Match Analysis: Norwich City 1-1 Swansea City

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the 1-1 draw between Norwich City and Swansea City at Carrow Road.

The inconsistent form of both Norwich City and Swansea City continued this afternoon in the shape of a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.

The visitors took the lead after just 13 minutes when Sebastien Bassong failed to deal with a long ball forward, allowing Nathan Dyer to race through and lift it over John Ruddy.

Norwich had an effort cleared off the line at the end of the first half but they would not have to wait long for the equaliser, getting it in stoppage time as Gary Hooper fired a spectacular volley past Michel Vorm from 25 yards.

The hosts came closest to finding a winner when Michael Turner steered his header onto the crossbar but both sides were forced to share the spoils as the second half ended goalless.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at an interesting match at Carrow Road.

Match statistics:

Shots 16
On target 3
Possession 37%
Corners 8
Fouls 12

Shots 10
On target 2
Possession 63%
Corners 5
Fouls 11

Was the result fair?

In terms of clear goalscoring chances, Norwich deserved to win this game. In addition to the goal, they had one effort cleared off the line and another hit the crossbar, while Michel Vorm was also forced into making a very good save. However, Swansea can make a good argument that they deserved at least a point on the general balance of play over the whole 90 minutes by just pointing at their superior possession. All in all, Norwich had the best chances but Swansea controlled the game for longer periods, so a draw was the fairest result.

Norwich's performance

It was a pretty mediocre display from the hosts, particularly in the first half. They struggled to create anything going forward and only really seemed to threaten at the very end of the half. The second half saw a slight improvement but the final ball was still lacking on a number of occasions from open play. Their best moments of the match generally came from set pieces, where the delivery was much better and Swansea could not cope with the height and power of Bassong, Turner and Leroy Fer. A point is a decent enough return against Swansea but they will know that they will play better than that this season and lose.

Swansea's performance

Michael Laudrup's side have been the definition of inconsistency in terms of results this season, but one thing that never changes is their domination in possession. They have enjoyed a higher percentage of the ball than any other side in the league this season, yet they are struggling to do anything with it. That was the case again today as, for all of their possession, they failed to threaten the Norwich goal anywhere near as often as they should have done. They will also be happy enough with a point but they will need to improve if they are to challenge for European places once again.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gary Hooper: No player stood head and shoulders above the rest in today's match, but Gary Hooper gets the nod for coming up with a moment of magic despite being kept quiet for much of the game. When his time came, he rifled a fine volley past Vorm that ultimately earned his side a point. He also had another chance in the second half and did everything right, but he was only denied by a fine save from Vorm. Overall, he was not involved as much as he would have liked to have been, but he rescued the draw for Norwich and continued his fine scoring form in the process.

Biggest gaffe

This one goes to Bassong for his defending in the build-up to the first goal. The big defender lost an aerial battle to the diminutive Nathan Dyer, who then ran on to collect his own flick and lift the ball into the back of the net. It was poor defending from the Norwich man, who should have been more commanding in the air, taking man and ball if necessary. Instead, he took neither and cost his side a goal.

Referee performance

Michael Oliver had a strong game today. The referee had two big penalty calls to make, each for handball, and he got them both spot on. On both occasions the ball did actually strike a hand in the area, but the player in question could have done nothing about it and Oliver was right to wave away the protests.

What next?

Norwich: Norwich face a big battle at the bottom in their next match as they travel to face Sunderland on Saturday.

Swansea: Swansea, meanwhile, host Everton at the Liberty Stadium next Sunday.

Gary Hooper of Norwich celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Swansea City at Carrow Road on December 15, 2013
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Result: Swansea hold Norwich City
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