Norwich City produced a perfect Premier League away day performance to sink West Brom 2-0 at the Hawthorns.

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Gary Hooper smashed his third top flight goal before the interval and Leroy Fer sealed only the Canaries’ second away win on the road in the league this term three minutes from the end after a wonderfully resolute defensive effort from Chris Hughton’s men.

Albion pummelled away for the majority of the second period following Steve Clarke’s introduction of Shane Long and Saido Berahino at the interval to pep up the hosts, but City defended manfully until Fer’s breakaway strike sealed a priceless victory.

Hughton made three changes to the starting line up which lost 5-1 at Liverpool in midweek. Michael Turner replaced Ryan Bennett at the heart of the Canaries’ defence ith Russell Martin also left out for Steven Whittaker. Hooper was restored to the line up after his match-winner against Crystal Palace with Wes Hoolahan relegated to the bench. Baggies’ chief Clarke opted to start without Long and highly-rated young striker Berahino but Uruguayan international Diego Lugano made his first Premier League start in the Albion defence with Jonas Olsson suspended. Youssouf Mulumbu was also recalled after missing the midweek league defeat to Manchester City after picking up five bookings.

Fer was deployed on the left of Norwich’s midfield in the early exchanges with Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson holding the centre ground and Johan Elmander pushed alongside Hooper in a more traditional looking front two for the Canaries.

City were tested with two early corners from the hosts but after recent frailties Hughton’s rearguard stood their collective ground; Turner making an important clearance under pressure from Lugano. Nathan Redmond carried plenty of menace on the counter with one incursion forcing Gareth McAuley into a timely near post intervention. Stephane Sessegnon was proving an influential figure in the early sparring in a withdrawn role behind Victor Anichebe with Morgan Amalfitano profiting from a ready supply line, but Sebastien Bassong provided auxiliary support to Martin Olsson down City’s left-flank when the Baggies threatened.

Norwich made the breakthrough in the 13th minute with the predatory Hooper drifting down the side of Lugano to collect Fer’s reverse ball that brushed McAuley’s heels and rifle into the bottom corner from 18 yards. Albion continued to press forward despite the initial setback and John Ruddy was down sharply to gather Mulumbu’s hit after a sharp exchange of passes with Amalfitano. The England keeper then collected from Anichebe’s header before unleashing a tirade in the direction of Fer and Olsson with Albion now raiding down City’s left seemingly at will in the opening quarter.

Fer was clipped by Billy Jones as Norwich looked to trigger another rapier counter midway through a half dominated territorially by Albion, but Redmond’s dipping 25 yard free kick lacked the venom of Luis Suarez’s strike at Anfield three days earlier.

Elmander controlled Hooper’s flick but his shot spiralled away off McAuley for a corner that Mulumbu cleared at his near post then Redmond’s attempted curler slid wide with Albion’s home support now growing increasingly frustrated. Amalfitano’s impish drag back fooled Fer tight to the Norwich byline but Bassong headed behind before McAuley’s glancing flick from Chris Brunt’s deep corner dropped wide. Ruddy then took evasive action to shovel over Anichebe’s strike on the turn from the angle of the visiting penalty box.

Albion’s efforts to finish the half on top saw City again tested from the corner delivery of Brunt, with one whipped centre allowed to travel right across the face of Ruddy’s six-yard box in a worrying repeat of recent concessions on the road at both Newcastle and Liverpool. Norwich however still carried a threat on the counter with Whittaker’s overlapping burst to link with Redmond a sign of the visitors’ confidence after Fer and Hooper triggere a flowing move on the opposite flank.

Clarke signalled his dissatisfaction with the opening 45 minutes from his side by introducing Long and Berahino at the interval. City predictably had to withstand an early onslaught, with Sessegnon’s shot at the far post appearing to hit Olsson’s right arm from point blank range within the opening seconds but referee Clattenburg was not interested in home penalty appeals. Redmond twice broke the gathering siege with swift bursts into the final third but on both occasions the teenager’s wayward delivery sailed behind. Elmander was then allowed to escape detection with Albion appealing in vain for offside but the intended cut-back for Hooper struck McAuley at his near post. Whittaker was then cautioned for illegally halting Long’s charge as Albion surged forward with a ferocity singularly lacking prior to the interval. Sessegnon spurned what was arguably Albion’s best chance of the contest shortly after when he raced through after Bassong pulled out of a potential hack that would surely have seen the captain dismissed but with Ruddy advancing the forward horribly guided his right foot shot the wrong side of the post from 16 yards.

Howson’s wonderfully precise clearance invited Redmond to power past Brunt and into the Albion box on the hour mark but Hooper’s dart to the near post saw the England Under-21 starlet cut the ball back towards the area Hooper had just vacated. Howson had Boaz Myhill grasping at thin air with an attempted lift into the top corner sailing two yards over following a clever set from Hooper.

Ruddy denied Albion at the other end with his feet when Olsson’s miscued clearance dropped to Sessegnon on the angle six yards out as a breathless second period showed few signs of abating. City earned another reprieve when Long scuffed at Ruddy after the ball had spun in the Irishman’s direction with the visitors seemingly unable to earn any respite. Mulumbu hammered wide in the 76th minute after brushing off Howson’s challenge on the edge of the City penalty box before Hughton made his first move with Josh Murphy introduced to provide another genuine counter-attacking outlet in place of Elmander, although the youngster’s first involvement saw him cautioned within a minute of his arrival for hauling down Jones. Brunt tried his luck from range but again Ruddy was secure before Berahino slammed into the side netting from an acute angle with time running out for the Baggies. The England keeper then produced his best stop of the afternoon to scramble across his line and claw out Long’s glancing header. That proved a big moment in the contest when Fer ended any hopes of a home comeback after dipping inside Lugano to roll past the wrong-footed Myhill 16 yards out.

• West Brom: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Lugano, Ridgewell (Long 45), Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt, Amalfitano (Berahino 45), Anichebe (Vydra 81), Sessegnon. Subs (not used): Daniels, Popov, Morrison, Dawson.

• Booking: Brunt (foul on Elmander, 27).

• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker (Martin 89), Bassong, Turner, Olsson, Redmond, Fer, Howson, Johnson, Elmander (Murphy 76), Hooper (Becchio 89). Subs (not used): Nash, Hoolahan, Garrido, Bennett.

• Bookings: Whittaker (foul on Long, 53); Ruddy (time wasting, 74); Murphy (foul on Jones, 77).

• Goals: Hooper (13), Fer (89).

• Added on time: 1 minute / 4 minutes

• Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Durham)

• Attendance: 23,675

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36 comments

  • Goldie, you make a good point but with Palace winning yesterday and the Fulham today, it seems the luck is spreading downwards. I think we will need a good performance as well as a bit of luck next Sunday if we are to maintain the critical gap above the relegation zone. OTBC.

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    TrevorKeith

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Spot on NYCC, 9 points from 5 games will do us fine, especially as 3 of those games were away from home. The defence done its job as we kept a clean sheet and likewise the strikers done their as we scored twice, that is what the game is all about. Sure, they had more possession and more shots but that has to be expected away from home. Lets all be positive and look forward to beating Swansea next Sunday. OTBC.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Good result, good to see. Have we turned a corner? Are we going to play two up front? Are the three sentences connected. CH must be very thick skinned and it must be a worrying time for him, family and the NCFC business. Don't envy him one bit, but then again, we do need more points and results. Good change of fortune though - keep going! Les Leslie Nielsen Les Lee but deffo not Glenn Roeder, Old Codger!

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    Les Lee

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • We played not that well, defended far too deep, especially second half, had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at us and came away with the 3 points! First half performance was good not brilliant but good. If only Redmond would pass instead of shooting I know he is young and hopefully he will mature. We rode our luck, yes Barking definitely squeaky bum time, and Ruddy had a excellent game. Next week's game will be crucial as to (a) the team and (b) the tactics; we cannot defend as deeply as we did yesterday to protect a leaad - from the watching the match here it was obvious Ruddy was not a happy chappy with how deeply the team was defending. This is one of those occasions where the points are more important than the performance - if we play that for the rest of the season away from home and get three points then i will be very happy. OTBC.

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    Singapore Canary

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Well done on the win, always pleased with a win. I only saw the miniscule highlights on motd so can't comment on the performance, but appeared a tad lucky. A win isn't always all that matters, sometimes it's good to see some attractive attacking football, (when did we last see that) it's all well pointing out one cardiff game, most games I'm bored senseless. So in conclusion good win, but lets not sugar coat things performances have been at best dull at worst humiliating, people will stop moaning if we see some progression, or a clue that someone has a plan that might work.

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    Burglecut

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Why don't you just celebrate 3 vital points or do you have to be negative to post on here?

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    Konrad54

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • If that was a lucky win, then here's hoping for many more. Wins are so hard to come by in the prem, I'm just so grateful we've managed another one

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    canarypirate66

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Hughton haters seem to be beside themselves with misery. It's been a funny old day; England give away the Ashes, Man U give away the title and we win away, with a clean sheet as well!!!

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    Bookface

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • I am not going to say it was a great win, but it was a good one and Hughton deserves some credit for his tactics today. I am still not convinced he is the right person to take us forwards, he has some way to go before that. However, we played some good stuff at times and created more than we have recently. We also got more crosses into the box which, like Irongloves I would put down to playing Redmond on the right. I was also encouraged by the fact that Ruddy looked more like his commanding self again. On the negative side, we lacked composure in defence and gave the ball away far too cheaply deep in our own half. The detractors are right in that West Brom should have finished their chances. However, they didn't and we have three points.

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    Preston Canary

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Also, I don't believe that our win could be considered lucky if we were able to win by two clear goals.

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    NYC-Canary

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Some people on here need to have a reality check. They have to ask themselves do they want to see Chris Hughton sacked more than they want Norwich to win or do well because it appears to me that a lot of people want him sacked, even if it means we keep losing for it to happen. Those who fall into that category should be ashamed to be Norwich City fans. We now have 17 points with the next 5 games all winnable matches and that includes Man Utd but lets say we only take 7 points from those 5 matches. That would leave us sitting on 24 points by early January. I for one think we could be around the 30 point mark by the end of January as I get the feeling the players are really beginning to gel with each other in some areas and very few of the lower sides are picking up any points against us. And if I am honest, only the Hull, Villa and the draw against Cardiff are games that I think were disappointing. The big defeats are a worry but we have a real chance to pick up a lot of points before we come up against them again and if we amass a lot of points before we play them then you might see us play very differently against them later in the season

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    GPL

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • only heard the last twenty minutes commentary and the highlights on motd.seems it was backs to the wall stuff.But 3 points is three points and luck was on our side.All credit to ch and the players.just a pity all results didnt go our way.you always like to see at least two clubs adrift at the bottom of the table.

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    tonyb

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • A 2-0 win away from home, up to 14th in the Premier League and still some people aren't happy and can't bring themselves to say "Well Done" WBA may well have had 27 shots but that doesn't mean anything if they don't score.

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    Mr. B

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • after a couple of recent home games I said City did not get the results their play indicated. This one makes up for it , to some extent.We were 2nd best on the pitch but took the 3 points.When lady luck smiles on you accept it, move on and win again.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Hughton haters seem to be beside themselves with misery. It's been a funny old day; England give away the Ashes, Man U give away the title and we win away, with a clean sheet as well!!!

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    Bookface

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • only heard the last twenty minutes commentary and the highlights on motd.seems it was backs to the wall stuff.But 3 points is three points and luck was on our side.All credit to ch and the players.just a pity all results didnt go our way.you always like to see at least two clubs adrift at the bottom of the table.

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    tonyb

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Bit quiet on here tonight! Almost as if some event has occurred that they are not happy about! COME ON CITY!

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    ncfc boy

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • No actually they're not rose tinted they are yellow. Sorry Pal but I'm like a stick of rock - cut me in half and you'll read NCFC. Win lose or draw, Premier or Conference doesn't matter.

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    Konrad54

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • If that was a lucky win, then here's hoping for many more. Wins are so hard to come by in the prem, I'm just so grateful we've managed another one

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    canarypirate66

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Wow...I am still suffering from shock. HOW did we win that game?? Also shellshocked to hear some people thought we played well. Does everybody in Norfolk wear rose tinted glassses? AWFUL performance, GREAT win. How can people say we played well if we allowed the opposition 27 shots!! Mr Ruddy played VERY well. Wow...that could SO easily have been another 0-7 against poor to average opponent. Chris hughton must be the luckiest manager alive. Every time it seems that we will finally see the last of him some miracle arrives to keep him in a job....for another week at least. I am delighted for the win but alarmed to read some people thought we played well!

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    CanaryWest

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Konrad those rose tinted glasses look good on you.

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    CanaryWest

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Happy with the result, not happy with Hughton. Havent been from the start. This win doesnt change anything.

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    Cecil

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • "a perfect Premier League away day performance"? That was the luckiest Norwich win I've seen for a long time!

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    ragniblov

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Three wins (nine points) from five Premiership matches is not bad at all and is nothing to whine about. On the Ball City!

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    NYC-Canary

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Why don't you just celebrate 3 vital points or do you have to be negative to post on here?

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    Konrad54

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Brilliant to win away.We played with 2 up front which many of us have wanted to see.Also we played with a winger on the right side which I have wanted for months.As against this WBA on the day couldn't hit a barn door at 5 paces so don't clap too happily.OTBC

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    irongloves

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Missed the whole game again and super happy to see us take 3 points. Pretty bored to read the pro-Hughton brigade goading the out brigade on the basis of a great result. We all want us to take ever point possible and I'd love to see this result start a unbeaten run imo but we still have the wrong man in charge. We may well do enough to stay up even so with great results like today but I really hope McN is looking at better alternatives.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • I had thought from looking at the first comments here and elsewhere on the site that we must have lost another game, the feeling of disappointment was palpable. But then I saw that we had actually won! Complaining about the statistic that WBA had managed 27 shots on goal seems irrelevant. I seem to remember we had 31 shots on Cardiff's goal with a similar return. The only statistics that matter are the goals for and goals against and, stating the obvious, we got 2 more than they did. We were playing without some of normal starting players coming on the back of an awful result against Liverpool and yet the team managed to get the right result. The jury is still out on Hughton, but Hooper is starting to play well, Redmond seems to be developing into a good Premiership player and if the team's confidence can build on this run of results (isn't it 3 wins from the last 5?) then just maybe we are turning a corner. OTBC!

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    Fitzhorn

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Just got off a flight and heard that City won 2-0 away - result !! If Becchio keeps getting on for these late little cameos, he might even get 90 full minutes in by the end of the season.

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • I cant believe we won!

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    Henry

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • I have been a staunch NCFC supporter all my life, I am 61, and although for the last 2 years, I view from Australia, a result is a result. I agree with others, the Cardiff game we had all the play and no goals, today we had our backs to the wall, didn't play ever so well, but got the result and that's what counts

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    framboy

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • So when we win we are lucky, does that mean when we lose we are unlucky. Good hard fought win and the whole team deserve credit for the effort they put in. Bet the teams below us wish they were as lucky. Come on you yellows.

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    goldie

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • I hope critics will note, from W Brom's decision to throw on more strikers and attackers and still losing, Some fans keep going on about Hughton's late changes and not putting on Hooper and Elmander and Bechio and more attack. This is what can happen when you just put on attackers without keeping a good structure. OTBC!! IHIT!!

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    Ghana Dom

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • We all want City to win every game but some of us realise Hughton's NOT the man for the job. This win is welcome, but it doesn't atone for the drubbings against the 2 Mancs, Arsenal + Liverpool. The 2nd half was like the Alamo but we held on for the win. We are now safe from immediate danger. In the end what will save us is that there are probly 3 teams worse than us. End of story !

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    Timbo

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Well done City and well done to the 2000 + fans who kept the faith and sang their hearts out. A very welcome 3 points and we need as many of them as possible before Elmander (who let's face it is obviously going to start every game ahead of Becchio until the end of the season) fills his boots with Christmas pudding and comes to a complete standstill. Couldn't get to the game but listened while doing a spot of decorating at home. Almost dropped my paint pot when the 2nd one went in. Up til then it was definitely squeaky bum time. Am I alone in thinking it was a tad risky bringing on 2 attack minded players in the last 15 minutes when most managers would have thought about shutting up shop and consolidating the lead we already had? Still, whether by luck or good judgement, we scored again and won, so what do I know? This week I'm going to leave Mr H alone and be grateful for small mercies. I rather doubt now that the visit of the Swans will provide CH with his swan song. OTBC.

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    Barking Wise

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Can you imagine what it must be like to live with some people.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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