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Norwich City 1-1 Swansea City: Hooper dazzler leaves things even at Carrow Road

Dec 15, 2013, 10:32 AM EDT

Hooper Getty Images

Nathan Dyer capitalized on an early error by the Norwich defense, but Gary Hooper made sure things left level with a cannon from distance just before halftime.

Hooper’s chance was made possible thanks to a serious injury to Dyer’s ankle leaving six minutes of added time before the break, which the Norwich striker jumped on.

Both teams were sloppy in the opening few minutes, leading to chances for both sides early.  Steven Whittaker lashed out at goal wide right in the within the first two minutes for Norwich, and Jonathan De Guzman missed wide left for Swansea on five minutes.

Swansea were looking to build from the back, but they scored a goal out of nothing, a bit of a gift from Norwich.

Ashley Williams saw Nathan Dyer one-on-one up ahead, and lumped a good long ball forward from him.  The ball found Dyer after eluding Sebastian Bassong, and Dyer settled with his head.  Then, a mix-up between John Ruddy and his defense saw the keeper come out and Dyer easily chipped past him for the opener.

Norwich pressed immediately after, as they looked to get the home crowd back in the match, and because of it Swansea struggled to get the ball out of their back four.

The home side, however, couldn’t shake their sloppiness, and eventually Swansea exploited more space in the defensive midfield and back line to get a few more shots off.

source: Getty Images

Nathan Dyer capitalized on an early Norwich mistake for the opener, but went off injured before halftime.

Gary Hooper had a brilliant chance to level for the Canaries in the 35th minute as he received a long ball on the left wing, and bottled up Williams to get in on goal. But by the time he worked into a shooting position there were defenders back, and Vorm held strong as well to force Hooper into shooting wide.

The game slowed a bit and came to a halt for a few minutes before halftime. Nathan Dyer had to be stretchered off after a mid-air clash with  Bassong, landing very awkwardly on his right ankle. Dyer required oxygen and was in obvious pain as he came off, hand on his face.

Directly after, Norwich earned a corner kick and the ball dangerously pinballed around the box before Ashley Williams cleared off the line with his head.

Six minutes of injury time ensued, and Norwich were fully on top before cashing in. Johan Elmander received a long ball and chested it down perfectly for Hooper, who rifled in a dipping shot from a long way out, giving Michel Vorm no chance.

Norwich continued to assert themselves after the break, and Bassong got his head to a corner just three minutes in to the second half but steered it just wide.

It was Swansea’s turn to be sloppy, as they were very wasteful passing in the final third.  They also produced some messy tackles and play, as three Swans were all booked within a 10-minute span.

Both sides fought hard, but chances were few and far between as the second half progressed.  Swansea were the ones who pushed for a winner as time expired, but they never were able to unlock the Norwich defense as errant passes and clumsy challenges continued to plague the visitors.

The point moves Swansea to 20 on the season as they remain in 10th position.  Norwich will take anything they can get, as they jump Cardiff into 14th position.

GOALS:

Swansea – Dyer 12′
Norwich – Hooper 45+3′

LINEUPS:

Norwich - Ruddy; Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Olsson; Redmond (Murphy 83′), Howson, Johnson, Fer, Elmander (Becchio 76′); Hooper.

Swanwea – Vorm; Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies; Canas, Shelvey, de Guzman, Hernandez (Lamah 83′), Dyer (Pozuelo 44′); Michu (Bony 75′).

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