Luke Moore scored a late equaliser to end Swansea’s run of Premier League defeats with an entertaining 2-2 draw at Norwich City.
Moore volleyed home his third goal of the season after Norwich had overhauled Michu’s opener with goals from Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner.
Both sides could have won it, with Michu missing a simple late finish as Michael Laudrup’s Swansea avoided what would have been a fourth straight loss to stay ninth in the top flight.
Norwich meanwhile edge closer to safety, five points clear of the bottom three, but they have only won one match in their last 15 and could still be dragged into the relegation battle.
With Grant Holt benched, towering Sierra Leone striker Kei Kamara led the hosts’ line, with Moore the target man for Swansea.
Swansea started a see-saw first half brightly enough as Michu mis-hit one finish before seeing another disallowed for a foul by Moore.
Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn pulled a groin muscle and was replaced on the quarter hour by third-choice Lee Camp, with John Ruddy also out injured.
Despite that blow the home side’s team performance picked up, as Turner was denied a low finish by Michael Vorm, with Norwich feeling they had a good claim for a penalty as Wayne Routledge shoved Snodgrass in the build-up. Michael Oliver had waved play-on, although it is unclear whether he was signalling advantage or a fair challenge.
But Swansea had clicked into their passing groove and took the lead soon afterwards when Michu rattled home his 17th league goal of the season, smashing a finish into the top right after a delightful cut-back by Julian De Guzman.
Laudrup’s side should have added a second as they started tearing the hosts to shreds, but Nathan Dyer hit wide after he was sent through by Routledge.
Just as Swansea had punished Norwich for a missed chance, the Canaries levelled soon after Dyer’s miss. Elliott Bennett – who had repeatedly got the better of young left-back Ben Davies – ran on to Kamara’s through ball before swinging an excellent cross to the far post, where Snodgrass stooped to head into an empty net.
It was end-to-end stuff as Swansea looked to pass their way to goal, while Norwich’s more direct approach caused problems.
Swansea could have had a penalty late in the half when Russell Martin appeared to handle Michu’s shot, but it stayed level into the break to set up a tantalising second half.
The visitors came out with intent, continuing to dominate possession and going close through Moore, who was denied one-on-one by a fantastic Camp stop, while Michu blasted over after nice wingplay from Routledge.
Norwich were still a danger on the break, Russell Martin sending a curling volley to the top left that Vorm clawed away from goal, and they edged ahead arguably against the run of play as Swansea again failed to deal with the high ball.
This time it came from a set piece as the impressive Bennett swung a brilliant free-kick to the far post, which Turner slid in to volley into the roof of the net with an even better finish.
Swansea upped the ante but, in leaving gaps at the back, that just fashioned an end-to-end half hour that could have seen them fall further behind.
As it happened though Kamara was denied a tap-in by Dwight Tiendalli’s superb challenge, while the visitors went close as Michu scuffed his header while Camp denied Moore a similar effort.
It was Swansea who scored next as Moore – reborn in recent months after years in the wilderness – flew in to volley home after Angel Rangel headed De Guzman’s crossfield pass across the face of goal.
The goal was atypical in the sense that the ball was in the air throughout the move, and it spurred Norwich into action once more as Martin hit another long-range effort just wide.
Holt was thrown on and he should have been sent off with his first act, which was a thigh-high stamp on Chico Flores. Oliver appeared to miss the extent of the contact, failing to even book the burly striker, instead cautioning him later on for a hand-off on the same man.
Ultimately though Swansea should have won it, with Michu – who now has 17 goals in a wonderful debut Premier League season – twice fluffing his lines late on, putting an 82nd-minute finish wide before skying an even simpler chance deep into injury time.
But defeat would have been harsh on the Canaries, who will continue to look nervously over their shoulder after Aston Villa pulled out of the drop zone, while Swansea – with 41 points – will tread water until an inevitably busy summer transfer window.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Elliott Bennett (Norwich) – Gave Ben Davies a hellish time with his surging runs, creating both goals with similarly impressive deliveries from the right.
NORWICH: Bunn N/A, Martin 7, Bassong 6, Turner 7, Garrido 7, Elliott Bennett 8, Howson 5, Johnson 6, Snodgrass 7, Hoolahan 6, Kamara 6; Subs: Camp 7, Holt 5, Tettey 6
SWANSEA: Vorm 6, Tiendalli 7, Chico 6, Williams 6, Davies 5, Ki 6, De Guzman 7, Michu 7, Routledge 7, Moore 7, Dyer 6; Subs: Hernandez 7, Lamah 7, Rangel 7
- Sports & Recreation