Norwich City 1 Crystal Palace 1 – Connor Wickham scores for first time since 2017 as Eagles earn Carrow Road point

BY SAM SMITH
Connor Wickham’s first Premier League goal since 2017 ensured Crystal Palace earned a point against Norwich City.
The striker came off the bench to net five minutes from full time after Todd Cantwell had given the Canaries an early lead.

Norwich led after just three minutes through Cantwell. The whole Palace defence had moved to close down Emiliano Buendia, allowing Cantwell to run free, collect his midfield partner’s pass and slide the ball past Vicente Guaita.

James Tomkins was fortunate not to be sent off on his 100th Palace appearance. He brought down Teemu Pukki but the Norwich forward, who was through on goal, had been adjudged offside – and an official VAR check for a red card agreed.
Palace struggled to break down a compact Canaries team early on. Jordan Ayew headed tamely at Tim Krul with the Eagles taking 25 minutes to register their first shot on target.
Jairo Riedewald should have taken advantage of an error to go through on goal but he inexplicably drew Krul towards him before trying to cut the ball back. The pass was initially intercepted before falling to James McArthur, who was crowded out.
Guaita did well to hold Cantwell’s effort five minutes before half-time. Max Aarons  fired wide from an angle when he should have at least tested the Palace goalkeeper.
Mamadou Sakho had been holding his hamstring for a few minutes before the break and was withdrawn before the start of the second half. If it is an injury which keeps the Frenchman out for a prolonged period, that will leave Roy Hodgson with just three fit senior defenders.
Guaita was man of the match against Southampton in Palace’s last game and kept the score at just one with a stunning save to deny Buendia’s free-kick. The Eagles then went up the other end and Max Meyer tested Krul. Tomkins almost got on the end of an Ayew cross as Palace finally grew in confidence going forward.
Kenny McLean crashed an effort against the crossbar in a half of very few genuine chances.
Hodgson introduced the 18-year-old debutant Brandon Pierrick in the final 10 minutes. And the academy graduate was influential in Palace equalising on 85 minutes. The forward played in Zaha, who crossed for Wickham to slide into the net. The former Ipswich man’s strike was initially disallowed for offside but a VAR referral awarded the goal.

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