REVIEW: CITY 2-0 BIRMINGHAM
NORWICH City moved to within two points of the Sky Bet Championship play-off positions after beating Birmingham City 2-0 at Carrow Road.
Gianfranco Zola's Blues started faster than their hosts but straight after Lukas Jutkiewicz saw a free header rebound off the bar, City went ahead from the counter-attack.
Cameron Jerome carried the ball with pace before cutting inside Ryan Shotton and slotting calmly past Tomasz Kuszczak.
The Blues were playing their part in an entertaining match but after Craig Gardner nodded over unmarked, City's influence grew and two minutes before the break they doubled their advantage when Timm Klose flicked in Robbie Brady's whipped free-kick.
Jacob Murphy was denied by Kuszczak as City held an element of control in the game in the second half, and Steven Naismith should have added a third but headed straight at Birmingham's stopper.
Kuszczak then denied Jerome but the Canaries' profligacy wasn't punished as they secured a fifth home league victory in their last six matches and back-to-back wins for the first time since October.
HOW THEY LINED UP
Alex Neil stuck with the same team that saw off Wolverhampton Wanderers on home soil last Saturday.
Russell Martin and Klose continued as his central defenders, with Jerome in attack as Nelson Oliveira served the final game of his suspension.
Steven Whittaker returned to the substitutes' bench, where Ben Godfrey kept his place. Birmingham came into the game searching for their first win under Gianfranco Zola.
Klose's header two minutes before half-time put the Canaries in a commanding position going into the break.
Jacob Murphy had improved as the first period wore on and it was the young winger who drew a foul from Shotton, and Brady's delivery from the set-piece was pinpoint.
Klose had endured a couple of shaky moments in defence but his second Canaries goal came at the ideal moment for Neil's men.
WHAT IT MEANS
The winning margin could have been a lot bigger for the Canaries but most importantly, it's three points.
On a weekend of both league and Emirates FA Cup action, City moved to 43 points - just two behind Sheffield Wednesday in sixth place.
GOALS: Canaries: Cameron Jerome (15), Timm Klose (43) - Blues:
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin (c), Klose, Brady; Howson, Tettey (Godfrey 81); Ja. Murphy (Jo. Murphy 62), Naismith, Hoolahan (Lafferty 88); Jerome. Subs not used: McGovern (GK), Whittaker, Bassong, Bennett.
BIRMINGHAM CITY: Kuszczak; Nsue (Dacres-Cogley 86), Morrison (c), Shotton, Grounds; Tesche (Cotterill 65), Gardner, Davis (Kieftenbeld 87); Frei, Adams, Jutkiewicz. Subs not used: Legzdins (GK), Robinson, Gleeson, Keita.
REFEREE: Simon Hooper
Tickets are available on general sale for City's Sky Bet Championship game away to Cardiff City on Saturday, February 4.