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QPR v Norwich live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: QPR v Norwich – follow the action from Loftus Road as it happens

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 2 February 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as QPR host Norwich at Loftus Road to begin the weekend's action. The rock bottom Hoops boosted their squad in the January transfer window and take on Chris Hughton's Canaries who are without a league win in seven games.

12.16: As results have gradually improved under Redknapp at QPR, Norwich have slipped a little in recent fixtures. But the Canaries bounced back from a 5-0 hammering at Anfield by drawing 1-1 at home to Tottenham.

12.10: So Samba and Townsend start, but Loic Remy and Nedum Onuoha will play no part in the match.

Queens Park Rangers tweeted moments ago: 'Striker Loic Remy and defender Nedum Onuoha both ruled out due to injury. #QPRvNOR'

12.09: An Norwich's starting XI: Bunn, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Tettey, Johnson, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington, Holt

12.06: Here is QPR's starting line-up. No Loic Remy. Redknapp has selected Jamie Mackie to play up top: Cesar; Fabio, Samba, Hill, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Mbia, Townsend, Taarabt, Mackie

12.05: Redknapp will surely be targeting a win today. After a tricky run of games, including the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham, QPR will be keen to pile the pressure on fellow strugglers.

Should Rangers win this afternoon, they'll move within one point of Aston Villa, who face Everton at Goodison Park at 3.00pm.

12.00: Good afternoon all. There could be a few new boys making their debuts in this afternoon's early kick-off. Luciano Becchio could start up front for Norwich, as Harry Redknapp could use Jermaine Jenas, Andros Townsend and Christopher Samba – if he's fit.

The Congolese centre half joined from Anzhi for a record 12.5million on deadline day and Redknapp will be hoping Samba can keep Norwich out if he deputises at the heart of the basement boys' defence.

Saturday starters: QPR host Norwich at Loftus Road to begin the weekend's Premier League action

Saturday starters: QPR host Norwich at Loftus Road to begin the weekend's Premier League action

Norwich 3 Manchester City 4 – match report

Norwich 3 Man City 4: Dzeko and Aguero ensure 10-man champions edge thriller

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UPDATED:

17:38 GMT, 29 December 2012

Manchester City overcame the controversial sending-off of midfielder Samir Nasri to beat Norwich 4-3 in a thrilling Barclays Premier League clash at Carrow Road.

The champions, beaten at Sunderland on Boxing Day, were off to a flying start when they went 2-0 up inside four minutes after Edin Dzeko's quick brace.

Norwich reduced the deficit through Anthony Pilkington's deflected free-kick, before Nasri was shown a red card by referee Mike Jones on 44 minutes for putting his head into the face of Sebastien Bassong.

Star of the show: Edin Dzeko scored within two minutes for Manchester City

Star of the show: Edin Dzeko scored within two minutes for Manchester City

MATCH FACTS

Norwich: Bunn, R Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Johnson, Snodgrass, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Jackson 74), Tettey (Howson 57), Morison (Kane 45)

Subs not used: Rudd, Barnett, R Bennett, E Bennett

Goal: Pilkington 15, Martin 63, 75

Booked: Bassong, Pilkington

Man City: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Clichy, Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Silva (Milner 56), Y Toure, Dzeko (Lescott 81), Aguero (Garcia 90)

Subs not used: Pantilimon, K Toure, Sinclair, Tevez

Goals: Dzeko 2, 4 Aguero 50, Bunn (og) 67

Booked: Clichy

Sent off: Nasri 44

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 26,827

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Sergio Aguero's neat flick made it
3-1 at the start of the second half, before Russell Martin's header
reduced the deficit again.

Dzeko put City back in command at 4-2
after his shot cannoned off the post and in off goalkeeper Mark Bunn,
only for Martin's scrambled effort to set up a grandstand finish.

However, Norwich – who had beaten
both Arsenal and Manchester United at Carrow Road during a 10-match
unbeaten run – could not conjure an equaliser as they suffered a third
successive league defeat.

City were ahead inside two minutes. A
long ball down the left was worked back inside by Aguero and David
Silva for an unmarked Dzeko to sweep home from six yards.

The champions swiftly doubled their lead.

Play was allowed to continue after a crunching tackle from Vincent Kompany on Bradley Johnson.
Aguero was away again, darting into the right side of the Norwich
penalty area before drawing the goalkeeper and then cutting the ball
back to present Dzeko with another tap-in.

The Canaries had been thrashed 6-1
here by City last season, and another such defeat looked on the cards as
the Blues continued to press.

Already Dzeko scored his second early in the match

Already Dzeko scored his second early in the match

Game on: Anthony Pilkington scored a free-kick as the sides went in at 2-1

Game on: Anthony Pilkington scored a free-kick as the sides went in at 2-1

There was some brief respite on 13 minutes when Kompany tripped Robert Snodgrass just outside the Manchester City penalty area.

The Scotland international shaped to
take the free-kick himself, but instead ran over the ball, as Pilkington
drove in a low shot which deflected off Gael Clichy and past Joe Hart.

Bunn then needed to be alert to tip
over a spooned clearance from former City full-back Javier Garrido which
was dropping into the Norwich net following another lighting break from
the visitors.
City remained a threat, as Yaya Toure flashed a 20-yard drive just wide following more patient build-up from the champions.

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Things got ugly again just before the break when Bassong upended Nasri on the far touchline.

The duo squared up face-to-face, with
Nasri pushing his head into the Norwich defender – which on
consultation with the assistant referee resulted in a red card for the
France midfielder, and a caution for Bassong.

The decision perplexed City boss
Mancini, and left him with some changes to mull over at half-time the
rain started to lash down.

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Oh dear: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time

Oh dear: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time

Norwich made a substitution just
before the interval, with striker Steve Morison hobbling off because of
what appeared to be a thigh problem and on-loan Harry Kane replacing him
for a first appearance since breaking his metatarsal in September.

City were soon back on the offensive following the restart and restored their two-goal cushion on 50 minutes.

Toure delivered a perfectly-weighted
angled ball which Bassong could not cut out and dropped into the path of
Aguero. The Argentina forward produced an exquisite chip to beat the
advancing keeper and put City back in control.

To their credit, the home side
continued to look to get back into the match, as a low shot from
substitute Jonny Howson's was touched wide by Hart.

From the resulting short-corner, it
was 3-2 when Bassong's header back across the six-yard box from
Snodgrass' clever centre was guided into the top right corner by Martin
on 63 minutes.

However, City quickly restored their advantage as the broke away down the right.

Dzeko sprung the offside trap to
burst into the Norwich penalty area to beat Bunn at the near post, the
ball bouncing off the woodwork, then the keeper's back and into the net.

Unlucky: Dzeko was deprived of a hat-trick when his shot ricocheted in off Bunn

Unlucky: Dzeko was deprived of a hat-trick when his shot ricocheted in off Bunn

Squeaky bum time: Martin scored Norwich's third to make things interesting again

Squeaky bum time: Martin scored Norwich's third to make things interesting again

Whack: Vincent Kompany slides in on Bradley Johnson

Whack: Vincent Kompany slides in on Bradley Johnson

Flying high: Edin Dzeko competes for the ball in the second half

Flying high: Edin Dzeko competes for the ball in the second half

A quite amazing match sparked into
life once more with 15 minutes left when another Norwich corner caused
panic in the City six-yard box as Hart could only half punch clear
before Martin swept the ball in again from point-blank range.

Mancini looked to shore things up when he replaced Dzeko with defender Joleon Lescott.

Bunn redeemed himself with a brilliant one-handed save from Aguero at point-blank range.
Despite five minutes of stoppage time, there was to be no more drama as
City closed out what could prove to be a crucial victory.

Taskmaster: Roberto Mancini issues some instructions from the touchline

Taskmaster: Roberto Mancini issues some instructions from the touchline

Goalscorers: Aguero and Martin (right) were both among the goals

Goalscorers: Aguero and Martin (right) were both among the goals

Norwich 0 Chelsea 1: Juan Mata scores winner at Carrow Road

Norwich 0 Chelsea 1: Mata strike sees off Canaries for third straight win

PUBLISHED:

16:58 GMT, 26 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 26 December 2012

Juan Mata's first-half strike was enough to secure all three points for Chelsea as they beat Norwich in a game of little quality at Carrow Road.

The win moves the Blues to within four points of second-placed Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League table but it was only a fantastic effort seven minutes from half-time that separated the two sides.

Mata, who scored his sixth goal in eight games with aplomb, also missed a good opportunity with the scoreline 0-0 while Norwich had decent spells of possession but were too blunted in attack to ever truly test Petr Cech.

Beauty: Mata broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time with a long-range effort

Beauty: Mata broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time with a long-range effort

Delight: Mata celebrates his goal with Ashley Cole

Delight: Mata celebrates his goal with Ashley Cole

Match facts

Norwich:
Bunn, Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson (Howson 82), Pilkington (Morison
78), Hoolahan (Elliott Bennett 88), Holt.

Subs Not Used: Rudd, Jackson, Barnett, Ryan
Bennett.

Booked: Johnson.

Chelsea:
Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Mikel (Lampard 73), Luiz, Moses (Hazard
78), Oscar, Mata (Ake 90), Torres.

Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Piazon.

Booked: Hazard.

Goal: Mata 38.

Att: 26,831

Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

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Neither side dominated the opening 15
minutes, which saw both Rafael Benitez and Chris Hughton emerge from
their respective dugouts and bark orders from the touchline.

Norwich conceded possession a little
too readily in Chelsea's half during the early exchanges but the
Canaries were not punished by the visitors.

Chelsea only had two long-rang
efforts from David Luiz in the opening 25 minutes and both were fired
high and wide by the Brazilian.

The hosts were happy to let Chelsea
have possession around the halfway line with only captain Grant Holt,
recalled following a hamstring problem, remaining upfield for Hughton's
side.

Chelsea were almost ahead after 30
minutes as Luiz robbed Wes Hoolahan of the ball before picking out Mata,
who shot into the side-netting when well placed.

Luiz was involved again moments later
as he squared the ball on the edge of the box to John Obi Mikel, whose
thundering drive rose just over Mark Bunn's crossbar.

The sustained spell of Chelsea
pressure eventually paid off and it was Mata who opened the goalscoring
in style. The Spain international cut in from the left before letting
fly with an effort from 25 yards that flew past Bunn.

Star man: The gifted Spaniard scored the only goal in a game of little quality

Star man: The gifted Spaniard scored the only goal in a game of little quality

Closing the gap: Chelsea moved closer to Manchester City, who lost to Sunderland

Closing the gap: Chelsea moved closer to Manchester City, who lost to Sunderland

Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington was
enjoying a battle with Cesar Azpilicueta and got the better of the
full-back on a number of occasions throughout the opening period.

The former Huddersfield man again
wriggled free of Azpilicueta just before the break but his cross into
the box was calmly dealt with by Ashley Cole as Chelsea held on to their
lead going into the interval.

A near-post corner at the start of
the second half almost doubled Chelsea's advantage as Oscar's set-piece
evaded everyone before Bunn reacted well to push the ball wide.

Resilient: Chelsea kept another clean sheet under Rafael Benitez

Resilient: Chelsea kept another clean sheet under Rafael Benitez

On a roll: Chelsea have won their last three games since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan

On a roll: Chelsea have won their last three games since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan

The Norwich goalkeeper was called
into action again a couple of minutes later as Azpilicueta's low cross
reached Victor Moses at the far post and the former Wigan winger forced
another smart save from Bunn.

Mata then tried to catch Bunn out
with a quickly-taken free-kick but was too far out to send the ball past
the ex-Blackburn stopper.

The weather conditions worsened during the second half and Norwich started to enjoy more of the ball in attacking positions.

Tight: There was no repeat of Chelsea's 8-0 win at the weekend as they edged past Norwich

Tight: There was no repeat of Chelsea's 8-0 win at the weekend as they edged past Norwich

Physical: It was a hard-fought encounter on Boxing Day at Carrow Road

Physical: It was a hard-fought encounter on Boxing Day at Carrow Road

They could still not force Chelsea
stand-in skipper Cech into a meaningful save but the movement of
Hoolahan and Holt started to cause problems.

Fernando Torres was struggling to get
involved in the game for Chelsea with Norwich defensive duo Sebastien
Bassong and Michael Turner handling him well.

It was Moses who again came close for
the visitors after Russell Martin missed a headed clearance and the
ball fell to the feet of the Nigeria international who fired a shot wide
of the post.

The travelling Chelsea contingent had
been singing the name of Frank Lampard for the majority of the game and
Benitez introduced the 34-year-old with 17 minutes remaining.

Blank: Fernando Torres wasn't on the score-sheet despite his recent form

Blank: Fernando Torres wasn't on the score-sheet despite his recent form

Looking up: Rafa endured a tough start at Stamford Bridge but the Blues have won their last three league matches

Looking up: Rafa endured a tough start at Stamford Bridge but the Blues have won their last three league matches

Hughton gambled with a little over 10
minutes left on the clock as he brought on a second striker in Steve
Morison, with Pilkington making way.

The change did not have the desired effect as Norwich still could not muster any clearcut chances to take a point from the game.

Chelsea substitute Eden Hazard forced
another decent save from Bunn with only a couple of minutes remaining
after being found by a deft flick from Torres, before receiving a
caution moments later for a cynical clip of Martin's heels as the
Norwich full-back looked to counter.

The resulting free-kick was almost hooked into his own goal by Cole before Bassong headed the corner over Cech's bar.

Chelsea then managed to see out a shaky last few moments to secure a valuable win.

Steve Clarke hopes Chelsea loan signing Lukaku will not be recalled

Clarke hopeful of keeping Chelsea loan signing Lukaku in January window

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UPDATED:

19:48 GMT, 22 December 2012

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is predicting a big future for on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku following his late winner in the 2-1 home success over Norwich.

The Chelsea player headed home a deep cross from Baggies left-back Goran Popov with eight minutes remaining for his sixth goal of the campaign.

Canaries singing: Robert Snodgrass receives congratulations after netting the opener for Norwich

Canaries singing: Robert Snodgrass receives congratulations after netting the opener for Norwich

Match facts

WEST BROM: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Morrison, Brunt, Odemwingie, Gera (Long 61), Dorrans (Fortune 45), Lukaku (Tamas 83). Subs not used: Myhill, Ridgewell, Rosenberg, Jara.

Goals: Gera 45, Lukaku 82

NORWICH: Bunn, Whittaker (Martin 54), Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey (Jackson 83), Hoolahan (Howson 72), Johnson, Pilkington, Morison. Subs not used: Steer, Bennett, Barnett, Kane.

Goals: Snodgrass 23.

Booked: Turner

Referee: Martin Atkinson

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It was a rare start for Lukaku who has been kept out of the side for most of the season by leading scorer Shane Long.

But he justified his selection as his
goal ended Norwich's 10-game unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier
League and moved Albion back into the top six.

Clarke said: 'Romelu has done well, he is a big talent, he has got a big future ahead of him in the game.

'The fact he couldn't get in the team
for most of the season is down to the form of Shane Long who shouldn't
be forgotten today.

'Shane made a difference when he came
onto the pitch, he tied up the other centre-back, has given a bit more
space to Romelu, and maybe that's why he has got the space for the
winning goal.

'It's a team effort and we don't like to single out individuals.'

Dead-ball king: Snodgrass (right) curls the ball home from a free-kick to give the visitors the lead

Dead-ball king: Snodgrass (right) curls the ball home from a free-kick to give the visitors the lead

A big gift: Norwich keeper Mark Bunn reacts after West Brom level

A big gift: Norwich keeper Mark Bunn reacts after West Brom level

Lukaku had chosen the rap song 'The
Question (What Am I Doing Here)' as his musical choice which was
broadcast before the game.

Clarke quipped: 'At the moment he is doing okay so that's the answer to that one!'

But the West Brom manager was non-committal when asked whether Chelsea will recall Lukaku in January.

On the slide: Peter Odemwingie evades Wesley Hoolahan's tackle

On the slide: Peter Odemwingie evades Wesley Hoolahan's tackle

Clarke said: 'He is on a season-long loan but there is an opportunity for the parent club to take him back in January.

'I can't affect it so I don't like to talk about it.'

Clarke felt Albion were below their best in securing their first win in five games.

He said: 'It was another performance where we were a bit scratchy. We are not quite flowing as we were early in the season.

'When you are coming in after four games without a win, there comes a bit more pressure on it.

Knees up: Anthony Pilkington (left) vies for the ball with Shane Long

Knees up: Anthony Pilkington (left) vies for the ball with Shane Long

Helping hand: Goran Popov shoves Snodgrass out of the way

Helping hand: Goran Popov shoves Snodgrass out of the way

'We spoke about it before the game. It was a big game for us today and it was important we got the three points.'

Norwich manager Chris Hughton felt
his side deserved a share of the spoils and was unhappy with the award
of a corner for the first Albion goal from Zoltan Gera just before
half-time which cancelled out Robert Snodgrass's 23rd-minute opener.

He said: 'I think we should have got a
point on the balance of play. Albion are a good footballing team, at
home, so you know they are going to have a percentage of possession.

Smash and grab: Popov leaves Snodgrass standing, despite the Norwich player's attentions

Smash and grab: Popov leaves Snodgrass standing, despite the Norwich player's attentions

'But I thought we had good spells in the game where we had real good possession, certainly for an away team.

'There weren't many clearcut chances and it was even and we deserved to come away with something.

'The first goal was frustrating
because they are a threat from set-plays and disappointing as it
shouldn't have been a corner in the first place and was a goal-kick.

Head we win: Romelu Lukaku heads his side's winner against Norwich

Head we win: Romelu Lukaku heads his side's winner against Norwich

'The timing of the goal gave them the lift they needed.'

Hughton added: 'We've been on a
fabulous run and it's now how we react to losing. To be unbeaten for
that number of games is a fair feat and testament to the group of lads.

'At some stage we were going to lose and it has to be about the next game.'

On the chase: Odemwingie puts Steven Whittaker under pressure

On the chase: Odemwingie puts Steven Whittaker under pressure

Wes Hoolahan praised by Chris Hughton in Norwich win

Hoolahan earns praise from Hughton as Martinez bemoans 'self-inflicted' defeat

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UPDATED:

19:03 GMT, 15 December 2012

Norwich manager Chris Hughton hailed the contribution of Wes Hoolahan after the Republic of Ireland playmaker celebrated signing a new contract with the winning goal in their 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Wigan at Carrow Road.

The Canaries, knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Aston Villa here in midweek, made it five successive home league victories to continue their remarkable run of 10 Premier League matches unbeaten.

Heads up: Wes Hoolahan nods home Norwich's second goal to put his side in the lead

Heads up: Wes Hoolahan nods home Norwich's second goal to put his side in the lead

Good start: Anthony Pilkington celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the first half

Good start: Anthony Pilkington celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the first half

Match facts

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington (E Bennett 90), Hoolahan (Howson 84), Holt (Morison 90).

Subs not used: Rudd, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Morison, E Bennett, Barnett.

Booked: Bassong, Johnson, Pilkington.

Goals: Pilkington 15, Hoolahan 64.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Lopez, Figueroa, Stam, McArthur, McCarthy (Jones 46), Beausejour, Kone, Gomez (Maloney 46), Boselli (Di Santo 72).

Subs not used: Pollitt, Jones, Di Santo, Maloney, McManaman, Fyvie, Golobart.

Booked: Lopez.

Goal: Maloney 51.

Att: 26,677.

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Anthony Pilkington set the home side
on their way with a well-taken effort after 15 minutes, only for Wigan
substitute Shaun Maloney to level at the start of the second half.

However, Hoolahan, who has agreed an
extension to stay at the Norfolk club until 2015, arrived on queue after
64 minutes to head past Ali Al Habsi.

'Fortunately for us Wes has signed a new deal and he has earned it, and not just for this season,' said Hughton.

'He was excellent today and to see Wes get a headed goal was worth the entrance fee alone.

'Wes capped off a really good all-round team performance.'

Norwich should have put the game
beyond the visitors, who were again hampered by injuries, but were
thwarted by a string of fine saves from the Latics stopper.

Hughton said: 'We should really have been more than the one up at half-time and when they scored, then there was a concern.

'We made a bit of hard work for ourselves, but I thought over the 90 minutes we thoroughly deserved it.'

Back on track: Wigan celebrate after Shaun Maloney (second right) scored their equaliser

Back on track: Wigan celebrate after Shaun Maloney (second right) scored their equaliser

Take that: Goalkeeper Mark Bunn roars with delight as Norwich regain the lead

Take that: Goalkeeper Mark Bunn roars with delight as Norwich regain the lead

Norwich's remarkable run – they have
not lost in the Premier League since defeat at Chelsea on October 6 –
has seen them climb up to seventh in the table.

Hughton, though, maintained it was
all about keeping a safe distance from any relegation dogfight, with a
trip to West Brom next weekend before Chelsea and Manchester City head
to Norfolk over the hectic festive schedule.

Hitman: Holt fires a shot towards goal, with Norwich on top of their opponents

Hitman: Holt fires a shot towards goal, with Norwich on top of their opponents

Drive: Alexander Tettey launches a strike at Ali Al-Habsi's goal

Drive: Alexander Tettey launches a strike at Ali Al-Habsi's goal

'It is not being negative, but for a
club like ourselves, it is about keeping as big as gap as you can
between us and down,' said Hughton.

'There is no shame in saying that, it is a reality for clubs like ourselves.

'But our form at the moment has deserved it.

'We are a team which has to work very hard for the points we get, so there will be no getting carried away.'

Wigan, meanwhile, have now lost five of the last seven and remain in the bottom three.

The Latics job was not made any
easier following an ankle injury to midfielder James McCarthy, who was
replaced at half-time following a crunching tackle by Bradley Johnson.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hit out at the Canaries midfielder.

'It was a nasty challenge, one incident off the ball,' the Spaniard said.

Tussle: Jean Beausejour (right) and Norwich City's Robert Snodgrass battle for the ball

Tussle: Jean Beausejour (right) and Norwich City's Robert Snodgrass battle for the ball

Go for it: Roberto Martinez urged his players on as they struggled

Go for it: Roberto Martinez urged his players on as they struggled

'The referee has seen it and has given Johnson a yellow card.

'It is one of those actions you don't
want to see. James McCarthy has been in good form, and they took him
out of the game, which is very disappointing.'

Martinez added: 'It is his ankle
ligaments, we will X-ray it and get the results from the scans very
shortly, but I doubt if he will be available for the next 10 days.'

Wigan have several key men missing
through injury, notably in defence, and Martinez felt his team had
simply failed to get themselves a foothold in the match.

Chris Hughton

Hoolahan

Good day: Chris Hughton (left) saw his side emerge triumphant with Hoolahan (right) in fine fettle

Hands on hips: Grant Holt watches on as ref Lee Probert blows his whistle

Hands on hips: Grant Holt watches on as ref Lee Probert blows his whistle

'Our start was sluggish and
pedestrian, we were very, very, very poor and had our goalkeeper to
thank for keeping us in the game,' he said.

'The second half was very different, we started to control the game and Norwich had to start to defend.

'We scored a beautiful goal and were
starting to build positive momentum, so our disappointment is the
smallest man on the pitch gets a free header in the six-yard box.

'I felt with our second-half performance we merited something out of the game, but it was a self-inflicted defeat.'

Southampton 1 Norwich 1: Mark Clattenburg returns, Rickie Lambert and Robert Snodgrass score

Southampton 1 Norwich 1: Clattenburg back with a clanger with Lambert on hand to take advantage

|

UPDATED:

22:12 GMT, 28 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg probably hoped for a gentle re-introduction into Premier League refereeing. He did not get it.

Taking charge of a football match for the first-time since being wrongly accused of racially abusing John Mikel Obi, the official missed a crucial handball in the lead up to Southampton taking the lead, before being targeted with cries of 'you don't know what you're doing' and 'you're not fit to referee' from Saints supporters as Norwich fought their way back into this encounter.

It all started so well for Clattenburg, as he was given a standing ovation during his pre-match warm up. But little did he know how feelings towards him would change.

The main man: Rickie Lambert (left) put Southampton ahead

The main man: Rickie Lambert (left) put Southampton ahead

Match facts

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Lambert, Ramirez. Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Do Prado, Mayuka, Reeves.

Booked: Clyne.

Goal: Lambert 32.

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Ryan Bennett, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Johnson, Tettey, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Holt. Subs not used: Rudd, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Morison, Elliott Bennett, Barnett.

Goal: Snodgrass 45.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

Attendance: 29,325.

The latest Premier League fixtures, tables and results

How the referee would fare on his
return to frontline action would have been the last thing on the minds
the two managers, Nigel Adkins of Southampton and Norwich’s Chris
Hughton. Both sides went into the game in promising form.

Since emerging victorious from ‘El
Sackico’ against Queens Park Rangers 12 days ago, Southampton swept
Newcastle aside on Sunday to keep Adkins in a job — for now.

Likewise, Norwich have gone seven games unbeaten — a run that has included wins over Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham.

Hughton’s glee was tempered somewhat
before kick-off with the news that first-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy
will miss at least three months as he prepares to have surgery on a
thigh problem.

Norwich created the first
opportunity, goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga producing an excellent save to
stop Anthony Pilkington’s effort in the fifth minute.

Eight minutes later, Clattenburg made
his first major decision, waving away Southampton’s claims for a
penalty after Adam Lallana went down under pressure from Sebastien
Bassong.

Welcome return: Referee Mark Clattenburg took charge of his first game since the Chelsea race row

Welcome return: Referee Mark Clattenburg took charge of his first game since his Chelsea race row hell

Welcome return: Mark Clattenburg was given a standing ovation at St Mary's before officiating his first game since the Chelsea race storm

Welcome return: Mark Clattenburg was given a standing ovation at St Mary's before officiating his first game since the Chelsea race storm

The centre of attention: Clattenburg keeps Alex Tettey and Morgan Schneiderlin apart

The centre of attention: Clattenburg keeps Alex Tettey and Morgan Schneiderlin apart

The Saints skipper then went within
inches of putting his side ahead with a spectacular volley when his
sweet strike from Lambert’s arrowing pass flew just over Mark Bunn’s
bar.

But the home side only had to wait
seven more minutes to take the lead — but it came in controversial
circumstances, with Clattenburg at the centre of it.

Lallana swung in a
free-kick from the left, Grant Holt made a hash of his attempted
defensive header before the ball clearly hit Lambert on the arm.

On target: Rickie Lambert pokes past Mark Bunn to give Saints the lead

On target: Rickie Lambert pokes past Mark Bunn to give Saints the lead

On target: Rickie Lambert makes no mistake, converting from inside the six yard box

On target: Rickie Lambert makes no mistake, converting from inside the six yard box

Bright start: Rickie Lambert's sixth of the season first Saints ahead

Bright start: Rickie Lambert's sixth of the season first Saints ahead

However, Clattenburg ignored
Norwich’s appeal for handball before Lambert took advantage of the
uncertainty to prod home from close range.

Gaston Ramirez went close to doubling the home side’s lead with curling free-kick that flew narrowly wide of Bunn’s far post.

Massive clanger: Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga allowed Robert Snodgrass' free-kick to slip through his hands just before the break

Massive clanger: Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga allowed Robert Snodgrass' free-kick to slip through his hands just before the break

Pure delight: Robert Snodgrass looks stunned after Paulo Gazzaniga's howler let Norwich back into the game

Pure delight: Robert Snodgrass looks stunned after Paulo Gazzaniga's howler let Norwich back into the game

But on the stroke of half-time,
Norwich dragged themselves level, thanks in part to Clattenburg. The
referee awarded Hughton’s side a free-kick on the edge of the area for
Nathaniel Clyne’s challenge on Snodgrass — and the Norwich midfielder
struck a shot that somehow went through Gazzaniga and into the back of
the net.

Clattenburg was treated to
renditions of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’, from home supporters,
who had grown frustrated at the number of decisions that had gone
Norwich’s way.

Tough to stop: Adam Lallana skips past Bradley Johnson to launch another Saints attack

Tough to stop: Adam Lallana skips past Bradley Johnson to launch another Saints attack

Clyne made a superb tackle to deny
Pilkington in the 60th minute as Norwich started the second half with
renewed vigour, before Gazzaniga made up for his first-half error with a
brilliant save from Holt header.

Jason Puncheon then saw his low
powerful drive well saved by Bunn as Southampton were denied the win
that would have lifted them out of the bottom three.

Joey Barton features in internet virals after French accent video

An Idiot Abroad! Red-faced Barton subject of internet virals after infamous interview

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UPDATED:

12:54 GMT, 28 November 2012

Joey Barton's infamous interview has now become the subject of a number of hilarious internet virals.

Barton made his league debut for Marseille on Sunday and conducted his post-match press conference in English, but using a bizarre French accent.

The cringe-worthy display was more than a passable impersonation of 'Allo 'Allo's Officer Crabtree and evoked memories of former England boss Steve McClaren putting on a Dutch accent after taking over at FC Twente.

Officer Crabtree

Joey Barton is Officer Crabtree

Good moaning: Barton' sounded alarmingly like Officer Crabtree from 'Allo 'Allo!

An Idiot Abroad: The on-loan midfielder has become the subject of a number of hilarious virals

An Idiot Abroad: The on-loan midfielder has become the subject of a number of hilarious virals

It didn't take long for the video of Barton to become an internet hit and now the midfielder, who is on loan at the Ligue 1 joint leaders from Queens Park Rangers, has become an ironic 'poster boy' for a series of French-speaking language courses to being compared to Karl Pilkington from Ricky Gervais's hit TV show, An Idiot Abroad.

Barton appeared to take the response to his interview in good spirits, tweeting: 'Steve MaClaren (sic) eat your heart out…

Joey Barton

Joey Barton

French fancy: Barton took the response to his interview in good spirits

Steve MaClaren
(sic) eat your heart out…'In my defence, it is very difficult to do a
press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists. The
alternative is to speak..like a 'Allo Allo!' character which is choose.
Its simply a case of you had to be there. #youstupidwomen

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2239150/Joey-Barton-TV-presenters-stitches-comedy-French-accent.html#ixzz2DWLArjqb

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Joey Barton

'In my defence, it is very difficult
to do a press conference in Scouse for a room full of French
journalists. The alternative is to speak..like a 'Allo Allo!' character
which is choose. Its simply a case of you had to be there.
#youstupidwomen!'

The 30-year-old even came up with a novel name for the language, and said: 'I am christening this new language Bartonese…'

VIDEO: WATCH JOEY BARTON'S HILARIOUS FRENCH ACCENT

DM.has('rcpv1990967346001','BCVideo');

Chris Hughton praises Norwich character after Everton draw

Bassong's last-gasp equaliser is 'tough to take' says Moyes

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 24 November 2012

Norwich boss Chris Hughton praised the character of his players after coming from behind to snatch another valuable Barclays Premier League point at Everton.

The Canaries conceded an early goal to Steven Naismith but fought to the end in a tight encounter and claimed a last-gasp equaliser through Sebastien Bassong.

Spoiler alerts: Sebastien Bassong headed home from a Javier Garrido free-kick in the dying moments to steal a draw

Spoiler alerts: Sebastien Bassong headed home from a Javier Garrido free-kick in the dying moments to steal a draw

One up: Steven Naismith (right) celebrates after opening the scoring

One up: Steven Naismith (right) celebrates after opening the scoring

MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Baines, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Osman, Pienaar, Jelavic, Naismith (Vellios 90)

Subs not used: Mucha, Hibbert, Duffy, Barkley, Kennedy, Gueye

Goal: Naismith 12

Norwich City: Ruddy (Bunn 82), Whittaker, Bassong, Garrido, R Bennett, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Morison 75), Tettey, Snodgrass (Jackson 89), Holt

Subs not used: Barnett, Tierney, Howson, E Bennett

Booked: Johnson, Garrido, Tettey

Goal: Bassong 90

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 34,502

The latest Premier League results, fixtures and tables

The result came after an impressive
win over Manchester United last weekend and extended their unbeaten run
in all competitions to seven games.

When asked if his side deserved the
point, Hughton said: 'I thought we did. Over the 90 minutes we had a
long time to get back in the game.

'From our standards of late, we conceded a very soft goal and in that first half we didn't keep the ball well enough.

'Everton were the better team over that first 45 minutes.

'But when you are 1-0 down, you have to chase it and ask a little bit more of the players. I think we got that.

'I thought we responded really well.
We showed great character. I don't think there was masses in it. It was
quite a tight affair.'

On the downside for the visitors,
goalkeeper John Ruddy – who overcame a knee problem to feature – was
forced off eight minutes from time with an unrelated thigh injury.
What a run! Bassong's header meant that Norwich have now gone six games unbeaten

What a run! Bassong's header meant that Norwich have now gone six games unbeaten

In it goes: John Ruddy is no way near Naismith's shot as it flies in

In it goes: John Ruddy is no way near Naismith's shot as it flies in

Maestro: Steven Pienaar teases Javier Garrido in front of the home crowd

Maestro: Steven Pienaar teases Javier Garrido in front of the home crowd

Hughton said the player would need to be assessed but was hopeful it would not be serious.

He said: 'We won't know until
tomorrow. Hopefully he came off at the right time. I certainly had to
make sure I brought him off.'

Everton manager David Moyes bemoaned his side's inability to kill off the opposition.

The Toffees continue to ride high in
the table but have won just one of their last seven games, a sequence
which includes five draws.

Honours even: David Moyes (left) and Chris Hughton had differing views about the outcome

Honours even: David Moyes (left) and Chris Hughton had differing views about the outcome

Moyes said: 'That was pretty hard to
take. But they were always in the game while it was only 1-0, that is
the nature of the Premier League.

'I thought we played well for 25-30 minutes. We started well and controlled the game.

'Norwich grew into the game, give them credit, they had one or two opportunities.

No cigar: Nikica Jelavic aims a shot at goal

No cigar: Nikica Jelavic aims a shot at goal

Catch me if you can: Leon Osman weaves his way past Bradley Johnson (right)

Catch me if you can: Leon Osman weaves his way past Bradley Johnson (right)

'I thought we had got through the
spell and we probably looked more likely to make it 2-0 than for them to
equalise. But they did and that was it. We came away with a point.'

Moyes was also unimpressed with the sequence of events which led to Norwich's equaliser.

He first had an issue with the award
of a free-kick against Leighton Baines and then felt John Heitinga and
Tim Howard should have done better as Javier Garrido swung in a cross
Bassong.

Howard might also have stopped the decisive header.

When asked which player was to blame,
Moyes said: 'A little bit of both. I think the ball was in the air long
enough and also I don't think it was a free-kick.'

Good luck! David Moyes (left) and Chris Hughton (right) greeted each other warmly

Good luck! David Moyes (left) and Chris Hughton (right) greeted each other warmly

Everton were without Marouane
Fellaini, Phil Neville and Seamus Coleman while Darron Gibson and Kevin
Mirallas failed to prove their fitness as hoped.

Moyes said: 'Today was always going to be a tough game. Norwich have played well and have had some good results.

'With what we had available to us it
was always going to make it quite hard. It was going to be tight – I
couldn't see us winning it that comfortably.

'We were chasing it and we didn't have an awful lot to chase it with. They are the facts.'

Faded: Everton's exceptional start quickly petered out

Faded: Everton's exceptional start quickly petered out

Faded: Everton's exceptional start quickly petered out

One positive was the lively
performance of Naismith, although the Scot squandered a good opportunity
when he failed to find Nikica Jelavic with a pass.

Moyes said: 'I hoped he would come here and get six, eight goals. That would be a decent contribution.

'He's now beginning to get a few goals, so good on him.'

Naismith arrived in the summer after the demise of Rangers, and Moyes claimed not to know the finer details of the deal.

He said: 'There's been no fee at the moment and I don't know the answer. I don't know what 'co' it is – Tesco!'

Dogged: Robert Snodgrass is pursued by Leighton Baines

Dogged: Robert Snodgrass is pursued by Leighton Baines

Michael Carrick urges United to tighten up and not to rely on fabled powers of comeback

Carrick urges United to tighten up and not to rely on fabled powers of comeback

|

UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 22 November 2012

Michael Carrick has warned that Manchester United cannot rely on their fabled powers of recovery if they want to regain the Premier League title and progress in Europe this season.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have conceded the first goal in a staggering 12 of their 19 games so far. They have come back to win on eight of those occasions, but successive 1-0 defeats to Norwich and Galatasaray have proved what a dangerous habit it can be.

Tuesday’s defeat in Istanbul was the fourth time in five Champions League ties that United have fallen behind in a relatively easy Group H that includes CFR Cluj and SC Braga.

Comeback kings: But Michael Carrick (left) has warned Manchester United about falling behind so frequently

Comeback kings: But Michael Carrick (left) has warned Manchester United about falling behind so frequently

They have already qualified for the knockout stages but Carrick knows that Europe’s bigger clubs will not be quite so easy to peg back if the trend continues.

‘Over the season we have managed to come back but it’s not ideal and you can’t do it all the time,’ said the England midfielder, who was used as a centre-back in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.

‘We need to make things a lot easier for ourselves by scoring the first goal and play from there.

‘It showed at Norwich on Saturday when we conceded the first goal and it was difficult to come back, and again against Galatasaray.

‘It’s not ideal. It’s just a phase we’re going through. The positive is that we have come back and we have scored enough goals, although not on Saturday, so we have got things to improve upon.’

Losing streak: United have lost their last two games by a single-goal margin with Anthony Pilkington securing three Premier League points for Norwich

Losing streak: United have lost their last two games by a single-goal margin with Anthony Pilkington securing three Premier League points for Norwich

Losing captain Nemanja Vidic until after Christmas has undoubtedly hit United hard, and the return of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones – who made his first appearance of the season in Istanbul – have so far failed to solve the problems.

Ferguson has blamed his players’ lack of concentration but otherwise United are baffled as to why they are conceding from so many different situations.

‘It’s hard to say, to be honest,’ added Carrick. ‘I’ll agree with the boss and say concentration but it’s hard to put your finger on it.

‘It’s different things, different types of goals we’re conceding, so it’s not as if there is one particular problem.

‘But I’m sure we can put it right. We’ve had issues in the past and put them right, and overall we’re not in bad shape.’

Wounded tigers: Carrick is determined that United get back to winning ways at Old Trafford

Wounded tigers: Carrick is determined that United get back to winning ways at Old Trafford

It is almost unthinkable that United should lose a third game in a row considering Saturday’s visitors to Old Trafford are bottom club QPR who are still without a Premier League win after 12 games.

‘It’s massively important for us to bounce back,’ said Carrick. ‘We are normally very good at that and after losing back-to-back games we will look to do that.

‘QPR have got a good squad of players and hopefully Mark Hughes can turn it round – although not starting on Saturday.

‘I’ve been there myself with West Ham and I know how difficult it can be. We had a good squad of players but for whatever reason it just didn’t work for us.

‘It’s a hard league and sometimes when you buy players and a couple of results don’t go for you early in the season, it suddenly becomes harder to win a game.’

John Ruddy helped Canaries sing again

Ruddy good show! How hot stopper John helped Canaries sing again

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 18 November 2012

John Ruddy was entitled to bask in the glow of victory against Manchester United and he pumped his fists in the air as Carrow Road rattled to the sound of his surname.

Norwich leaked 17 goals in the first seven games in an awful start to their second season back at the top, with a new manager and various new defenders at the club.

But a corner has been turned and Ruddy was unbeatable against United as Chris Hughton’s team defended stoutly to protect the lead they took through Anthony Pilkington’s header. He became the first player to score against United and FC United.

Safe hands: John Ruddy was the star of the show as Norwich beat United

Safe hands: John Ruddy was the star of the show as Norwich beat United

The goalkeeper exuded authority, commanding his back four, even tipping one over from team-mate Sebastien Bassong as Roy Hodgson looked on from the stands three days after Joe Hart’s standards slipped on England duty in Sweden.

'I've been impressed with John, especially in recent games,' said Hughton. 'Against United, it wasn’t so much saving one-on-one efforts, or turning it around the posts, it was about making good decisions.

'That’s a mark of a really good keeper when you have to make good decisions in a game where you didn’t have a lot of one-on-ones to make.'

Norwich have gone 333 minutes without conceding in the Barclays Premier League and there has been a distinct change since the mid-October international break.

They leaked nine in two games before the break but one in five since. They have also knocked Tottenham out of the Capital One Cup.

‘The Arsenal game kick-started our season,’ said defender Steven Whittaker. ‘It gave us a boost. You need to believe.’