For match photos scroll to 'Photostream' above left; for match stats click on the stats tab. Manager reaction and press conferences below
Jonny Howson's first-half goal gave Norwich City just their second win of the Barclays Premier League season with a 1-0 triumph at Stoke City.
Both sides headed into Sunday's game at the Britannia Stadium without a win in their last two top-flight contests. The visitors had scored just three goals in their previous five league encounters, but they needed just one to seal the points against Mark Hughes' men. It was Howson who proved to be the difference, the former Leeds United midfielder scoring with a long-range strike after 34 minutes to send the travelling fans home happy.
Hughes selected the same side who slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last time out, but Hughton elected to ring the changes. Ryan Bennett replaced the injured Sebastien Bassong in the centre of defence, while Martin Olsson, Alexander Tettey and Anthony Pilkington came in for Javier Garrido, Nathan Redmond and Johan Elmander.
Norwich started quickly and could have taken the lead after nine minutes, Bennett crashing a strike against the crossbar after meeting Olsson's corner. The visitors dictated the game from midfield throughout the first half, but Stoke were solid in defence and did not allow Hughton's men much in the way of attacking openings.
It took Stoke over half an hour to create their first goalscoring opportunity, Austria forward Marko Arnautovic lashing over from the edge of the area. Less than a minute later, Norwich took the lead their play deserved. Howson found space in midfield before firing home with a swerving low effort that deceived Asmir Begovic.
Jermaine Pennant replaced Jonathan Walters while Stephen Ireland also came on at the interval as Stoke searched for a way back into the game, and the hosts claimed a penalty after Kenwyne Jones went down in the area under pressure from Leroy Fer but referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved.
Still it was Norwich who continued to create the better opportunities, with Pilkington firing wide with a speculative effort from range before Robert Snodgrass curled a left-footed effort over the bar.
Jones went close for Stoke as the Trinidad and Tobago forward began to cause the Norwich backline problems but, despite his best efforts, Hughes' side were unable to really threaten John Ruddy's goal. The game became more open in the closing stages as Steven N'Zonzi tested Ruddy from distance, before Snodgrass forced Begovic into a fine save.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "We were below par today. This is a Premier League game and we need players to perform and we haven't. It's only today that they have let themselves down, it was a disappointing performance and we were poor. We never got any pace or power into our game which is unlike us.
"We needed to be better today but they were comfortable when they got the goal and overall we were well below it."
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton: "This is a tough place to come. We had really good spells were we dominated possession. We coped with their threat, we had a bad result last week and we knew it was important to start well. We played with a high tempo and the players deserve everything.
"It's about picking up points and hopefully this will give us some confidence."
|15 Mar 2014||v West Ham (H)|
|08 Mar 2014||v Norwich (A)|
|23 Mar 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|23 Nov 2013||v Sunderland (H)|
|29 Dec 2013||v Spurs (A)|
|26 Dec 2013||v Newcastle (A)|