Tuesday 12 December 2017

Rovers denied at death

Jim van WijkAndrew Gwilym

Norwich captain Grant Holt came off the bench to net a stoppage-time penalty and deny Blackburn Rovers boss Steve kean a much-needed win at Carrow Road .

Rovers took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Junior Hoilett. Steve Morison levelled with a well-taken strike, but two quick goals from Ayegbeni Yakubu and captain Christopher Samba looked to have secured a first away win for Rovers.

However, the Canaries grabbed a lifeline with eight minutes left through Bradley Johnson and Holt earned them a point in stoppage time from the spot after Steven Nzonzi handled.

Kean was utterly deflated afterwards. "It feels like a defeat because a decision like that in five minutes of stoppage time is very hard to take," he said of the penalty. "I have looked at the penalty decision from a few angles and Steven was fouled at the back post. For us to do so well and to have the game in the palm of our hands, it is tough to take."

Canaries boss Paul Lambert felt his team had taken what their efforts deserved. "We have got a good side and a great spirit and desire to try to win games," he said.

"From my view, we were the better team in the first half and were caught with a classic sucker punch. Blackburn hurt us when we did not do the right things but all credit to the lads, because they came back really strong."

Coyle on warpath

Swansea 3

Bolton 1

Bolton manager Owen Coyle bemoaned a lack of "consistency" from referee Mark Clattenburg after seeing his 10 men lose 3-1 at Swansea.

After a goalless first half the game turned in the home side's favour when Bolton left-back Ricardo Gardner was given a second booking after tugging back Swansea winger Nathan Dyer. Joe Allen gave the Welsh club a 49th-minute lead from the resulting free-kick, with a Scott Sinclair penalty doubling the lead just before the hour mark when Darren Pratley brought down Angel Rangel.

A Danny Graham own-goal gave Bolton hope, but the striker redeemed himself by grabbing his fourth goal in four games at the right end in stoppage time.

Coyle felt Gardner's two bookings had been "soft". "It felt like two soft yellow cards, but that's the nature of the game now," he said. "I think ultimately we want a bit of consistency in the game."

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers understandably cut a more contented figure after seeing his side extend their unbeaten home record.

"That was a terrific performance," Rodgers said. "We opened up the spaces, passed the ball and hid the ball from the opponents for five or 10 minutes and that's something we had talked about in the week, different ways to manage the pressure."

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