Norwich manager Daniel Farke felt hard done by after seeing his Sky Bet Championship leaders held to a 2-2 draw by Reading in a dramatic game at Carrow Road.
The Canaries appeared to be on their way to a ninth straight win when they overturned a half-time deficit with goals in the 85th and 87th minutes to lead 2-1.
Reading had gone ahead against the run of the play on the half-hour mark through Yakou Meite but the dominant Canaries kept plugging away and were rewarded when Ben Godfrey equalised with a powerful drive and Christoph Zimmerman then headed home a Kenny McLean corner.
Keeper Emiliano Martinez then made an incredible save to prevent Jordan Rhodes from making it 3-1 with a close-range header and that stop was to prove crucial as, in the sixth minute of injury time, young midfielder Andy Rinomhota sent a rising drive into the top corner for his first senior goal to earn the visitors a point.
“Every point is important but obviously there was a big feeling of disappointment at the end,” said Farke, whose side are now six points ahead of Leeds and seven ahead of Sheffield United with five games left to play.
“We have a young team and some of them were very emotional in the dressing room afterwards. In fact some of the older guys had tears in their eyes as we had come so close to an important win and they hadn’t done too much wrong.
“This just shows that football is not always a fair game. We had 75 per cent of the possession, created lots of chances and had 20 shots on goal while Reading had two shots on target, one of them in the 96th minute, and scored from them both.
“Sometimes you just have to accept that it is one of those days and move on to the next game.
“To be fair to Reading they were a very difficult side to play against. They are fighting for their lives and they defended really well, while their goalkeeper made some outstanding saves.
“But we kept going against a well-structured side and eventually got our reward. It looked like it would be enough to take all three points but we have to accept it was just one.”
Reading manager Jose Gomes felt his side deserved to come away with a point.
“We came here with a plan and it worked very well,” he said. “Normally we play with four defenders but tonight we played with five.
“We were up against a very good Norwich side who I think will be in the Premier League next season so we sit back a bit, invited them on to us, and tried to use the space behind them. We knew they were dangerous in wide areas so we closed the space there and made it very difficult for them.
“It worked well for 80 minutes or so, and we got our goal, but in two or three (minutes) the game changes and we are behind.
“It is very difficult to change your way of playing in situations like that but we managed to do it and in the end I think it was a deserved point for my players, and a very important one in what we are trying to achieve. We have shown this sort of spirit before – and we showed it again tonight. I am very proud of the players.”
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