Norwich comeback stuns Rovers
Controversial injury-time penalty earns Canaries draw
Last Updated: 29/10/11 7:15pm
Substitute Grant Holt's controversial injury-time penalty completed a sterling Norwich fightback and earned a 3-3 draw against struggling Blackburn.
Rovers, who started the game anchored to the foot of the Premier League, looked set for their first away win of the season after second-half strikes from Yakubu and skipper Chris Samba put them 3-1 ahead at Carrow Road.
Junior Hoilett opened the scoring with a wonderful strike just seconds before the half-time break, with Norwich's Steve Morison levelling shortly after the restart.
Two goals in three minutes put under-fire Steve Kean's men in command before Norwich reduced the deficit when Bradley Johnson's wayward shot took a huge deflection off Rovers defender Jason Lowe and looped over a stranded Paul Robinson.
And the comeback was completed when Holt smashed home from 12 yards after Steven N'Zonzi was harshly adjudged to have handballed in added time.
Rovers, clearly boosted by their midweek Carling Cup win over Newcastle, created the first opening as Mauro Formica fired a dipping 20-yard drive over.
Norwich keeper John Ruddy, who made a fine late save to earn a point at Liverpool, dropped a corner which Yakubu flicked goalwards and hit Kyle Naughton who was on the post.
The Canaries eventually opened up Rovers down the left through Marc Tierney and Anthony Pilkington, with Morison knocking the ball over from close range under pressure from Gael Givet.
Rovers should have been in front on 12 minutes, but Yakubu blazed an angled drive over after a pass from Ruben Rochina split the Norwich defence.
Slowly Norwich settled and Pilkington's fierce volley from Elliott Bennett's right-wing cross was knocked behind before David Fox was denied by a fine save at full stretch from Robinson.
The home side broke through again through Morison and Pilkington down the left to cut the ball back across the face of goal. However, the on-rushing Bennett could only smash his shot into the sidenetting.
With five minutes to half-time, Blackburn won a free-kick in a dangerous position when Hoilett cut inside for the left and was tripped by Fox.
Pedersen whipped the ball towards the far post, which looped over Ruddy, but the Norwich keeper managed to recover and claim the catch before it squirmed over the line.
In stoppage time, Rovers snatched the lead when Canada-born youngster Hoilett cut in from the left again, before whipping an 18-yard effort over Ruddy into the far corner.
There was more urgency about Norwich at the start of the second half, and Morison levelled on 53 minutes with a fine finish.
Wes Hoolahan knocked the ball back into the Rovers box and an attempted clearance dropped to the Wales striker on the edge of the penalty arc. The former Millwall frontman calmly controlled the bouncing ball with his left foot before then dispatching it back with his right over Robinson.
As Carrow Road suddenly found its voice, Johnson should have done better when he met a looping cross from Pilkington into the six-yard box but his header lacked power.
Rovers, though, refused to roll over and were back in front after 62 minutes.
Yakubu got ahead of the Norwich defence on to a pass from Formica to drill the ball past Ruddy at the near post.
Before Norwich could regain their composure they were 3-1 down.
Pedersen's free-kick from the left was allowed to fly right across the six-yard box, where Samba headed in at the far post.
Lambert made some attacking changes as he sent on both Holt and Simeon Jackson.
The Canada forward broke down the left and centred for Morison, who in turn fed Holt on the overlap, but the striker's cross through the six-yard box was hacked clear by Givet.
Norwich, though, had a lifeline with eight minutes left when Johnson's deflected 20-yard shot looped up off Lowe and over a stranded Robinson.
Just when Blackburn, who let in two stoppage time goals as their Carling Cup tie went into extra time, looked to have held out for a much-needed first away win, N'Zonzi handled a high ball at the far post to concede a penalty.
Holt stepped up to ram the ball into the bottom left corner and earn Lambert's battling side a share of the spoils.
|Norwich City||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||4|
|7||Shots off Target||4|
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|