We still have hope! Five great escapes that Norwich City fans can take heart from
14:15 07 May 2014
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Michael Turner admitted Norwich City need a miracle to stay up after a goalless Premier League draw at Chelsea. Turner’s old club, Sunderland, can effectively relegate the Canaries with a point tonight against West Brom, but here PADDY DAVITT picks out five of the greatest ever footballing escapes.
WEST BROM 2004/5
Norwich were collateral damage in Albion’s successful survival story. The Baggies needed City, Southampton and Crystal Palace to fail to win on the final day and they had to deliver against Portsmouth. The Canaries were humiliated at Fulham and Southampton lost at home to Manchester United, but there was a dramatic late twist when Palace were pegged back in the final moments at Charlton to leave Albion indebted to goals from Kieran Richardson and Geoff Horsfield.
Arguably the most bizarre of all footballing escapes, given the reprieve came from Carlisle United’s on-loan keeper Jimmy Glass’ stoppage time half-volley in one last desperate act of defiance on the final day. Carlisle had to beat Plymouth and rely on Scarborough failing to win at home to Peterborough to preserve their Football League status. Scarborough’s game finished level to spark a pitch invasion by relieved fans just as Glass appeared right on cue in the penalty box to crash home a rebound to seal a remarkable survival tale.
Neil Adams was part of an Oldham side who clawed back an eight point deficit in the final week of the season to survive on goal difference. Joe Royle’s men beat Aston Villa, Liverpool and finally Southampton in a frenetic final day encounter where Matt Le Tissier’s scored a hat-trick at Boundary Park, but Crystal Palace’s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal condemned the Eagles to the drop.
Ex-City boss Mike Walker’s Toffees preserved Everton’s proud tradition of not being relegated from the top flight since 1954. Walker’s strugglers had to beat Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’ at Goodison Park on the final day and also rely on results elsewhere. The Dons were 2-0 up early on before former Norwich loanee Graham Stuart dragged one back from the penalty spot. Barry Horne then drew the hosts level and Stuart’s speculative long range shot squirmed past Hans Segers to spark bedlam on the blue half of Merseyside.
Fulham, under current England boss Roy Hodgson, sent Reading down on goal difference, but that barely does justice to the scale of the turnaround. Hodgson’s side still occupied a relegation place with 15 minutes to go in the season despite taking 12 points from 15 sparked by a first away win in 18 months at Manchester City. Danny Murphy then pounced for a dramatic late winner at Portsmouth to escape by virtue of a three-goal swing.