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Premier League
Saturday, 13th February 2016

Norwich City 2
West Ham United 2

by Staff Writer


Dimitri Payet will take all the plaudits once again after having a hand in both of West Ham's goals at Carrow Road this afternoon.

But the real star of the show for the Hammers was someone who's been at the club just a little longer.

Mark Noble, who celebrates his testimonial at the club next month was a constant throw-in the side of today's opponents, but even he couldn't prevent Norwich opening up a two-goal lead early on in the second half.

Whilst the Hammers had managed to keep their hosts out in a fairly even - yet largely uneventful - first half, two goals within nine minutes after the break put City in a strong position - and one from which they should have seen the game out comfortably.

Robbie Brady put the Canaries ahead when he took advantage of Michail Antonio dilly-dallying with the ball some 30 yards from goal.

The former Hull striker, whose penalty at the KC Stadium last season condemned West Ham to a narrow defeat strode towards goal unchallenged before unleashing a fierce volley that flew into the top corner leaving Adrian no chance.

West Ham were still reeling from falling behind when they conceded a second, nine minutes later. Wes Hoolahan took advantage of more defensive lapses by the Hammers and converted from close range to give Norwich what appeared to be an unassailable lead.

That was until Dimitri Payet, fresh from signing a new bumper contract decided to grab the bull by the horns and turn the game around with just quarter-of-an-hour of the game remaining.

Vic Moses, on as a replacement for an unusually quiet Antonio broke at pace towards Norwich's goal before being challenges by Canaries 'keeper John Ruddy. Fortunately for West Ham the ball broke kindly and Payet was on hand to slot home the loose ball.

Now playing with their tails up for the first time in the game, West Ham began to look a constant threat and they were rewarded just two minutes later. Payet, receiving the ball wide on the left pulled a low centre back for the advancing Noble, who drove the ball into the back of Ruddy's net to make it 2-2.

West Ham's comeback was gleefully accepted by Slaven Bilic, who said: ""We are never happy with a point, we are not buzzing. But when that point comes after being 2-0 down it gives us confidence and satisfaction.

"After Tuesday night when we played 130 minutes, to show that kind of strength, resilience, character and quality makes us happy."

Unsurprisingly Bilic's joy was not shared was Norwich boss Alex Neil, who was distraught at seeing his team let a two-goal lead slip once again.

"We created good opportunities and it was a better performance than we have had recently," he said. "But from 2-0 up at home and with the way the game was going we should have seen it out.

"We will take a lot from the performance - but we are disappointed we let a lead slip."



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Player Ratings

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Made a number of good saves and, whilst the corner that led to their second may have been going wide, it was close enough to worry about so we’ll give him that one.


Carl Jenkinson
Another so so game. There were spells when he looked great, others when he seemed to lack concentration.


Aaron Cresswell
Had his moments going forward but had some shaky oned as well in defence.


Winston Reid
The pick of the defenders – again – though he struggled against sub Mbokani who jumped at Reid pretty much every time they clashed.


James Tomkins
Reasonable game but we’ll draw a veil over that shot from 30 yards shall we?


Cheikhou Kouyate
Kept plugging away and might have had more than the one goal that he got.


Mark Noble
The passing game was not up to scratch today. Got a lot of break-up challenges in but was culpable to one extent or another for both goals.


Victor Moses
Created one chance for Sakho but otherwise a quiet game.


Manuel Lanzini
Another not quite up to the heights he can reach but still not a bad game until he was subbed.


Dimitri Payet
Not quite as dominant as he has been of late but still at the heart of all our good moments. MOTM


Diafra Sakh0
The work he puts in is astounding. Held the ball up well and brought others into play.


Substitutes


Andy Carroll
(Replaced) Still not quite there and who else held their breath when he went down in the second half. However, he caused a major nuisance and his presence led to the equaliser.


Padro Obiang
(Replaced) Another quiet and efficient runout. The “foul” that he was supposed to have perpetuated on the diving Hoolihan was a complete joke.


Mauro Zarate
(Replaced) Looked sharp when he was on which made me wonder how things would have transpired had he come on earlier


Darren Randolph
Did not play.


James Collins
Did not play.


Michael Antonio
Did not play.


Nikica Jelavic
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Mike Dean.

Attendance: 34,857.

Man of the Match: Mark Noble.

West Ham United

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Victor Moses, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakh0.

Goals: Diafra Sakho 33 Cheikhou Kouyate 90                .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Norwich City

.

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: n/a.

Sent Off: None sent off..

 
Staff Writer's Man of the Match: Mark Noble


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