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Norwich City 3 Cardiff City 2

John Ruddy denies Peter Whittingham from the penalty spot in Norwich City's Championship game against Cardiff City at Carrow Road. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

John Ruddy denies Peter Whittingham from the penalty spot in Norwich City's Championship game against Cardiff City at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City boss Alex Neil got off to a winning start at Carrow Road but the Canaries were made to earn a 3-2 Championship win over Cardiff City.

The hosts romped into a 3-0 first half lead with Gary Hooper, Kyle Lafferty and Cameron Jerome on target in a vibrant outing that also saw John Ruddy deny Peter Whittingham from the penalty spot, but the Canaries paid heavily for two lapses of concentration as the visitors scored twice in three minutes after the interval.

Alex Revell poked Whittingham’s cross past Ruddy before second half substitute Kadeem Harris profited from Revell’s knockdown to set up a needlessly tense finish before Neil’s men prevailed.

Neil’s first Norwich line up brought three changes from the 2-1 Championship win against Bournemouth. Gary O’Neil came in for the suspended Jonny Howson with Lafferty getting a rare start for the injured Alex Tettey (groin).

The Scot also opted to tweak his backline with fit-again Carlos Cuellar partnering Michael Turner and skipper Russell Martin switching to right-back.

Cardiff included ex-City academy product Tom Adeyemi but David Marshall (ankle) and Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) missed out against their old club.

Cardiff tried to push Norwich back in the very early sparring but Hooper had the first shot of note which slammed against Ben Turner.

Hooper was then denied by Simon Moore’s excellent stop in the ninth minute after Michael Turner had picked out Martin Olsson’s overlapping run for Hooper to drill a low shot from 18 yards that was arrowing towards the bottom corner before Moore pushed it round his left-hand post.

Cardiff tested Ruddy in the 12th minute with the City keeper parrying Whittingham’s whipped free kick after O’Neil had hauled down Craig Noone.

The Canaries edged in front in the 15th minute and it was no surprise Hooper was the source with a far post point blank header despatching Jerome’s initial glancing flick from another inviting Redmond cross.

Bradley Johnson and Aron Gunnarsson were embroiled in a brief skirmish before referee Adcock restored order with a lecture for the Norwich midfielder as Neil forcibly made his point to the assistant.

Cardiff responded positively to the early setback with Sean Morrison’s header hacked clear inside the Norwich six-yard box after Ruddy had completely misjudged Gunnarsson’s corner.

Revell’s header then lacked the power to trouble the Canaries’ number one shortly after from a deep Noone cross.

Norwich raided again down the left with the impressive Olsson crossing for O’Neil to arrive perfectly on cue with a fearsome half-volley Moore acrobatically tipped over.

Neil’s men doubled their lead with a landmark strike for Lafferty, who controlled Martin’s ball to guide a curling right-footed effort past Moore via his left-hand post.

Cardiff were awarded a penalty in the aftermath during a frenetic spell when Le Fondre tumbled after hurdling Cuellar. The Canaries’ players were convinced referee Adcock had made the wrong call with Martin leading the protests but Ruddy brilliantly outwitted Whittingham to throw himself to his left to parry the spot kick.

Norwich were growing in confidence with each passing minute but Cardiff spurned a chance in the 41st minute on the first genuine occasion the hosts were picked off on the counter. Le Fondre freed the overlapping Malone but Revell skied over four yards out under pressure from the advancing Ruddy.

Lafferty’s vital sliding block to halt Malone typified the resolve of Neil’s men to preserve their lead at the interval.

Norwich made it three in first half stoppage time when Jerome slotted against his old club, but the close range volley owed everything to Martin’s slaloming run past two Cardiff defenders before John Brayford deflected his shot into the striker’s path.

Redmond harried Malone again on the restart with Norwich starting in the same positive vein but Jerome or Hooper were unable to keep up with the flyer when he cut the ball back across the six yard line.

Ruddy comfortably gathered Noone’s half-hearted effort at the opposite end with the Bluebirds lacking any real conviction in their attacking urges.

Johnson then overhit his intended pass for Jerome five yards out after Hooper had unpicked a weary visiting defence.

Redmond’s rising shot struck the frame of Moore’s goal and bounced back into play from another Hooper’s spot before Jerome glanced wide at the far post.

Ruddy bravely dived at Revell’s feet just past the hour mark but the Norwich keeper was left exposed when he volleyed Whittingham’s cross home seven yards out after nipping inside Olsson.

Things deteriorated further for the hosts when second-half substitute Harris poked Revell’s flick from Moore’s booming goal kick past the stranded Ruddy.

Hooper led the breakout with Cardiff now on the front foot before inviting Redmond forward to test Moore who parried behind. Jerome went down inside the box from the corner but referee Adcock was in no mood to award a second penalty in front of the Lower Barclay.

Neil made his first move in the 70th minute with Wes Hoolahan replacing Hooper against a backdrop of palpable anxiety around the stadium.

Lafferty rifled over from Hoolahan’s cross before making way for Murphy. Adeyemi’s powerful surge spelt danger until he poked wide from the edge of the area.

Johnson’s instinctive volley clipped Brayford and fell behind for a corner with Norwich looking to proactively settle the contest. Hoolahan then demanded the ball from O’Neil’s short corner to rifle a sweet shot that just cleared the angle of Moore’s left-hand upright.

Revell’s aerial prowess remained a constant danger with the goalscorer’s towering 80th minute header dropping a yard wide of Ruddy’s far post.

Murphy then hammered a free kick straight at Moore before Johnson’s thumping hit brushed the side netting as Norwich strived to avoid a bitter finale.

Adeyemi made way to appreciative applause in the 88th minute for Joe Ralls before Lewis Grabban was introduced for Jerome as Norwich successfully navigated the final nervy moments.

• Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Turner, Cuellar, Olsson, O’Neil, Johnson, Redmond, Hooper (Hoolahan 70), Lafferty (Murphy 73), Jerome (Grabban 89). Subs (not used): Rudd, Whittaker, Hooiveld, McGrandles.

• Booking: O’Neil (foul on Gunnarsson, 69)

• Goals: Hooper (15), Lafferty (25), Jerome (45)

• Cardiff City: Moore, Brayford, Malone (John 66), Morrison, Turner, Whittingham, Adeyemi (Ralls 88), Gunnarsson, Noone, Le Fondre (Harris 57), Revell. Subs (not used): Wilson, Fabio, Connolly, Macheda.

• Bookings: Le Fondre (foul on Hooper, 38); Adeyemi (foul on Murphy, 81); Noone (foul on O’Neil, 86)

• Goals: Revell (61), Harris (64)

• Added on time: 4 minutes / 5 minutes

• Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)

• Attendance: 25,995

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33 comments

  • But Warkys_Tash, we weren't the only ones who were hanging on were we now?

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

  • I often wonder why numpties like Warkies Toosh and his ilk troll other teams' sites. If they could get involved in an interesting discussion on football tactics there might be a point but throwing playground insults is just childish and boring. Why don't you sing that witty song that banners fans have for Justin Fashanu? I'm sure you'll enjoy that. Reply if you must but I'll be ignoring all posts from trolls from now on.

    Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

  • can't believe the Ipswich baiting stuff on here. we are well behind them in the table guys. time to have a go, when we are in a position to. yesterday was classic 201415 Norwich and we are not going to close the gap any time soon, unless that defence is sorted. every time Cardiff attacked they looked likely to score, and it was only probably their lack of ambition that cost them. of course we deserved the win, but we have a long, long way to go yet.

    Report this comment

    Erpingham Tractor

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

  • First goal was down to Olsen, the second, Ruddy.

    Report this comment

    A fine city

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

  • glad for the 3pts yesterday. lots to work on at the back brfore next week. As for these b1nners on here, they are beginning to sound like the dirty leeds lot i used to work with. Big clubdivine right etc etc. Wait til we play ya, we'll show ya OTBC

    Report this comment

    lordyfan

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

  • Dumb corn cob our lot arrogant! Read your own posts 100 goals 100 points from Dubai back on top by March "binners" lucky again, what was lucky about our win today? you still have to play the top six but if you win them all it doesn't mean they will lose any other games, you have won two out of two and gone nowhere! However I would still love us both to go up!

    Report this comment

    threenewknees

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • we score goals, but the defence does need an overhaul. Whether that includes selling Ollsen, using Bassong or bringing in new players , I will leave to Alex Neil.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Well, if they're going to check out the only dictionary in Ipswich, WT should pass it on to NB after he's finished with it so he can look up the word "literally". I would agree that City were, figuratively, hanging on by their fingertips. But literally? I don't think so...

    Report this comment

    PutneyCanary

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Warkys_Tash - first we have Townman calling your lot one of the 'big boys' and now you state 'we are back where we belong, in the automatics'. Arrogance it seems is spreading like a cancer through your club, the fans believing they have a divine right to be in the top two and beat all the other teams in the division that you deem lesser than you! A shocking attitude for any football fan - especially for one whose club has spent the last 13 years wallowing in their own filth. Look up hypocrite in the dictionary my friend - there's a photo of you next to it. :) OTBC.

    Report this comment

    DeanConeyLegend

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Well that was a damn near-run thing . perhaps it was a mistake not to dump the attacking formation at halftime and put on a couple more defenders . Ah well , Alex Neil on a steep learning curve , plenty to put right now , and we took the 3 points , so as Napoleon remarked , Alls well that ends well . Onward and upward we go then .

    Report this comment

    Bring on Foggo

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • I hope AN will make the team more "ruthless" in both defence and attack. This is much needed to win the championship as there are 8 to 10 teams all capable of being there at the end.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Agree BC , a win is a win is a win, bring back SB ,we have showed we have a good trio of strikers but the back looks weak , to be 3 up and give away 2 sloppy goals is bad . need to bolster the defence as we all say

    Report this comment

    iMac

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • When all said 3 points in the bag, I am sure AN will have this match under his scope and will look at our defensive frailties. Bassong will be back and somebody potentially bought in alongside him hopefully. But AN will address the defence quickly, so onwards and upwards.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Not the same commitment as last week,Neil will have learnt from this game, that martin is loads better at RB than whitaker,Lafferty is only a bench warmer,Murphys not ready for the first team,another midfielders a must,(missed Tettey)and the defence needs tightening!All in all no improvement yet!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Every game we creep one point closer to automatic promotion.. If we keep this up we will be second by early March... Lets hope Gary Holt can drill some extra fitness into the troops before next week.

    Report this comment

    jops

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • w t.did i miss your comments after last weeks results.no i didnt think i did.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Some wise words on here tonight. I was there and spent 30 plus minutes bricking it. Well played Russell Martin.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Dubai, sounds like you were the lucky ones, a missed pen & a 2nd half onslaught that resulted in your weak defence hanging on for dear life. I bet you were relieved? Whereas we are back where we belong, in the automatics..

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Most telling comment from AN was his inference that we are not fit enough. This has been a major negative since the days of Hughton. Its obvious that our new manager is going to play a high pressure game and he will not accept players 'switching off' As others have said, the second half was a good example of what AN needs to do. Get those fitness levels up and we will be fine

    Report this comment

    Bury Yella Fella

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • That was the good,no,best and worst of NCFC in one game.The football in the first half was as good as you will see anywhere in the Champ.this season.The less said about the second half the better.I have never been a big fan of Lafferty,he is a yellow card liability,at times his body language shouts out foul coming up and the resulting card.seems almost inevitable.Not too impressed with Murphy either on todays performance.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Sadd

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • I wonder ! The coaching staff seemed very cool on the bench ,not much emotion ! all need to sing from the same hymn sheet

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • The problem isn't playing Michael Turner as LCB it is PLAYING MICHAEL TURNER. When Turner is in the back the other CB has to play 2 positions. That's the ONLY reason the defense looks bad. As I said last year it was no surprise that YoboBassong was the best CB pairing by far and Bassong played MUCH better with Yobo on the field because he didn't have to do the job of 2 players like he did when Turner was next to him.

    Report this comment

    jaemae2 .

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Nailbiting victory, shame others in top 8 all won bar Derby. Positive is 3 points and strange as it sounds glad we struggled 2nd half and gave away sloppy goals, AN has seen the best and worst of us in same game, if we had breezed 2nd half he may of thought all was rosy and little to do. Thankfully we showed him where it goes wrong for us and what he needs to correct.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • A lot more industry and commitment in evidence today. Agree with TK's assessment of the 2 halves. Stiffening defence still a priority.

    Report this comment

    MGNdweller

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Dubai Canary, interesting summery by you considering that it would appear that it was the other way around. Cardiff had a very poor first half, but started to play in the second. Norwich literally hanging on by their fingertips. Got those old specs on again no doubt lol

    Report this comment

    NB

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • An 8 out of 10 fist half followed by a 4 out of 10 second half. None more so than by Ruddy who's kicking looked dreadful all game. Cannot understand why we played Turner left sided centre back rather than Cuellar and I think this played a part in both Cardiff goals. The main thing is we got the points so lets keep the run gong.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Piece of cake

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Yes, Lobbo, I am sure Alex will have already decided he needs at least two new defenders. Once again it was lapses in concentration that resulted Cardiff's goals. We remain very vulnerable in defence and need a strong, no-nonsense central defender who can bolt the door and a true leader who would keep players on their toes for the full 90 minutes. Three vital points given most of the other results above and directly below us.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Unfortunately we had the game won by HT, then went to sleep and made it look a bit too close at the end. Never mind, at least we have three points ! Pity the binners got lucky again though.

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Just one more "lapse of concentration" and Mr N, the clock is ticking for you ... the end is nigh, time is running out. Watch your back!

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Very important win with five out of the top six all getting three points as well. Victoire! victoire! victoire!

    Report this comment

    lordbesty

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • Phew. Talk about hang on by the fingertips. Nearly calls for Neil out there.

    Report this comment

    NB

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • That was a blessing in disguise. Mr Neil will have learnt more about his team after this. Plenty to think about. Good times.

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

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

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