Southampton extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches as they drew 1-1 with Norwich in the Championship at Carrow Road.

The Saints dominated the game for long periods and looked to be heading for all three points when Adam Armstrong converted from close range midway through the second half.

But Norwich kept battling away and earned themselves a share of the spoils in the 78th minute as fit-again substitute Josh Sargent finished off a slick move to register his first goal for the Canaries since picking up a serious injury in August.

The pattern of the game was established in the opening period, with Southampton dominating possession and Norwich keeping them largely at arm’s length, whilst relying on the occasional breakaway to pose a threat.

The end result was a half of few clear-cut chances at either end, with both keepers largely untroubled.

The Saints came closest to breaking the deadlock two minutes before the break when Jack Stephens hit the woodwork after being set up by a delightful touch inside the box from Armstrong.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis had sent a free header straight at Angus Gunn for the visitors, who were hampered by the loss of Samuel Edozie midway through the half following a poor challenge from Jack Stacey.

Norwich looked a threat on the rare occasions they had the ball in the Southampton half and thought they had scored on 20 minutes when Sam McCallum volleyed home a Stacey cross, but the flag had already gone up for a tight offside decision.

Half-time substitute Che Adams was only narrowly off target with an audacious 45-yard lob as the Saints continued where they left off after the break, with Joe Aribo then sending a back-post header flashing past the upright.

Creating clear-cut chances was once again an issue for the dominant Saints however, and it must have come as relief as much as anything else when they finally got the goal they deserved on 70 minutes.

The dangerous Kyle Walker-Peters did the damage as he burst into the box from the left and got to the byline before sending in a low cross that flicked off Grant Hanley for Armstrong to volley home from close range.

Norwich looked down and out at that stage but they finally put together a decent move of their own with 12 minutes remaining to get back on level terms.

Gabriel Sara and Jon Rowe were both involved as the Canaries worked the ball neatly through the middle to give substitute Sargent the chance to roll the ball past the advancing Gavin Bazunu from just inside the box.

Adams headed a Ryan Fraser cross over in injury-time and Armstrong was denied by a good stop by Gunn as Southampton sought to restore their lead but Russell Martin’s side had to settle for a point.

The managers

Norwich’s David Wagner:

“It gives everyone here a big boost to see Josh back on the pitch, he’s a top quality player and a good character too. He hasn’t had much training but he was ready to come on and showed his quality with a good run and an excellent finish.

“I think it was a solid point for us, a deserved point. I thought it was an excellent defensive performance and we also threatened in transitions.

“We decided to go into this game with a 5-4-1 formation because we thought that was the right approach given the quality of the opposition and the form they have been in.

“We knew that would mean less possession for us but we have taken a point from the game and could even have taken all three, so in the end it was a good decision.”

Southampton’s Russell Martin:

“I am really proud of our performance today, even though we have only taken a point. We should certainly have won the game, I don’t think anyone would argue with that. I thought we played really well, there was a good flow to our play. I certainly enjoyed watching my team out there.

“We controlled the game, we played it around really well and I thought our goal was a really good move. We created other good chances and it was frustrating that we didn’t make the most of them. When we did get some on target, Angus Gunn make some good saves.

“I was surprised with the way Norwich set up if I am being honest. This is as quiet as I have known this place and I have played plenty of games here so feel frustrated, but at the same time very proud of the players.”



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