Chris Hughton hailed the performance of Mark Bunn as the Norwich stand-in goalkeeper saved a late penalty to help defeat Tottenham 2-1 and set up a Capital One Cup grudge match with Paul Lambert's Aston Villa.
Having over-turned a one-goal deficit, Norwich stood on the brink of last eight, but their victory was put in doubt two minutes from time when Kyle Walker went down under the challenge of Marc Tierney. Bunn dived low to his left to deny Clint Dempsey from 12 yards, however, and ensure Norwich's passage to the last eight for the first time in 17 years.
"I thought he was excellent," Norwich boss Hughton said. "He is a really good goalkeeper. I can't imagine he was at fault with Tottenham's goal because it was a wonderful strike from Gareth Bale. Overall he showed good composure and he had good hands. The save for the penalty was fantastic. He was brave."
There seemed to be minimal contact between Tierney's out-stretched foot and Walker when the England right-back went to ground in the box.
"I thought (Walker) certainly made a meal of it," Hughton said. "Marc Tierney said he didn't touch him. On the angle I have seen you can't tell if there is any (contact)."
While the Capital One Cup is not top of Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas' list of priorities, he will have seen this as a good opportunity to make his first trip to Wembley with Spurs.
Instead, he was left to reflect on yet another game in which Tottenham's defence crumbled in the dying minutes under pressure.
"It is obviously something that is in our mind at the moment," Villas-Boas said. "It is obviously difficult but the further you train these situations sometimes the worst it becomes. You cannot match the emotion and concentration players face during the game.
"We obviously have to do better and try to improve things for the next game.
"It's a pity to see the game slip from our hands. We had a good performance."
- Sports & Recreation
- Chris Hughton
- Marc Tierney
- Kyle Walker