Belfast Telegraph

Hoolahan saves Norwich

Wes Hoolahan's goal just before half-time ensured newly-promoted Norwich claimed a 1-1 draw from their Barclays Premier League opener against Wigan at the DW Stadium.

The Latics had gone in front in the 21st minute through Ben Watson's spot-kick after Ritchie De Laet had fouled Franco Di Santo.

But the Canaries made it 1-1 at the end of the first half when Ali Al Habsi could not hold on to Steve Morison's delivery and Hoolahan slotted the ball into the net.

Emmerson Boyce and Victor Moses had chances as the hosts started brightly, but Norwich almost carved an opening when Morison cut the ball back for Hoolahan, who scuffed his attempt off-target.

Moments later Wigan had the lead after Di Santo dispossessed De Laet. Looking to make amends, the Belgian chased his man into the box but brought Di Santo down to give away a penalty, which Watson converted.

Wigan looked set to go in a goal up at the break - but it was 1-1 in the 45th minute when goalkeeper Al Habsi spilled Morison's cross and Hoolahan levelled.

The tempo did not let up as the second half got under way, with Di Santo heading just wide and Andrew Crofts blasting over at the other end.

Moses was unfortunate to lose his footing before he could get a shot away after a mazy dribble past a host of yellow shirts, and John Ruddy just managed to get his hands on a shot from substitute Hugo Rodallega.

A mix-up between Al Habsi and Adrian Lopez saw Wigan give away an indirect free-kick and it was tapped to Andrew Surman, who bent the ball over the bar.

Watson hit the post with five minutes remaining, and Moses and Rodallega had shots blocked by some last-ditch defending as Norwich hung on.


From Belfast Telegraph