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18 January 2017

Late loss for the Canaries on the south coast

SHANE Long's stoppage time winner knocked the Canaries out of the Emirates FA Cup as Southampton edged their third round replay 1-0.

The first half saw neither side take control, although it was Saints who had more of the ball with City's threat coming on the counter-attack.

Alex Neil's side had four free-kicks in threatening areas but failed to make the most of them, while Michael McGovern was kept busy by Josh Sims and Jay Rodriguez.

The contest continued in a similar pattern after the break, with Sims denied this time by Ivo Pinto's scrambling clearance on the line on 56 minutes.

As the game wore on, it became increasingly apparent that one goal would win it; substitute Nathan Redmond added spark for Southampton, but he spurned three chances.

Redmond played a role in the winner though, setting up Sam McQueen for the cross which Long bundled home after McGovern had made a fine initial save.

Injuries and suspension led to Alex Neil adopting a wing-back system to suit the players available to him at St Mary's.

Eight changes were made from Saturday's league defeat at Rotherham, with notable inclusions such as Ben Godfrey and the returning Robbie Brady.

Kyle Lafferty led the line, while City's bench had a youthful look to it as Ray Grant, Louis Ramsay and Glenn Middleton joined the likes of Steven Naismith and Jacob Murphy.

City got deeper and deeper as the game reached its conclusion, but with extra-time looming the hosts struck.

Redmond became the main threat for Claude Puel's men after being introduced, but his pass for McQueen looked to be running of out play.

The young full-back reached it, however, and although Long was initially denied by a fine McGovern reaction stop, he managed to get something on the ball to turn it over the line.

GOALS: Saints: Shane Long (90)

SOUTHAMPTON: Lewis, Martina, Yoshida (c), Stephens, McQueen, Clasie, Reed (Romeu 71), Ward-Prowse, Sims, Long, Rodriguez (Redmond 71). Subs not used: Taylor (GK), Cedric, Gardos, Tadic, Hojbjerg.

NORWICH CITY: McGovern; Pinto, Bennett, Klose, Bassong, Martin (c); Jo. Murphy (Ja. Murphy 73), Godfrey (Grant 86), Brady, Pritchard; Lafferty (Canos 80). Subs not used: Jones (GK), Naismith, Ramsay, Middleton.



Tickets are available on general sale for City's Sky Bet Championship game at home to Wolves on Saturday, January 21.

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