no heed to their hosts’ struggles, but slammed the game even on 85th minute with a controversial goal to steal a point from Carrow Road in hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Norwich started the game well with Todd Cantwell pouncing on a loose ball set by Emiliano Buendia and taking the host ahead after only four minutes. While Norwich’s defense looked shaky at times with Crystal Palace chasing, Tim Krul was there to parry the single shot the visitors managed in the first half. The Norwich defense did their part then, by blocking four shots. Home team took the 1-0 lead into the half and looked comfortable enough to keep it going.
The second half saw Crystal Palace keeper Vicente Guaita brilliantly save Emiliano Buendia’s free kick, but that was the only Norwich shot on goal in the second half. The visitors took control and added some pressure to Norwich end, but neither did they have clear cut chances – until the 85th minute. Wilfried Zaha took on Norwich defense at the edge of the box and delivered a low cross to Connor Wickham, who slid the ball in the net. The goal was initially ruled offside and no protests were heard from Crystal Palace players – but wrong they were. After checking up with VAR, the boot of Christoph Zimmerman canceled the offside and Crystal Palace pulled even.
Norwich’s inability to hang on to their lead and finish off their opponents when given the chance has caused them to fall into the bottom of the league. The distance to safety is already seven points and it doesn’t look good for the Canaries. They are off to play an FA Cup fixture next, facing Preston on the road and then return to EPL action on the 11th, visiting Manchester United. Norwich’s next five games feature ManU, Tottenham and Liverpool, so the route to safety is not getting easier.