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Match Reports

Norwich City v Swansea City

7 November 2015


NORWICH City ended a run of six Premier League game without a win by beating Swansea City 1-0 at Carrow Road.

Jonny Howson's 71st-minute header released the tension at Carrow Road and set Alex Neil's team on their way to a vital three points ahead of the international break.

The Canaries offered a bigger threat than their opponents in a game of few clearcut chances - Swansea will be disappointed not to have turned their considerable possession into opportunities.

Neil will have been delighted to see his team hold for their first cleansheet of the league campaign, though, and the home crowd departed happy at the final whistle after a nervous afternoon.

From last Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City, manager Alex Neil made three changes with Gary O'Neil brought into the team for his first Premier League start of the season.

Andre Wisdom and Wes Hoolahan also returned as Youssouf Mulumbu dropped to the bench, with Matt Jarvis (knee) injured Nathan Redmond missing out on the 18 altogether. Alex Tettey captained the Canaries in the absence of suspended skipper Russell Martin.

Swansea kept faith with the same starting eleven that were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal last time out, with former Norwich loanee Kyle Naughton in defence.

Before kick-off, the Club marked remembrance weekend with a minute's silence, and City's players wore unique shirts embroidered with a poppy - items that will be auctioned after the game to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

Once the game got underway, City were happy to let Swansea have the ball - but it was the hosts who had the first chance on nine minutes.

When Ashley Williams fouled Robbie Brady on the left, the Canaries' winger stepped up to take a free-kick that Cameron Jerome met free in the box - but he nodded over from close-range.

Jonny Howson, making his 100th league start for the Club, then powered a drive from 30 yards at Lukasz Fabianski prior to O'Neil testing the Swans' keeper with a free-kick from wide.

With the half-hour mark approaching, the Welsh side still hadn't created a chance of note - the tempo in the game itself was slow, and a goal didn't look like coming before half-time.

Norwich always carried the more direct threat, but the whistle blew with the deadlock unbroken after a generally quiet half of football.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-0 Swansea City

Three minutes after the break, City made inroads down the right as Wes Hoolahan played in Howson. The midfielder chipped a cross into the box, but Brady's header was saved comfortably by Fabianski.

The game continued in much the same fashion after, with neither side able to establish any patters of dominance.

Swansea were the first to make a change, introducing Wayne Routledge for the ineffective Jefferson Montero, and the winger immediately created a chance.

Left free on the right-side, he pulled a pass back to Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose deft chip bounced off the top of the crossbar. Moments later, Ki Sung-Yeung shot off target under pressure from Martin Olsson.

Dieumerci Mbokani then replaced Cameron Jerome - the striker was involved in setting up Howson's goal on 71 minutes.

Brady had forced Fabianski into a decent stop with a right-footed drive, then from the resultant corner, Mbokani nodded the ball back into the six-yard box, where Howson was waiting to turn it home with his head.

The goal handed City all the momentum - Hoolahan was the next to try his luck, forcing Fabianski into a fingertip save from range.

Swansea steadied the ship and had two sights of goal: first Naughton fizzed a shot wide before Gomis headed off target from Shelvey's cross. Garry Monk then threw on striker Eder to try and turn the game in their favour in the final moments.

Despite extended stoppage time, City valiantly defended their lines to earn a crucial points haul.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Swansea City

GOALS: Canaries: Jonny Howson (70)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Wisdom, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Howson, Tettey (c), O'Neil, Brady; Hoolahan (Mulumbu 90); Jerome (Mbokani 68). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Whittaker, Dorrans, Lafferty, Odjidja.

SWANSEA CITY: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (c), Taylor, Ki, Shelvey (Eder 87), Sigurdsson (Britton 78), Montero (Routledge 64), Ayew, Gomis. Subs not used: Nordfeldt (GK), Rangel, Bartley, Cork.

REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg



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