A stunning Tom Trybull strike gave City victory against 10-man Middlesbrough at Carrow Road.
Trybull, whose new three-and-a-half-year contract was announced just before kick off, expertly drilled in a half-volley from 25 yards in the 44th minute. Boro’s Rudy Gestede had earlier been sent off for a late lunge on Grant Hanley, and Norwich controlled the game well with Angus Gunn barely tested.
City boss Daniel Farke made one change to his line-up, with Trybull – fresh from signing a new three-and-a-half-year deal with the Canaries – coming in for Mario Vrancic. James Maddison and Timm Klose both passed late fitness tests to make the XI.
Tony Pulis picked a strong Middlesbrough XI, but there was no room for former City star Jonny Howson, who took his place on the bench. January signings Jack Harrison, Martin Cranie and Muhamed Besic were also on the bench.
City had a chance in the opening couple of minutes. Timm Klose spread the play from left to right to Harrison Reed, who played in Nelson Oliveira on the edge of the area. The forward showed great feet to beat two men before laying it into the path of Maddison, but his shot was blocked in the area.
On 10 minutes Middlesbrough had their first effort, Adama Traore driving through the middle but shooting a couple of feet wide of Gunn’s right post.
Former Canary Patrick Bamford then tried his luck from the edge of the area with the outside of his left foot, but it sailed wide. It was a sign of Boro’s early dominance in terms of possession, but they were struggling to carve out anything meaningful.
The tide began to swing City’s way and in the 17th minute Maddison slalomed through Boro’s midfield, but he perhaps delayed his pass to Jamal Lewis, who was free to the left of him in the box, a touch too long and Lewis’s return pass was hacked clear.
In the 22nd minute Boro forward Rudi Gestede went into the book after his high foot caught Alex Tettey’s face.
Five minutes later and Gestede was off. Grant Hanley and Gestede both went for a loose ball on the halfway line, but the Boro man went in with a high foot and was shown a straight red.
On 32 minutes Oliveira spun on the right of the box and got a shot off, but it was comfortable for Darren Randolph.
City ramped up the pressure, and Oliveira teed up Josh Murphy on the edge of the area but his left-foot shot was drilled just wide. However, Norwich were struggling to break down the wall of red shirts and create chances in the opposition’s area.
It was Tettey’s turn to have a go from 25 yards, after Reed nodded a Maddison cross into his path. He did well to keep his half-volley down, but it went a couple of yards wide. Two minutes later and Maddison twisted and turned and let off a shot from 20 yards, but Randolph was behind it.
Shooting from distance soon paid off for the Canaries, in spectacular fashion. Tettey saw Trybull in space 25 yards out, and the ball sat up for the midfielder and he guided a powerful half-volley into the bottom corner just before half-time. It was a stunning way to celebrate his well-earned new deal.
A minute later, Trybull went into the book for pulling back Bamford. Grant Leadbetter stepped up but planted the 25-yard free-kick well over to ensure Norwich went into the break with the lead.
Norwich spent the first 10 minutes of the second half camped in Boro’s half, with Oliveira, Maddison and Murphy linking up well as they searched for a second. Maddison almost got City’s reward in the 57th minute, rolling a clever free-kick under the Boro wall but an inch wide of the post.
Shortly afterwards, Daniel Farke made his first change by replacing Trybull – still coming back from injury – with Moritz Leitner for his Carrow Road debut.
On 61 minutes, a long spell of Norwich pressure – with Leitner showing some lovely touches and range of passing – ended with Murphy making room for himself and shooting just wide of Randolph’s near post from a central position on the edge of the area.
Five minutes later almost gave City the second goal their play deserved. Leitner somehow picked out Lewis on the left with a lovely through-ball, he did well to pull it back to Oliveira, whose snap-shot was well saved by Randolph.
Oliveira went close again moments later. Gunn claimed a corner, kicked it forward to the breaking Murphy. He pulled it back to Oliveira on the edge of area, and his spin and shot was well saved again by Randolph.
With 20 minutes remaining, Farke made his second change to bring on Mario Vrancic for Maddison. Vrancic went into the number 10 role, with Leitner staying deeper alongside Tettey.
Middlesbrough were struggling to get the ball out of their own half, and when they went long to Traore City’s back three were winning everything.
Norwich were comfortably sitting on their lead, happy to move the ball well across midfield while Boro struggled to make an impression in possession.
Lewis shot over from a tight angle after a brilliant swinging pass from Leitner, and Murphy drilled low and just wide of Randolph’s post as the match entered the final 10 minutes.
With five minutes remaining Onel Hernandez came on for his Norwich debut, replacing the excellent Josh Murphy.
Middlesbrough were throwing free-kicks into the box but Norwich were dealing with them well, and City almost sealed it when Hernandez was sent away on the left. He showed great pace to get into the box but his shot went just wide of the far post as the game entered three minutes of injury time.
City controlled injury time with little fuss, and Norwich were fully deserving of a fifth win in seven Championship matches.