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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:30 19th August 2014

MATCH REPORT: CITY 3-1 BLACKBURN

NORWICH CITY struck twice in the final three minutes to beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1 in a thrilling finish at Carrow Road.

The match looked to be heading for a draw before Bradley Johnson scored in an almost identical fashion to his goal against Watford, and Lewis Grabban bagged a third deep into added time.

Grabban had earlier equalised for City, pouncing on the rebound following a missed penalty after Tom Cairney had shocked the Canaries by scoring a mesmerising volley inside the first minute.

That was forgotten at the final whistle, however, as the Yellow Army celebrated a memorable victory and one that takes them into Saturday's East Anglian Derby against Ipswich Town with plenty of momentum on their side.

Neil Adams opted to stick with the same team that comfortably saw off the challenge of Watford on Saturday, with the only change coming on the bench as Andrew Surman replaced Leroy Fer.

Blackburn made one alteration to the eleven that helped beat Blackpool 2-1 at the weekend, with Lee Williamson replacing Joshua King.

City kicked off proceedings but they were forced to return to the centre spot after just a minute when Cairney shocked the home crowd with an outstanding opener.

The former Hull midfielder rifled a left-footed volley beyond Ruddy from 25 yards, much to the delight of the small corner of the ground taken up by Rovers fans who made the long trip from Lancashire.

Grant Hanley and Rudy Gestede headed over and wide respectively as a stunned City side failed to settle until the sixth minute, when Nathan Redmond was denied by Paul Robinson from an acute angle.

Alex Tettey then struck the bottom of the post as the Canaries slowly pushed Rovers back into their own half, and after Kyle Lafferty saw a header deflected inches wide, they levelled the contest on 23 minutes.

Jason Lowe, booked moments earlier for a late lunge on Javi Garrido, was deemed to have handled Redmond's cross, and Grabban stepped up to take the spot-kick.

Robinson kept out his initial attempt, but the poacher was quickest to the rebound and poked the ball home left-footed for his second goal in City colours.

It was no less than they deserved but Rovers responded as a collective and had a decent spell of possession after without troubling Ruddy's goal, but eventually it was City who finished the half the stronger.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1-1 Blackburn Rovers

A quiet start to the second period preceded substitute Ryan Bennett finding the crossbar with a header after Alex Tettey's cross as City looked for the goal to edge them in front.

Pressure was building for Adams' men, and Rovers had 'keeper Robinson to thank on 70 minutes as he denied Grabban with a miraculous reaction stop as the forward met Redmond's cross.

Elliott Bennett replaced the tireless Lafferty while Adams also brought on Josh Murphy to try and inject some extra impetus into their push for the game's third goal.

It was a familar face who notched the crucial second for the Canaries with just three minutes left on the clock as he curled home Hoolahan's lay-off to secure the points.

Then Grabban and Murphy combined as Rovers piled forward, adding a third after Robinson had initially made the save to put a polish on the victory.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-1 Blackburn Rovers

GOALS: Canaries: Lewis Grabban (23, 90), Bradley Johnson (87) - Rovers: Tom Cairney (1)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Turner, Garrido (R Bennett 45); Tettey, Johnson; Redmond (Josh Murphy 81), Hoolahan, Lafferty (E Bennett 74); Grabban. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Loza, O'Neil, Surman.

BLACKBURN ROVERS: Robinson, Lowe, Baptiste, Hanley (c), Olsson, Cairney, Evans, Williamson (Varney 89), Conway (Marshall 81), Rhodes (King 64), Gestede. Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Henley, Dunn, Taylor.

REFEREE: Mr G Scott

ATTENDANCE: 25,835




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