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Nathan Redmond's first goal for Norwich City earned them a 1-0 win at home to Southampton. The 100th competitive meeting between these two sides had chances aplenty, with both goalkeepers on top form, but Redmond's strike was enough to give Chris Hughton's side their first Barlcays Premier League victory of the season.
Adam Lallana came closest to a goal for Mauricio Pochettino's men, volleying against a post, but Norwich created the majority of the chances, with England Under-21 international Redmond at the hub of their best play.
Hughton was without the injured Gary Hooper (shin) and Ryan Bennett, who needed stitches after gashing his knee in the League Cup tie against Bury in midweek. Pochettino, meanwhile, handed a first start to Southampton's record signing Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, in place of Jay Rodriguez, while Guly do Prado and Jos Hooiveld missed out through injury.
The hosts started brightly and nearly opened the scoring after three minutes when Redmond, a summer signing from Birmingham City, won the ball on the left and burst through to the edge of the area, striking a low right-footed effort that flew just wide. Southampton had Artur Boruc to thank for keeping them level when he spread himself well to deny Leroy Fer after Johan Elmander had flicked on a Robert Snodgrass free-kick. The rebound fell to Ricky van Wolfswinkel, but he poked wide.
At the other end, Bradley Johnson faced shouts for a penalty when Lallana's shot crashed into his outstretched arm. Referee Howard Webb, though, deemed the handball accidental. Norwich then had a penalty shout of their own, Van Wolfswinkel's back-post header hitting Calum Chambers, but Webb again waved away the appeals.
The hosts looked the more dangerous and Chambers was again fortunate, this time not to score an own-goal, when he deflected Steven Whittaker's drilled cross wide of goal. But Southampton still offered a threat of their own and Lallana almost put them ahead with a well-struck volley that beat John Ruddy all ends up before rebounding back off a post.
And that threat continued in the early stages of the second half, with Osvaldo twice being denied a first Southampton goal by good saves from Ruddy. Norwich's aerial threat also continued, with Fer heading wide from a Snodgrass free-kick, before Elmander headed over from Redmond's cross from the left.
Redmond's winner came after 67 minutes when he cut in from the left and beat his man with a step-over, before hitting a low right-footed shot that flew in at the near post. And Redmond almost grabbed a second with another solo effort, dribbling from just inside the visitors' half before seeing his shot saved, much to the annoyance of Van Wolfswinkel, who was free in the area.
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton: "We're really delighted to have brought Redmond in. At this moment he does [look like a real bargain], but we all know that values are about timing, and It's very early in the season and what we need to do is make sure to manage him as well as we can.
"We've all been around long enough to know that young players have highs and lows. Fortunately for him he's a level headed young man."
"I am [proud to have kept a clean sheet]. I think to get a clean sheet against these is a good achievement, they'll be a threat to most teams this season."
Southampton head coach Mauricio Pochettino: "The overall feeling is that we played well, that we deserved a bit more from that match. We don't want to take credit away from Norwich, they actually played very well. In the first 15 minutes Norwich were dominating the game, but after that I think we were able to match them and their strength and their effort. I think after those 15 minutes we played well.
"In the second half when we were playing our best football we conceded a goal and it was very hard to come back from that. I think it's normal that Pablo Osvaldo and Rickie Lambert weren't able to link up well, it takes times for a player to gel and to get into a squad. It's their first game together and he needs time (before he can) play well with Rickie."
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|11 Feb 2014||v West Ham (A)|
|11 Jan 2014||v Everton (A)|
|01 Feb 2014||v Cardiff (A)|
|08 Mar 2014||v Stoke (H)|
|05 Apr 2014||v West Brom (H)|