Jamaal Lascelles levelled late on to salvage a point for Newcastle
The defender’s late equaliser was a boost for manager Rafa Benitez, who is at loggerheads with the Newcastle hierarchy over transfer policy, with the Spaniard having seen no significant new recruits arrive at St James’ Park last month.
Whether Benitez, who has also seen his name touted as a potential successor to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, will still be in place on Tyneside come August despends on the success of this campaign and Newcastle were also helped by Ipswich drawing at Brighton, a result that prevented the Seagulls from claiming the Championship top spot.
Norwich, for their part, have been in cracking form in 2017 following a dismal autumn that saw supporters calling for the sacking of manager Alex Neil and the Canaries are now pressing hard for a play-off return.
The second half began in a fury as well with Wes Hoolahan going down in the Norwich box off the ball and claiming that Jonjo Shelvey had elbowed him but referee Madley’s lenghthy investigation produded no sanction.
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Newcastle came as close to an equaliser as you can get when DeAndre Yedlin’s pullback from the right was met first time by Matt Ritchie, who saw his shot hit the underside of the bar and bounce down on to the line but not over it.
Newcastle sent Mo Diame on for Colback and Norwich swapped Yanic Wildschut for Alex Pritchard before the hour mark.
Murphy tested Darlow with a curling effort but this time the goalkeeper was equal to the task and gathered cleanly.
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Mitrovic forced another save from Ruddy before almost seting up Diame in front of goal after Ritchie had been replaced by Christian Atsu. Gayle then replaced Mitrovic for the final 15 minutes.
Murphy celebrates his goal
Newcastle had taken the lead at Carrow Road
Lascelles equalised with a back post volley in the 81st minute after Perez picked him out with an inch=perfect delivery from the right of the Norwich box.
Norwich (4-2-3-1): Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Klose, Dijks; Tettey, Howson; Jacob Murphy, Hoolahan (Josh Murphy 87), Wildschut (Pritchard 59); Jerome (Lafferty 80). Subs (not used): McGovern, Bassong, Bennett, Godfrey.
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Ritchie (Atsu 70), Colback (Diame 54), Shelvey, Gouffran; Perez; Mitrovic (Gayle 76). Subs (not used): Eliot, Hanley, Hayden, Diame, Gamez.
Referee: Andrew Madley