Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Saints battle for point

Artur Boruc saved a late penalty for Southampton

Norwich captain Grant Holt saw his stoppage-time penalty saved as Southampton battled to a goalless draw in atrocious conditions at Carrow Road.

With heavy rain before kick-off being followed by sleet, chances were few and far between. Saints skipper Adam Lallana blasted over when in front of an open goal, while Japan defender Maya Yoshida made vital blocks to prevent Holt and Robert Snodgrass scoring.

There was late drama, though, as Luke Shaw was ruled to have pushed over Holt just inside the penalty area, as referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot after consulting with his assistant. Southampton, though, felt justice was served as Artur Boruc produced a decent stop down to his left to secure a point for the visitors.

Southampton created the first decent opening when a low centre from Schneiderlin was beaten away by Norwich keeper Mark Bunn, who then tipped over Lallana's rising 20-yard drive.

Norwich were struggling to get hold of the ball in midfield and when right-back Russell Martin did get forward and float in a teasing ball through the penalty area, goalkeeper Boruc got there ahead of Kei Kamara, making his first start since a loan move from Kansas City.

Southampton broke quickly on 28 minutes through Rickie Lambert and his onward pass found Gaston Ramirez in space at the edge of the Norwich penalty area, but his attempted chip was palmed out by Bunn as Javier Garrido mopped up the loose ball.

Jay Rodriguez burst down the left early in the second half and cut into the penalty area and his cross was cleared by Sebastien Bassong, but the ball fell to Lallana some 12 yards out. However, with the goal at his mercy, the Southampton skipper could only blaze the ball high into the Barclay End.

The pace of the match intensified as Japan defender Yoshida produced a superb block to prevent Holt getting on the end of Snodgrass' cross after a great knockdown by Kamara.

At the other end, Snodgrass was played in by Hoolahan, but the ball ran away from the Scotland international as he went around the goalkeeper, which allowed Yoshida to hack clear.

There was late drama as Shaw's nudge on Holt saw Clattenburg give a penalty but Boruc guessed right and earned Southampton a draw.