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Spurs draw 2-2 at Norwich amid VAR controversy

Spurs draw 2-2 at Norwich amid VAR controversy
December 29, 2019
NORWICH, ENGLAND (Reuters)  – Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane struck a late penalty to salvage a 2-2 draw at bottom side Norwich City, who were controversially denied a goal by a VAR review, in an entertaining Premier League clash on Saturday. Kane was brought down in the area and stepped up to secure a point in his 200th Premier League match after Serge Aurier’s own goal had given battling Norwich the lead for the second time. A first-half strike by the home side’s Mario Vrancic was cancelled out by Christian Eriksen’s free kick after the break. Norwich also had a Teemu Pukki effort harshly ruled out for a wafer-thin offside decision following a VAR review that left the home fans singing, “It’s not football anymore.” The result leaves Spurs in fifth place with 30 points from 20 games, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who have a game in hand at Arsenal on Sunday, while Norwich stay at the foot of the table with 13, six points from the safety zone. The hosts went ahead with a low strike by Vrancic from the edge of the area in the 18th minute after Spurs defender Juan Foyth was dispossessed by Emiliano Buendia. They thought they had scored again after 33 minutes when Pukki ran onto a ball over the top by Vrancic to slot home and while referee Kevin Friend awarded a goal, VAR’s decision was that the Finland striker was fractionally offside. Spurs made the most of their let off with a goal 10 minutes into the second half from Eriksen who planted a free kick into the top corner after Jamal Lewis had handled outside the area. Norwich then had some luck themselves when Tottenham’s Ivorian right back Aurier diverted the ball past his own keeper Paulo Gazzaniga after team mate Toby Alderweireld hit it against him while trying to stop Pukki bearing down on goal. “I think the same defensive mistakes we made in the first half, we made in the second half. This is being a little bit of our history,” said Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho. It was left to England forward Kane to salvage a draw for the visitors when he was brought down by Christoph Zimmermann and fired the spot kick home after 83 minutes. It was his 136th Premier League goal — his 150th league goal in total — and only Alan Shearer and Sergio Aguero have scored more Premier League goals in their first 200 appearances.