West Ham 2-2 Norwich: Cheikhou Kouyate earns Hammers a point
Last Updated: 26/09/15 6:27pm
Cheikhou Kouyate scored a stoppage-time equaliser to earn West Ham a 2-2 draw with Norwich City at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.
Robbie Brady gave the visitors the lead early in the first-half with his first goal for the club after capitalising on a poor pass from Hammers captain Mark Noble.
Diafra Sakho equalised for West Ham before half-time with his third goal of the season following a superb exchange of passes with Dimitri Payet.
Second-half substitute Nathan Redmond restored Norwich's lead with six minutes remaining to seemingly put them on their way for their first victory in east London for 26 years.
But Kouyate's equaliser deep into stoppage-time ensured West Ham claimed a point to stay third in the Premier League. Norwich move down two places to 13th despite the draw.
Following the midweek Capital One Cup defeat to Leicester, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic reverted back to near enough the same side that claimed a 2-1 victory over Manchester City last Saturday, with Kouyate coming in for Pedro Obiang his only change.
In their bid to claim their fourth successive league win, the Hammers started poorly and fell behind in the ninth minute as Brady capitalised on a loose pass from Noble, raced away from the home defence and slotted his shot past West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.
Norwich, coming off the back of their 3-0 Capital One Cup victory over West Bromwich Albion in midweek, were looking to stretch their unbeaten league run to three matches and continued to look the most threatening of the two sides with midfielder Jonny Howson firing just over the crossbar midway through the first-half.
The visitors were made to rue that miss as West Ham levelled just after the half-hour mark through Sakho. The forward started the move by playing a sublime first time pass to Payet, who controlled the ball on the right before crossing for Sakho to tap home from just outside the six-yard box.
West Ham came close to taking the lead through midfielder Manuel Lanzini shortly after equalising, but the Argentine's free-kick from 25-yards out whistled just past the post.
Norwich nearly restored their advantage shortly after the break through Howson, however the midfielder's powerful effort from just outside the 18-yard box was matched by an outstanding save from Adrian.
Sakho was unfortunate not to double his tally for the afternoon on the hour with a header that was just about kept out by Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Norwich boss Alex Neil rung the changes midway through the second-half with Dieumerci Mbokani and Redmond coming on, with the decision to introduce the latter paying dividends.
Redmond, collecting a pass on the left from Wes Hoolahan, shifted the ball past Noble and onto his right foot before curling his effort beyond Adrian into the bottom corner of the net.
The winger's goal had seemingly sent Norwich on their way to a second away victory of the season, however Kouyate's goal deep into injury-time ensured they were denied with Ruddy arguably at fault.
Ruddy failed to deal with Payet's delivery from the right and split the ball into the path of Kouyate. The midfielder made no mistake and claimed his third league goal of the season to save his side from defeat.
West Ham: Adrian (7), Jenkinson (6), Tomkins (6), Reid (7), Cresswell (6), Noble (5), Kouyate (7), Lanzini (7), Payet (7), Moses (6), Sakho (8).
Subs used: Obiang (6) Carroll (6), Zarate (6).
Subs not used: Randolph, Collins, Jelavic, Antonio.
Norwich: Ruddy (7), Whittaker (7), Martin (6), Bassong (7), Olsson (7), Howson (7), Tettey (7), Dorrans (6), Hoolahan (7), Brady (7), Jerome (7).
Subs used: Mbokani (6), Redmond (7) ,O'Neil (6).
Sub not used: Wisdom, Grabban, Rudd, Bennett.
Man of the Match: Diafra Sakho