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18:15 15th October 2011


A BRACE from Anthony Pilkington helped the Canaries to clinch their third win in four Barclays Premier League games with a 3-1 triumph over Swansea at Carrow Road.

In front of an all-seater stadium record crowd of 26,567, Pilkington opened the scoring after only 48 seconds with a half-volley from six yards after a great nod-down by Steve Morison, and Russell Martin made it 2-0 just ten minutes in as he headed home David Fox's excellent free-kick.

But Swansea put the brakes on Norwich's flying start when Danny Graham slotted home in the 12th minute and the visitors went on to dominate first-half possession, without mounting too many serious threats on John Ruddy's goal.

The Canaries upped their game again in the second half and Pilkington ensured the three points would be staying in Norfolk when he swivelled to fire home his third goal of the season.

On an excellent result manager Paul Lambert said: "I thought we played ever so well. From start to finish I think we carried on from where we left off against Manchester United two weeks ago at Old Trafford, the only difference being that we took our chances.

"The way we're playing at the minute, I can't speak highly enough of them."

And on City's electric start to the match, Lambert said: "We always try to play with a high tempo, even so in training, keeping the intensity of our training up and it's ok doing that but they've got to get the reward. We did and I think it was evident that we deserved to win the game."

Lambert named an unchanged starting line-up after the excellent display in losing 2-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, with Wilbraham's inclusion on the bench in place of Chris Martin the only change to the squad.

With Carrow Road bathed in autumn sunshine there was a blistering start to the match as three goals were scored in the opening 12 minutes.

There was barely a minute on the clock when Norwich stunned the visitors by powering into the lead, Morison's clever nod back from Bennett's cross buried into the net by Pilkington on the half-volley.

The Canaries looked to have taken a stanglehold on the match after ten minutes when they doubled their advantage, Russ Martin grabbed his first goal of the season with a deft glancing header from Fox's excellent free-kick delivery from the right.

But the celebrations for that goal had barely died down when Danny Graham slotted home a low shot just inside the post after good work from Scott Sinclair to put the visitors back into the game.

Swansea went on to dominate the first half in terms of possession, but had only Rangel's rising long-range effort in the 25th minute as end-product for all their territorial advantage.

At the other end good work from Morison saw him find Pilkington, but the winger's fierce effort from a tight angle flew inches wide of the post and into the side-netting.

It was then Morison's turn to go close in the 33rd minute, latching on to a sublime pass by Hoolahan before forcing Vorm to tip his cross-shot wide in the 33rd minute.

On the stroke of half-time Elliott Bennett's looping cross from the right actually landed on the Swansea crossbar, although Vorm looked to have it well covered.

Norwich City 2, Swansea City 1

In the second half Bradley Johnson had a couple of half chances for the Canaries as they made a bright and purposeful opening and they were rewarded with a third goal in the 64th minute.

It came when Fox's corner from the left eventually fell to Johnson and from a narrow angle he intelligently spurned the chance to shoot, instead squaring to Pilkington. The winger still had work to do with his back to goal, but swivelled neatly to fire home his second of the game from close range.

In the 67th minute there was warm applause for Morison as he left the pitch having picked up a knock to be replaced by Club Captain Grant Holt. Two minutes later former Canary loanee Leroy Lita joined the fray for the visitors as they looked for a way back into the game.

But it was Norwich who had two more chances in the space of three minutes, Johnson's low drive saved by Vorm and then the Swansea 'keeper forced into action again, diving to his left to palm away Holt's stinging effort from 22 yards.

Norwich were in firm control as the game entered the closing stages and their cause was aided as Dobbie was injured and eventually hobbled off to leave the visitors, having used all their substitutes, down to ten men.

Final score: Norwich City 3, Swansea City 1

Teams - Norwich City: Ruddy, Naughton, R Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Bennett, Johnson, Fox, Hoolahan (Crofts 79), Pilkington, Morison (Holt 67). Subs not used: Rudd, De Laet, Surman, Jackson, Wilbraham.

Swansea City: Vorm, Williams, Taylor (Richards 74), Monk, Rangel, Britton, Sinclair, Dyer (Lita 69), Routledge (Dobbie 60), Allen, Graham. Subs not used: Tremmell, Moras, Gower, Moore.


    Data provided by Press Association


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