Norwich City travel to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium for Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship match, so we’re taking a look back on this fixture from 2012.
City came from behind to take all three points in their bid for survival in their first Premier League season for seven years.
Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Norwich City
January 2, 2012
What was on the line?
20 games into the 2011-12 season, the Canaries had picked up 22 points from 19 games, placing them nicely mid-table in the league standings. Of course, points were still very much a necessity for Paul Lambert’s side who were far from safety in their return to the Premier League.
The Hoops had just 17 points from their 19 games which placed them 17th in the table, just three points from Blackburn Rovers at the bottom of the league. Having not seen a win in seven consecutive games, three points was of huge importance to the R’s.
How the game unfolded
The first half was a lively one for one QPR player in particular! Joey Barton gave the Hoops the early lead with his strong finish in front of goal. Just 25 minutes later, Barton would then see red after an off-the-ball incident with Bradley Johnson!
Making the most of QPR being down to ten-men, Johnson then set Anthony Pilkington up in front of goal for the striker to level the scoring before half time.
A lively first half had tensions high as both teams looked for three points, but City had a man advantage for the entirety of the second half due to Barton’s dismissal.
Despite that deficit, QPR came close to taking the lead in this heated meeting when Adel Taarabt’s free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the post by John Ruddy.
66 minutes in, Paul Lambert wasn’t backing down from the challenge of taking the win, bringing on Wes Hoolahan, Steve Morison and David Fox in a triple substitution.
QPR kept the pressure on throughout the later stages of the second half, Federico Macheda’s header denied by Ruddy again, who punched away from danger.
With just seven minutes remaining, City used one of few chances of the second half well when substitutes Hoolahan and Morison linked up to capitalise on a Hoops’ error, the latter finding the back of the net for the win.
Norwich City XI: Ruddy, Drury (Hoolahan, 66), Martin, Whitbread, Ayala, Johnson, Pilkington, Bennett, Lappin (Fox, 66), Holt (Morison, 66), Jackson
Subs not used: Rudd, Naughton, Surman, Wilbraham
What happened next?
City would go on to survive for another season in the Premier League after picking up 47 points! A testing end to the season saw the Canaries pick up just 22 points after QPR, but that was more than enough to guarantee survival as they finished 12th.
In more dramatic fashion, QPR would also go on to survive, just a single point separating them from 18th place Bolton Wanderers. Five wins from their last ten games gave the Hoops a massive boost to their points tally, earning them another season in the topflight!