REPORT: NEWCASTLE 2-1 CITY
TWO first-half goals by Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran were enough to see Newcastle take the points at St James’ Park.
A late Leroy Fer header 11 minutes from time gave City hope as they searched for an equaliser at the end but the game ended 2-1.
There were two changes to the side that faced West Ham before the international break, Bradley Johnson and Nathan Redmond replacing Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass.
Anthony Pilkington recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up against the Hammers to start on the wing.
However, the Canaries got off to the worst possible start when the hosts took the lead after just two minutes through Loic Remy who headed home a Yohan Cabaye corner at the far post.
The game then settled down with the visitors showing more composure on the ball and on 12 minutes a long pass from Michael Turner found Redmond who showed good pace to get ahead of the defence but unfortunately his shot on goal was too high to trouble Tim Krul.
A minute later and Krul prevented City stabbing home an equaliser after Ryan Bennett had done well to keep the ball in play and put a cross into the danger zone - the keeper and then his defence eventually clearing their lines.
Chieck Tiote sent a blazing effort just wide of John Ruddy’s upright after Newcastle had pressed the Canaries hard in the final third to win the ball.
Goalscorer Remy found himself in space in the box on 26 minutes but pressure from Ryan Bennett saw the Frenchman’s attempt go out for a goal kick.
Four minutes later and Newcastle should have extended their lead when Shola Ameobi’s through ball found Moussa Sissoko to run in on goal, thankfully his shot across goal went past the post.
Two minutes later and there were incidents at both ends. City had a great chance to equalise, Redmond’s searching delivery to the back post saw Pilkington connect but although Krul was beaten it dropped wide of the far post.
Then Michael Turner made a good block from Remy’s low drive after Newcastle had counter-attacked.
But on 38 minutes City were further behind through a Gouffran tap-in after he was first to get to the ball after Ruddy had initially saved Ameobi’s header.
On the stroke of half-time Ruddy prevented Ameobi making it three, with a good stop to his left.
Half-time: Newcastle United 2, Norwich City 0
In the opening minute of the half the Canaries were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Pilkington by Yanga-Mbiwa - the challenge resulting in an injury to the Ireland winger who was stretchered off and replaced by Johan Elmander.
Nathan Redmond took the free-kick which initially hit the wall, the youngster putting the ball back into the six-yard box where Williamson failed to clear and Hooper hit a snapshot just past the post.
Midway through the half and the Canaries were seeing more of the ball. Redmond hitting a rising shot on 65 minutes, but with City pushing forward Newcastle had strength on the break and Remy won a foul just outside the box. However, the City wall did its job and blocked Cabaye’s free-kick.
It was the Frenchman’s last action as he was replaced by Vurnon Anita.
On 73 minutes Fer headed just over the bar Martin Olsson’s cross from the left.
Newcastle made another change with Papiss Cisse replacing Ameobi upfront.
With 12 minutes remaining the Canaries won a succession of corners - Ryan Bennett first going close with a header and then the pressure did pay off when another Redmond flag-kick was met by Fer who rose well to direct a header past Krul into the corner to give City hope at 2-1.
For the final seven minutes of the match Hatem Ben Arfa came on for Gouffran.
Ben Arfa looked to get straight into the game and crossed on 85 minutes for Cissee to head high over.
With two minutes left Wes Hoolahan and Josh Murphy replaced Johnson and Redmond.
Referee Mike Dean awarded City a free-kick 22 yards from goal for a foul on Hooper. Hoolahan took the set-piece and it glanced off the wall for a corner kick - but unfortunately Newcastle recovered and cleared.
With five minutes of added time awarded City continued the pressure but again Newcastle were dangerous on the break - Martin getting a decisive block on a Cisse shot.
The Canaries worked themselves an opportunity at the death - Michael Turner finding himself in a forward position but unfortunately he was deemed offside as he rose to head a Murphy cross.
There was a late booking for Ryan Bennett for a challenge on Sissoko as the Magpies’ man looked to break down the left.
Full-time: Newcastle United 2, Norwich City 1
NEWCASTLE: Krul, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye (Anita 67), Williamson, Sissoko, Gouffran (Ben Arfa 83), Yanga-Mbiwa, Remy, Shola Ameobi (Cisse 73), Tiote. Subs not used: Elliot, Haidara, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi.
NORWICH: Ruddy, Martin, Johnson (Hoolahan 88), Turner, Howson, Fer, Hooper, Pilkington (Elmander 49), Redmond (Josh Murphy), Olsson, R. Bennett. Subs not used: Nash, Whittaker, Bassong, Becchio.
Referee: Mike Dean