Live Commentary: Norwich City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur - as it happened

Spurs winger Gareth Bale celebrates his equaliser against Norwich on January 30, 2013
© PA Photos
Read Sports Mole's coverage of how an individual effort from Gareth Bale helped Tottenham come from behind to draw with Norwich at Carrow Road.

Tottenham Hotspur were looking to continue a sequence of seven unbeaten Premier League matches when they faced Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The Canaries, without a win in six top-flight outings, were in contrasting form heading into the contest but took the lead through Wes Hoolahan.

However, Gareth Bale levelled the scores late on with a 60-yard run-and-finish to snatch a below-par Spurs a fortunate draw.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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6.57pmEvening all! It is poised to be a frantic 48 hours in the transfer window, but let us not forget there is some football to be played this week too...

6.59pmTeam news anyone? I'll start with the visitors...

7.01pmNew signing Lewis Holtby is among the Spurs substitutes tonight after completing a move to White Hart Lane which was originally scheduled for the summer.

7.03pmHowever, Andre Villas-Boas was keen to add the Germany international to his ranks this month to enhance Tottenham's midfield options.

7.05pmTom Huddlestone does not feature in the 18-man squad though fuelling rumours that he is on the verge of joining London rivals Fulham.

7.06pmEngland international striker Jermain Defoe returns to starting XI following his surprise omission from the side that lost at Leeds United on Sunday.

7.08pmTottenham's only available frontman has shaken off a hip injury and will play ahead of supporting midfielder Clint Dempsey, who performed the lone forward role at Elland Road.

7.09pmBenoit Assou-Ekotto starts his first Premier League game since the reverse fixture between these sides, which took place at White Hart Lane on September 1.

7.11pmHe is preferred to Kyle Naughton at left-back, while Michael Dawson is recalled to partner Jan Vertonghen in the centre of the Spurs defence.

7.12pmHere is the Spurs team in full then...

7.13pmSPURS: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Dembele, Parker; Lennon, Bale Dempsey; Defoe

7.15pmSUBS: Friedel, Naughton, Gallas, Caulker, Holtby, Livermore, Sigurdsson

7.18pmNow onto hosting Norwich, who make nine changes to the XI who were on the receiving end of a cup upset, courtesy of non-league Luton Town, on Saturday. Russell Martin and Javier Garrido are the lucky duo who retain their places.

7.20pmCaptain Grant Holt returns to lead the Canaries line, with ineligible Spurs loanee Harry Kane dropping out of the squad.

7.22pmFormer Lillywhites defender Sebastien Bassong is recalled, along with Michael Turner, as Chris Hughton reverts to his first-choice centre-back pairing.

7.23pmThere are also starts for Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington in a completely fresh Norwich midfield.

7.26pmRecently-signed goalkeeper Lee Camp is on the home bench, but Mark Bunn is given the nod in between the sticks. Declan Rudd started against Luton, but has since been loaned out to Preston North End.

7.28pmHere is the Norwich team in full then...

7.30pmNORWICH: Bunn; R Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Johnson, Tettey, Pilkington; Hoolahan; Holt

7.32pmSUBS: Camp, Whittaker, Howson, Jackson, Fox, E.Bennett, R.Bennett

7.35pmSpurs are renowned for being late movers in the transfer market but it has been Norwich doing the last-minute business today.

7.37pmThe have signed striker Kei Kamara from Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City, subject to international clearance.

7.39pmFellow forward Luciano Becchio seems poised to join Kamara at Carrow Road amid reports that he is in East Anglia for talks over a move from Leeds.

7.40pmThose imminent signings mean that Gary Hooper is unlikely to make a transfer to the Canaries, but Spurs may still swoop for the Celtic forward before Thursday's 11pm deadline.

0 minWe are underway at Carrow Road...

1 minA nervous early moment for Norwich stopper Bunn, who is charged down by Defoe after Michael Turner's back pass was left short. Bunn gets there first and his clearance smashes into Defoe and out of play.

3 minSHOT! A Norwich cross is headed clear to Hoolahan, who screws a volleyed effort well wide of the Spurs goal.

6 minThe blustering conditions could cause some problems for the goalkeepers tonight. Hugo Lloris looks assured though when collecting that cross from Holt.

8 minCHANCE! Walker delivers a Spurs corner and Bale makes his trademark run to the near post, but flicks the ball wide.

11 minNorwich have a set piece of their own and Snodgrass strikes it, but straight into the gloves of Lloris.

14 minThe Canaries will be very pleased with this start to the match. Some may have thought that the hosts might have been rocked by their FA Cup exit but they have been on the front foot so far.

16 minBale tries to find Clint Dempsey with a through ball, but Bassong comes across and shows good strength to shrug off the American.

18 minSpurs have the chance to break as Lennon snatches possession from Pilkington, but his pass to Defoe is partially intercepted and the ball dribbles to the feet of Bunn.

20 minGOALFLASH! Jay Rodriguez has given Southampton a surprise lead against Manchester United at Old Trafford!

21 minSHOT! Snodgrass dinks a ball over the top to Holt, who is forced to take his shot early by Vertonghen and the volley flies high and wide.

22 minDawson concedes a needless free kick, which is whipped in by Garrido. The Spurs skipper makes amends by climbing to head clear the cross.

24 minPENALTY SHOUT! Another chipped ball over the top is chased down by Holt and he goes to ground complaining that he was tugged by Vertonghen. Handbags from where I am sitting.

26 minA Spurs venture forward comes to nothing, as Walker's pass inside to Lennon is intercepted by the backtracking Tettey.

28 minBLOCKED! Better from Spurs as Bale combines with Dempsey before shifting the ball out to Lennon. He squares it back to his fellow winger, whose shot is blocked by Martin.

29 minSAVE! Dawson heads a Snodgrass cross straight up in the air and with Lloris static, Holt comes from deep to power the second ball goalwards. Tottenham's French keeper reacts just in time to make a scrambling low stop.

32 minGOAL! Norwich 1-0 Spurs (Wes Hoolahan)

33 minThe hosts lead and it is probably deserved based on this opening half-hour. A high Snodgrass cross is superbly headed back across goal by Holt. The ball falls to Pilkington, who picks out an unmarked Hoolahan to slot home from eight yards.

35 minYellow card! Bale flies past Garrido on the right and the Spaniard sticks out a leg in desperation and is booked for his troubles.

37 minCHANCE! Norwich counter and Russell Martin is played in down the right, with Assou-Ekotto way out of position. He squares for Bassong but Dembele just does enough to prevent the former Spurs man making contact.

39 minThis is really poor from Spurs. Norwich are pressurising the ball well but the visitors can barely get into the Canaries half. There is no purpose or intent to their passing, and to make matters worse for AVB, Bale is down injured.

40 minThe Welshman seems to have a dead leg following that earlier tackle from Garrido, who really left his mark on Bale with a thumping challenge.

42 minSAVE! Out of nowhere, Spurs come very close to equalising as Defoe capitalises on a Bassong mistake before exchanging passes with Lennon. He is through on goal and shoots across Bunn, who makes a very smart stop which just evades Dempsey on the rebound.

44 minGarrido launches a hopeful ball towards Pilkington, but Assou-Ekotto makes up some ground to come across and knock the ball away from the Norwich midfielder.

45 minEntering first-half stoppage time of which there will be two minutes...

8.33pmHALF-TIME: Norwich 1-0 Spurs

8.37pmWe have a potential upset on the cards here. Spurs just haven't started playing yet and have been second to Norwich in almost every department. Wes Hoolahan made the most of great work from Grant Holt to give the Canaries the advantage that their industriousness and intent deserves.

8.39pmThere has been no sign of the same purpose in the play of Tottenham, whose attacking players have rarely featured in my notes so far. If things continue this way, I am sure we will see new-boy Holtby in the second period.

8.42pmLet's take a look at some match stats then...

8.44pmSpurs have had 52% of possession, but most of that has been in an area from where they cannot hurt Norwich.

8.46pmNorwich have registered half of their six shots on target, with Spurs testing Bunn twice in the first period.

45 minThe hosts resume the action at Carrow Road, with both sides unchanged...

46 minA silver lining for Spurs among the figures is that they have netted 29 of their 40 Premier League goals this season in the second half of games.

47 minSnodgrass lays the ball off to full-back Martin, who drives a low cross into a dangerous area but no Norwich player is present to convert an easy tap in.

49 minBale cuts in from the right, takes on two Norwich players before playing Defoe in down the left channel. He crosses, but due to his wide position, there is nobody in the box to attack the delivery.

51 minSHOT! On the edge of the area, Bale shifts the ball onto his left foot and shoots low towards the bottom corner. Bunn is alert and gathers comfortably.

54 minPENALTY SHOUT! Norwich look towards the referee for a handball call after Pilkington's shot is blocked by Vertonghen. That appeal was as hopeful as the one in the first half.

57 minAfter a long passing move, Bale crosses with the outside of his left foot towards Defoe, but Turner gets in-front of the Spurs poacher and heads clear.

59 minYellow card! Holt enters the book for a nasty challenge on Walker. The Norwich frontman was frustrated that he was not awarded a foul of his own seconds earlier and went in heavily on the Spurs full-back to gain some retribution.

62 minSHOT! Dempsey's smart ball inside is collected by the surging Defoe, who twists pasts Bassong only to slice his shot into the stands.

64 minWalker is in an advanced position down the right but dribbles the ball out of play with a number of teammates in the box waiting for a cross.

65 minSHOT! Pilkington wrong-foots Walker and drifts inside before his shot, aimed at the bottom corner, finds the side netting.

67 minAVB needs to change things immediately if Spurs are to find a way back into this match. They have been very flat and some urgency in the shape of Holtby or Gylfi Sigurdsson, or both, could do the trick.

68 minWalker's free-kick delivery is headed behind for a corner by Turner.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Here he is! Lewis Holtby is on for his Spurs debut, replacing the ineffectual Clint Dempsey.

71 minAnd he is involved instantly, chipping a ball over the top for Lennon, whose cross is diverted away from danger by Turner.

73 minSnodgrass swings in a free kick and Bassong climbs to head it goalwards, but is penalised for a foul on Dawson.

76 minHoltby has shown some nice little touches since his introduction, but his latest turn on the edge of the box is preempted by Bassong.

77 minNo Spurs players are in a gambling mood as Bale somehow pokes the ball across the six-yard area with his teammates static.

80 minGOAL! Norwich 1-1 Spurs (Gareth Bale)

81 minThe way Spurs had been playing tonight, it was going to take a moment of Gareth Bale magic to get them back into the match. Well, that is what we have just witnessed. He collects the ball from Defoe inside his own half and goes on a 60-yard charge. In the process, he does superbly to stay on his feet following an attempted swipe from Tettey, sprints past two Norwich defenders, cuts inside and with minimal backlift, forces the ball past Bunn into the far corner. Brilliant finish, brilliant run, brilliant Bale!

84 minDefoe opts to shoot at goal rather selfishly when a pass to either Bale or Holtby would have been a better option. The effort is blocked by Bassong.

86 minSUBSTITUTION: Serial sub Sigurdsson enters the action in place of Lennon as AVB tries to add a greater goalscoring threat to his XI.

89 minSAVE! Wonderful stop from Mark Bunn as he dives full stretch to his left to parry Sigurdsson's 20-yard drive around the post.

90 minEntering stoppage time now, of which there will be three minutes. Spurs look the more likely to find a winner...

9.38pmFULL-TIME: Norwich 1-1 Spurs

9.40pmSo Bale saves Spurs a point with a goal that will be replayed several times this season, I suspect. It is a useful point for Norwich, but they will be disappointed not to have collected maximum points tonight considering their first-half efforts.

9.42pmThat is it from me for this evening. Thank you for joining Sports Mole tonight and be sure to come back for our weekend coverage of the Premier League! Over and out...

Lewis Holtby
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