Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Norwich, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 2-1 Norwich As Spurs Stumble Again

Norwich City inflicted a disastrous home defeat on stuttering Tottenham Hotspur, opening up the race for fourth in a major way. This was no fluke result, either - the Canaries defended well all game and Grant Holt gave the centre back pairing of Ledley King and Younes Kaboul problems from the very beginning. Spurs had gotten away with a major defensive error to send Holt nearly clear through the middle barely ten minutes in, but they replicated their mistake three minutes later when the ball deflected off Kaboul to the feet of Antony Pilkington, who made no mistake from eight yards.

The visitors looked set to extend their lead when King bundled over Holt as the striker raced in on goal, expecting (correctly) a penalty and a red card, but Michael Oliver gave nothing and their fury was compounded within seconds as Jermain Defoe stole in behind the Norwich line and flicked expertly over John Ruddy to level the score. It was an undeserved equaliser and the Canaries would have been apoplectic had they not won anyway.

But win they did thanks to a gorgeous strike from Elliot Bennett, who capped off a frenetic second half with a nice run to the edge of the box and then a blistering shot that left Brad Friedel motionless. Justice was served, and the visitors closed out the match relatively comfortably.

It's easy to forget just how close Tottenham came to taking the lead in this match - Ruddy had to save very well from Benoit Assou-Ekotto when the fullback went clear through on goal, and Gareth Bale hit the underside of the crossbar only minutes before Norwich's second, but any win (or even draw) would have been somewhat tainted by Oliver' decision not to send off King in the first half.

Instead, the sides got the result their performance deserved without any sort of makeup call. This loss puts Tottenham level on points with fifth-place Newcastle, and they could drop out of the Champions League spots outright with Chelsea set to take on Fulham later today. It's all getting very interesting in the race for fourth.

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