West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Norwich City


West Brom had lost just once in their previous seven games but failed to register a shot on target

Norwich secured their first win in 11 league games to move out of the bottom three with victory at West Brom.

After a turgid first half, Alex Neil’s side took the lead just after the break when Robbie Brady finished from close range.

West Brom failed to register a single shot on target, going closest through Claudio Yacob’s first-half drive.

Norwich are now three points clear of the drop-zone in 17th, but will return to 18th if Sunderland win on Sunday.

Sam Allardyce’s side play local rivals Newcastle United, who are 19th, at St James’ Park.

Relive West Brom v Norwich

Just where did West Brom go?

Tony Pulis’ side had been on an impressive run, winning three of their last five – including a 1-0 home victory over Manchester United in their previous game.

But that was two weeks ago, and the Baggies looked more than a little rusty here.

Saido Berahino, Salomon Rondon and Stephane Sessegnon all wasted decent openings in the first half, each time shooting wildly when composure was required.

Yacob fizzed an effort high and wide after John Ruddy clawed out a swirling corner but in the second half the opposition goalkeeper had almost nothing to do.

The introduction of Rickie Lambert from the bench failed to spark a late rally from the home side, and even with six minutes of added time they finished with a whimper.

The turning point for Norwich?

This win ended a run of six consecutive defeats away from home for Norwich, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Canaries didn’t cover themselves in glory in the first half either, but after the break they began to look something more like side that picked up some impressive results earlier in the season.

After the goal, Jonny Howson, Brady and Matt Jarvis began to dominate in midfield and their play at the back was also much improved.

The Canaries hadn’t kept a clean sheet away from home in the league all season, but they never looked like being pegged back after Brady’s close-range finish.

With only seven matches left to play, this was an important victory, but there are more vital games to come. Norwich play relegation rivals Newcastle after the international break, and Sunderland two weeks later.

Now, and after holding Manchester city to a 0-0 draw last week, they’ll feel a lot more optimistic about avoiding the drop.

More to follow.

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