Monday, September 25, 2023

Southampton 4-4 Norwich City: Adam Armstrong scores two penalties in incredible eight-goal thriller -Dlight News

Adam Armstrong’s 97th-minute penalty saved Russell Martin’s St Mary’s curtain-raiser as Southampton drew a topsy-turvy 4-4 clash with Norwich.

Josh Sargent gave the Canaries an early lead before Saints hit back to claim the lead through Jan Bednarek and Armstrong’s first spot-kick.

But Norwich returned their advantage by half-time thanks to Gabriel Sara’s thunderbolt and Jon Rowe’s header.

Che Adams got Saints back level before Christian Fassnacht thought he had won it six minutes from time with his first Norwich goal, only for Armstrong’s last-gasp penalty.

Former Norwich player Martin was taking charge of Southampton at St Mary’s for the first time and aiming to become the first Saints manager since Glenn Hoddle in 2000 to win their first two league matches.

After an early sighter from Rowe, Sargent gave Martin a rude awakening to life on the south coast as the Canaries striker finished off a swift attack in the seventh minute.

Ashley Barnes had brilliantly held up the ball before releasing Jack Stacey to stand up a cross at the back post for Sargent to open his account for the season.

What came next was a frantic 344 seconds which saw the game see-saw with three goals.

It started with a recycled corner whipped back into the box by Kyle Walker-Peters, new club captain Jack Stephens’ header was saved but centre back Bednarek was on hand to smash in his first goal since April 2022 with the rebound.

Three minutes later, in the 20th minute, Will Smallbone’s cross was handled by Shane Duffy. Armstrong stepped up and converted for his second goal of the season.

But the Canaries went straight back up the other end, where Brazilian Sara controlled the ball around Smallbone before rifling into the top corner with his left foot.

Shane Duffy hit the side netting, Armstrong had a header cleared off the line and Stephens bravely blocked from Kenny McLean to continue the exhilarating first half.

Rowe managed to find a free header from a Sara corner in stoppage time to loop Norwich back into the lead.

There was little let up in the second half as Adams came off the bench for a second week in a row to find the back of the net.

The former Birmingham attacker thumped a low shot across the face of goal and into the bottom corner.

Both sides had good chances to win the game but for heroic defending and keeping. Carlos Alcaraz had one shot saved and another grazed the crossbar.

Norwich sub Fassnacht was crowded out on the counter, before Angus Gunn produced a stunning save to keep out Armstrong’s acrobatic effort.

But the Canaries took the lead for a third time with six minutes to go as Ryan Manning made a hash of clearing Dimitris Giannoulis’ cross to give Fassnacht a simple finish.

But Giannoulis’ nudge on Walker-Peters gave Armstrong his second penalty of the game. Alcaraz even had time to curl a 98th-minute effort just wide to conclude a thrilling fixture.

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