Norwich City faced a tough battle in the FA Cup fifth round fixture at Tottenham, but deserved an unlikely victory after a thrilling encounter which finished in the penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in the regular time. Norwich performed admirably throughout and were in control for big chunks of the game, but scoring against the Tottenham defense organized by Jose Mourinho turned out to be challenging. Meanwhile Norwich managed to keep Spurs at bay as well and the resulting 1-1 draw was most likely justified. The visitors’ not-so-secret weapon in the shootout was the goalkeeper Tim Krul, who’s made his name as one of the better penalty stoppers in the game. Krul made the finishing save on Gedson Fernandes to send Norwich into the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke decided to give his top scorer Teemu Pukki and regular starters Ondrej Duda, Alex Tettey and Kenny McLean a rest in the FA Cup fixture, where the Canaries were deemed clear underdogs. Tottenham went on to the home game struggling with fitness, as the forward option were non-existent for Jose Mourinho. Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Stefan Bergwijn formed an attacking trio, but never seemed to click on the pitch. It was not a surprise that Spurs go-ahead goal was scored by a defender, as veteran back Jan Vertonghen rose above everyone else to nod in Giovani Lo Celso’s free kick on 13th minute. Norwich made some nice moves in the attacking end, but Michel Vorm between the pipes showed safe hands as did Tim Krul in the visitor’s goal.
The visitors were relentless in chasing the lead and finally got their reward on 78th minute. Josip Drmic, filling in for Teemu Pukki as a sole striker, scrambled the rebound left by Vorm into the net. Kenny McLean, who came in ten minutes earlier blasted a laser from 20 yards out and Vorm could only parry it in the path of Drmic. Not the most beautiful of goals, but everything counts. Spurs had their chances in the overtime, but Krul got the better of it or the efforts found their way into the stands.
The ensuing penalty shootout then became a show of the Dutch penalty savers, starring Michel Vorm and Tim Krul. Vorm saved the first effort by Norwich, but Krul then took the headlines making two crucial saves to finish the shootout 2-3 for the visitors. FA Cup quarter-finals will bring Manchester United against Norwich.
Norwich will return to action in no time, as the Premier League encounter at Sheffield United looms on the 7th of March. Don’t miss out on Dafabet’s Norwich City Prediction Challenge in order to win weekly free bets.