Tottenham Lose In Poor Display At Norwich City


Norwich goal. [Photo: Alan Hill]An early second half goal saw Tottenham lose their first Premier League game at Norwich and fail to score in their first league game under Tim Sherwood. In a very poor performance, Spurs didn’t deserve anything from the game which Norwich controlled.

Norwich City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Scorer: Snodgrass

Team: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose (Townsend); Capoue (Chadli), Bentaleb, Paulinho (Soldado); Lennon, Adebayor, Dembele Subs: Friedel, Fryers, Eriksen, Kane

Kyle Walker was out with a hip injury while Younes Kaboul was suffering a calf problem so Michael Dawson and Danny Rose came in to replace them in the team which won at Newcastle.

It was a lethargic first half from Spurs with Norwich much more energetic and the hungrier for the ball. Fears about Spurs defensive stability were well founded as from a corner in the 3rd minute they struggled to clear and Hugo Lloris had to grab the loose bouncing ball as van Wolfswinkel closed in. A minute later Nabil Bentaleb cut out a dangerous through ball with Rose out of position as Norwich broke quickly.

Aaron Lennon was the liveliest of the Tottenham players and had the beating of the home defenders every time he was on the ball but couldn’t make anything from it. Norwich passed the ball well and pressed Totttenham quickly meaning that many of the Spurs passes went astray.

Spurs first and only strike at goal in the first half came after some passing on the edge of the Norwich area in the 22nd minute but Paulinho curled the shot well off target. A minute later Norwich got clear on the left but pulled the ball back behind the incoming players. The ball broke for Spurs but the forward pass to Adebayor was over-hit.

Bentaleb blocked a Norwich shot and then Lloris claimed a dangerous cross after 26 minutes. A cross in the 33rd minute took a deflection off Rose but was just out of the reach of former player Sebastien Bassong. Norwich  should have done better after 34 minutes when van Wolfswinkel beat Dawson on halfway but delayed on the edge of the area allowing Vertonghen to get back to clear.

Norwich were well organised and outplayed Spurs who had little understanding in their first half play with miss-placed passes, poor crosses into the area and getting caught in possession. In added time Norwich had the opportunity to threaten from a free-kick and corner but Lloris cleared the cross and the match remained scoreless.

Norwich started the second half as they had played in the first and went ahead in the opening minute. van Wolfswinkel dispossessed Bentaleb at half way and when the ball came to Johnson he found Snodgrass coming in from the right to shoot across goal and beyond Lloris. Norwich had the goal their play deserved and they maintained their hard-working display giving Spurs no opportunity to get their game going.

Spurs had their first corner in the 55th minute and four minutes later a break by Rose ended with a poor final pass between advancing Tottenham players. On the hour Adebayor dispossessed Bassong and advanced on goal but a poor touch allowed Ruddy to dive bravely at his feet to save. Lloris held a shot from Snodgrass at the second attempt. In the 63 minute Adebayor and Paulinho played a one – two on the edge of the area but the striker’s first touch was heavy and Ruddy claimed the ball.

Soldado replaced Paulinho in the 64th minute and with his first touch shot past the post after good link up play between Lennon and Adebayor had created the opening. A minute later the Spanish international got his head to a cross from Lennon but it went past the back post.

Soldado shots wide []Photo: Alan Hill]Spurs were enjoying their best period of possession but Norwich were still working very hard to deny them and a Lennon cross was headed back across goal by Chadli and cleared. Then Chadli sent in a cross which Adebayor flicked beyond the back post.

Norwich were still dangerous going forward and a Snodgrass free-kick curled past the post in the 79th minute. A minute later, Spurs had their best scoring opportunity and their first on target when Dembele played Chadli behind the defence but Ruddy saved his shot.

In the 83rd minute Norwich hit the underside of the bar with a free-kick from Johnson with Lloris beaten but the ball bounced down and out. In the follow up Lloris saved from Redmond.

Soldado header goes past [Photo: Alan Hill]In the final minutes Spurs play became more desperate but without the control required to create a chance against the tenacious defending of Norwich who were dangerous on the counter-attack with  Hooper getting the better of Dawson only for his short pass in the area to go behind his supporting player.

Tottenham got what they deserved from this game – nothing. It was a very poor, disjointed display from Spurs which lacked any desire or urgency. Aaron Lennon was one of the few players who showed an appetite to take Norwich on but even his final pass or cross was poor.

Spurs can forget about a Champions League finish as they are in no position to catch Liverpool or get a result against a good side. Their play lacked drive, imagination and creativity allowing Norwich to dictate and control the whole match.