A debut goal from Mousa Dembele wasn't enough to claim three points at White Hart Lane on Saturday as Robert Snodgrass' late goal pegged back ten-man Tottenham and claimed a much deserved point for Norwich in a 1-1 draw.
Spurs improved on a flat first half performance to take the lead through an excellent Dembele strike but Norwich, who hit the bar in opening stages, found the resolve to hit back with five minutes to go – dramatically equalising. The hosts found further woe as Tom Huddlestone received his marching orders for a foul on Steve Morison.
Andre Villas-Boas named the same starting XI that drew 1-1 with WBA last weekend as Dembele took his place on the bench, while Chris Hughton also stuck with the same side that claimed its first point of the season against QPR.
Tottenham's late transfer window additions Clint Dempsey and Hugo Lloris were left out of the lineup against Norwich.
Though Norwich were pressing for the crucial opening goal, it was a moment of brilliance from Dembele that put Villas-Boas' side in front.
The Belgian initially sent Defoe too wide with his pass but was found by the striker on the edge of the box. A clever stepover and turn later, Dembele had the ball on his left-foot and enough space to fire low and hard into Ruddy's far corner.
But that was not enough to suppress Norwich and the introduction of Morison for Jackson almost yielded an immediate response as Assou-Ekotto tangled with the Welshman in the box. Mark Halsey was perhaps a little lenient to wave play on.
This did not deter the Canaries though and with five minutes to go, they drew level. A deep cross was headed back into the middle of the box by Martin and kept alive by Holt, whose header fell at the feet of the impressive Snodgrass. The summer signing guided the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to record his first goal in a Norwich shirt and send the away fans into raptures.
With time ticking away, Huddlestone, who had come on just before the equalizer for Defoe, lunged into a 50/50 challenge with Morison on the halfway line. Although the tackle was late and did not appear overly dangerous, Halsey deemed it worthy of a red-card, reducing Spurs to ten men for the final stages.
With four minutes added on and Tottenham surprisingly pressing for a winner, Hughton's side almost sucker-punched the hosts as the ball fell to Johnson on the edge of the box. Fortunately, Fridel was alert enough to parry to safety, closing a dramatic and ultimately fruitless half for Spurs.
The Canaries played with a confidence and intensity that set the tone for the game. Spurs, meanwhile, looked as if they had spent last night alongside chairman Daniel Levy trying to conclude early morning deals. It was a lackadaisical and stale performance and in truth, they were fortunate to emerge with a point.
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- Tom Huddlestone