Ten-man Rovers grab point
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 06/11/04 4:46pm
A late leveller from ten-man Blackburn denied Norwich their first win of the season as they drew 1-1 at Carrow Road.
Matthias Svensson put Norwich ahead just before the hour and at that point The Canaries were good value for their lead.
On the stroke of half time Blackburn had been reduced to ten-men when Jay Bothroyd inexcusably lashed out at Mattias Jonson and picked up a straight red.
Despite taking the lead, Norwich sat back and allowed Blackburn to take control and with five minutes left - Paul Dickov headed home a fully deserved equaliser for Mark Hughes's side.
Norwich began the game the brighter of the two sides and within the first minute created an opening as Darren Huckerby peeled off on the right and crossed, but Mattias Jonson failed to make contact with the cross.
Paul Dickov fired a quick response with a shot just wide, but then Norwich started to dominate.
Matthias Svensson came within inches of putting Norwich ahead as he slammed a header against the crossbar after Craig Fleming nodded down Huckerby's corner.
The busy Jonson fired wide from the edge of the area when well placed, before Leon McKenzie's deflected effort was parried wide by Brad Friedel.
Blackburn were now on the back foot and a marauding run from Damien Francis almost put Norwich ahead as he skipped past three Rovers defenders before firing a shot at goal, but Friedel again came to his side's rescue with a good save.
Rovers then managed some decent efforts on goal themselves, as both Bothroyd and Reid fired stinging efforts from the edge of the area, which forced Robert Green to palm wide.
Just before the interval and Bothroyd lost his head, as he reacted badly to Jonson trying to win the ball from within his feet, and the on-loan striker petulantly just kicked the Swede and left referee Steve Dunn with one of the easiest decisions he will ever have.
Into the second period and again Norwich looked the most likely, although the first effort came with an long-range effort from Reid which forced Green to get down well and save.
Blackburn were coping well with ten-men, but their concentration lapsed as Norwich went ahead.
A free kick was nodded down by McKenzie and then on by Fleming towards the back post, where Svensson was waiting to volley home through the legs of an unlucky Friedel.
Despite being a man and a goal down, Blackburn pushed forward and it took a great tackle from Simon Charlton to deny Dickov, who would have been clean through.
Dickov was then denied again by some great defending as he managed to beat Charlton, but this time Fleming came across with a brilliant tackle to clear.
Norwich were looking to use Huckerby's pace down the right and he blazed a good chance over after he skipped past Lucas Neill.
Still Norwich were looking less than comfortable at the back and Blackburn almost levelled as Nils-Eric Johansson directed a bullet header against the bar. Garry Flitcroft then hammered his rebound against Dickov.
Like on so many occasions in football, a team with a man less ends up playing better and that could not have been more true for Blackburn.
They dominated the latter stages as Norwich tried to cling on, but to no avail as with just five minutes remaining - Blackburn levelled.
It was a well worked move as a free kick was picked out Neill on the right, he was given time and space to swing the ball into the area and Dickov headed low and back across goal which gave Green no chance.
Norwich were now completely bereft of attacking ideas and Blackburn had little trouble holding on for an extremely hard fought point.
The point means both Blackburn and Norwich remain in the bottom two places of The Premiership, after the three teams above them - Southampton, West Brom and Birmingham - all avoided defeat.
Click here for Norwich v Blackburn player ratings
|Team Name||Norwich City||Blackburn Rovers|
|Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||3||5|
|Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||7||6|
|Total Fouls Conceded||21||13|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||29||31|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||29||28|