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31 August 2013

Superb Redmond scores decisive goal in City win

NATHAN Redmond rattled home his first goal for the Club as City beat Southampton 1-0 to record their maiden victory of the 2013/14 Premier League campaign.

The summer signing capped an outstanding individual display by finishing superbly for the game's only goal midway through the second half.

It was a merited first win for Chris Hughton's men after keeping a talented Southampton squad quiet in the second period, who went closest when Adam Lallana hit the post.

Johan Elmander earned a start for the Canaries following his midweek brace against Bury in the Capital One Cup, while Sebastien Bassong also kept his place after successfully negotiating 90 minutes.

The visitors named record signing Dani Osvaldo in their starting line-up for the first-time – he partnered England striker Rickie Lambert in attack.

City started well in the resplendent sunshine at Carrow Road, with Nathan Redmond setting off on one of his now-traditional scything runs that ended in him driving a shot just wide on four minutes.

Bradley Johnson was next pull an effort wide of Artur Boruc’s post, before a scramble in the box almost resulted in the game’s opening goal but neither Leroy Fer nor Elmander could bundle it over the line.

Up the other end, Southampton had strong appeals for a penalty turned down when Adam Lallana’s shot appeared to strike Johnson on the arm but referee Howard Webb was quick to turn them away.

City then had their own shouts rejected when Calum Chambers blocked Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s header in the box, before Steven Whittaker drilled an effort across goal that flew just wide after a deflection off the Southampton defender.

Five minutes before half-time, the visitors crunched the woodwork – James Ward-Prowse’s floated delivery was headed back straight to Lallana, who caught it first time on the volley, with the ball rebounding back off the outside of Ruddy’s post.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-0 Southampton

Ruddy was forced into action on 49 minutes, palming Osvaldo’s shot away after the Italian forward had turned quickly in the box, before he had a second effort that City’s stopper easily collected.

Fer then headed Snodgrass’ set-piece wide a few moments later in the Canaries’ first attack of the half, before the game settled down back into the tight affair that it was in the first half.

The game changed for the Canaries on 67 minutes – Fer spread the play expertly to Redmond on the left-hand side, and as he had done many times before, cut inside Chambers but this time his shot nestled in the bottom left corner.

All of the squad celebrated with the 19-year-old in front of the Jarrold Stand, with no City player being more deserving of a goal than the ever-threatening Redmond.

City looked confident holding onto their lead as the game entered its final quarter, but Southampton earned a free-kick in a dangerous position on 87 minutes – thankfully Lambert’s drive went straight into the wall.

The visitors tried to press for a leveller but the Canaries stood firm to secure that crucial first win of the campaign, and even had a Snodgrass penalty claim turned down in the final moment.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Southampton

GOALS: Norwich City: Nathan Redmond (67)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Bassong (c), Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Redmond; Elmander (Howson 76); van Wolfswinkel. Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Martin, Tettey, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Becchio.

SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Fox, Wanyama, Schneiderlin (S Davis 72), Ward-Prowse, Lallana (c) (Ramirez 62), Osvaldo (Rodriguez 78), Lambert. Subs not used: K Davis (GK), Clyne, Yoshida, Shaw.


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