Norwich 2-2 Blackburn: Match Report
Cameron Jerome and Lucas Joao trade doubles at Carrow Road
Lucas Joao came off the bench to inspire a Blackburn comeback at managerless Norwich - but it was only enough to earn them a 2-2 draw.
The Portuguese striker struck twice in four minutes to cancel out a first half effort from Cameron Jerome.
But the Canaries, who had played the final 70 minutes with 10 men after the sending off of defender Mitchell Dijks, refused to submit and Jerome fired home his second in the 80th minute to secure a hard-earned point.
Norwich performed well less than 24 hours after the sacking of Alex Neil, but two more dropped points dealt another blow to their fading play-off hopes while for Rovers it was a useful point in their battle to stay in the division.
With the home crowd still digesting the news of Neil's departure on Friday evening the game got off to a low-key start in a low-key atmosphere and it was not until the 16th minute that an effort on goal lifted the mood.
It came from young winger Josh Murphy whose shot from just outside the box took a deflection and drifted just wide of the upright.
His next involvement then got the home fans into something approaching full voice as the hosts took an 18th-minute lead. Murphy's cross-cum-shot was only half blocked by Jason Steele and the ball fell kindly for Jerome, who slide the ball home from close range.
It was just what the Canaries needed but they were brought down to earth with a bump three minutes later when they were reduced to 10 men. Dijks appeared to go over the ball in a routine midfield challenge with fellow Dutchman Marvin Emnes and referee Simon Hooper had no hesitation in brandishing a red card.
With a one man advantage Rovers began to get a foothold in the game and ex-Canary Elliott Bennett fired a low just wide before Danny Graham wasted a clear sight of goal by missing the target after being set up by Emnes.
Just before half-time Rovers worked another chance but again it came to nothing, with Derrick Williams unable to keep the ball down.
The relegation threatened visitors continued to have the bulk of the possession after the break and went close again on 52 minutes when Bennett's free-kick from the edge of the box curled just over.
Norwich were defending well to protect their narrow advantage and nearly gave themselves some breathing space on the hour mark as rightback Ivo Pinto thundered a shot against the bar from a narrow angle after a buccaneering run.
Blackburn came desperately close to getting back on level terms midway through the half after more good work from Emnes. This time he picked out substitute Joao in a crowded area, only to see the big striker's low effort thump into the left upright.
The goal the visitors had been threatening finally arrived in the 73rd as two substitutes combined. A cross from the left was only half cleared and an alert Connor Mahoney hooked the ball back into the six yard box where Joao was waiting to convert.
It got even better for Blackburn four minutes later as they took the lead through another goal from their super sub. This time Graham was the provider, sending ina delicious cross from the right that was superbly headed in by the Portuguese.
Norwich were not finished however and were back on level terms in the 80th as Jerome completed his double, converted via a slight deflection after Josh Murphy had rolled the ball into his path inside the box.