Tottenham Hotspur went to Carrow Road needing a win against Norwich City, one of the worst teams in the Premier League. The top four had all earned maximum points this weekend, and dropping any would be disastrous for their Champions League hopes. So naturally they played terribly and lost to a Robert Snodgrass goal in the 47th minute.
The first half... the first half was downright bad. Despite what the statistics will say, there were scoring, chances, mostly for Norwich, but they were ruined virtually before they came with some diabolically poor play. Ricky van Wolfswinkel failed to make contact -- twice -- on an early corner with the goal at his mercy, then Sebastian Bassong matched the striker after Snodgrass' cross took a deflection. At the other end, Mousa Dembele failed to control Aaron Lennon's through ball.
Etienne Capoue had an even worse time than everyone else, although at least he had an excuse for not moving very well. The midfielder started limping inside the first five minutes, and ended up getting pulled for Nacer Chadli before the game had managed to settle down. Capoue's injury set the tone for the rest of the half -- the match was looking limp and useless, and it needed a spark.
Fortunately it gone one immediately. Van Wolfswinkel won the ball high up the pitch, and with Tottenham's defence in disarray, Bradley Johnson played an incisive pass to Snodgrass. The winger, goalside of Danny Rose, raced into the box and slotted a delicate finish just past a diving Hugo Lloris and in at the far corner.
The visitors had a chance to equalise on the hour mark when a mistake from Bassong set Emmanuel Adebayor through on goal, but his touch was too heavy, allowing John Ruddy to slide out and block. And substitute Roberto Soldado might have scored with his first touch, smashing wide after great interplay handed Spurs their best chance of the match.
As the clock wound down, Tottenham grew ever more desperate. Mousa Dembele's pass to Chadli should have seen them draw level in the 80th minute, but Ruddy saved superbly from the winger's low effort to keep Norwich's lead intact, and the Canaries very nearly added to it just after that key stop -- Snodgrass blasted a shot over after Gary Hooper's knockdown at the edge of the box, following that up with a free kick that ratted the crossbar. Then Nathan Redmond fired straight Lloris when through on goal before Alexander Tettey managed to Soldado a tap-in after failing to check his run.
Those misses wouldn't turn out to cost Norwich too much -- after Spurs spent injury time indulging in some uncoordinated scrambling around near Ruddy's goal, the hosts had all three points. It's a big result at both ends of the table.
Norwich City starting lineup (4-4-1-1): John Ruddy; Martin Olsson, Sebastien Bassong, Joseph Yobo, Russell Martin; Nathan Redmond (Wes Hoolahan 86'), Bradley Johnson, Alexander Tettey, Robert Snodgrass; Leroy Fer; Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Gary Hooper 73').
Goals: Snodgrass 47',
Tottenham Hotspur starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris; Danny Rose (Andros Townsend 83'), Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson, Kyle Naughton; Paulinho (Roberto Soldado 65'), Etienne Capoue (Nacer Chadli 13'); Mouse Dembele, Nabil Bentaleb, Aaron Lennon; Emmanuel Adebayor.