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Match Reports

Norwich City v West Bromwich Albion

5 April 2014


MORGAN Amalfitano's first-half strike was enough for West Brom to earn all three points over the Canaries at Carrow Road.

The French wideman struck on 16 minutes to score the only goal of the game and inflict a disappointing first home defeat of 2014 on Chris Hughton's men.

Gary Hooper and Robert Snodgrass both hit the bar in the second half but City drew a blank, also having John Ruddy to thank for some fine saves up the other end.

The result lifted West Brom above Norwich on on goal difference in the Premier League table, with City now hovering dangerously above the relegation places in 17th.

Joseph Yobo was deemed fit for selection before kick-off after missing last weekend’s defeat at Swansea City - he came in for Ryan Bennett while Hooper replaced Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

West Brom made one change from their thrilling 3-3 draw with Cardiff City as Jonas Olsson returned to captain the side with Craig Dawson dropping to the bench.

Graham Dorrans and Amalfitano had pot-shots from outside the box for the visitors in the early stages of the contest, before Johan Elmander wasted the Canaries’ first chance on 13 minutes.

Snodgrass’ deflected cross fell perfectly for the Sweden international on the edge of the box, but he blazed his left-footed effort over.

It was to their cost as the Baggies took the lead on the quarter hour mark.

James Morrison played a square ball to Amalfitano, who skipped past the challenge of Martin Olsson and found the corner of the net beyond the outstretched Ruddy.

City were slow to get back into it and Ruddy had to be sharp to deny Matej Vydra from a West Brom counter-attack.

Elmander’s diving header from Hooper’s flick forced Foster into action on 39 minutes but Chris Hughton’s team were struggling to dominate the midfield area unlike in more recent matches at Carrow Road.

Alex Tettey’s foul on Stephane Sessesgnon offered West Brom an opportunity from a set-piece just before the break, but City’s defence dealt with the danger.

Snodgrass curled a shot into Foster’s arms just before the whistle, but Hughton knew his side would have to be much better in the second half to salvage something from the game.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

Three corners early in the half rallied the home crowd and forward Hooper had his best chance up to then on 57 minutes when he found the angle of post and bar from inside the box.

Snodgrass then hit the woodwork with an outstanding free-kick, with replays showing that Foster in the Albion goal had got a hand to the ball on its way.

Nathan Redmond came on for Hoolahan with half an hour left to play, but it was the winger on the opposite side, Snodgrass, who saw his shot fly high and wide after breaking into the box.

Dominance in possession wasn’t being turned into clear-cut opportunities for Norwich and the clock ticked down with the visiting team still holding onto their narrow advantage.

Substitute Luciano Becchio flicked a header wide but that was as close as City came in the closing stages and West Brom took all three points.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

GOALS: Baggies: Morgan Amalfitano (16)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong (c), Olsson (Gutierrez 81); Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Hoolahan (Redmond 64); Elmander (Becchio 70), Hooper. Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Whittaker, Johnson, van Wolfswinkel.

WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans (Gera 77 (O’Neil 83)), Sessegnon, Vydra (Berahino 71). Subs not used: Myhill (GK), Thievy, Dawson, Anichebe.


REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg

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