Sixth-place Norwich travelled to South Wales on Wednesday, looking to end their away day blues that have seen the Canaries lose back-to-back away games – and concede an eye-watering 12 goals in just four games. In their way would be a resurgent Swansea side, rejuvenated by a brace of thumping 3-0 victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall respectively.
SWA: Rushworth; Humphreys, Darling, Cabango; Grimes; Lowe, Patino, Cullen, Key; Paterson, Yates
NOR: Gunn; Giannoulis, Gibson, Duffy, Stacey; McLean, Forshaw; Rowe, Sara, Springett; Hwang
Having kept an unchanged lineup from their convincing victory on Saturday, it would be the Swans who would start as the brightest of the two sides – striking immediately as the Norwich defence was caught napping. Lowe was the beneficiary, slotting home from close range for his third goal in as many games following neat build-up from Grimes and Paterson.
With the home support in full voice on a mild autumnal night, Duff’s side came close to doubling their lead minutes later. Ben Cabango’s header across goal after a Swansea corner was only half cleared into the path of Paterson, who struck a fierce volley inches over the crossbar.
Swansea’s high press would cause the visitors problems. Wagner cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines, watchful as his side would struggle to have time on the ball as the home team continued to dominate in the final third.
The Canaries, however, would silence the home crowd with a rare foray into the opposition half. Rowe’s left-wing cross found Sara, with the Brazilian able to head home past a stranded Carl Rushworth in the Swansea goal to level the scoreline.
The Swans would be thanking their on-loan Brighton goalkeeper moments later though as the pendulum of the game swung to Wagner’s side. Jack Stacey, supporting the attack on the right, found himself in space – smashing a powerful effort seemingly heading for the top corner of the Swansea goal.Embed from Getty Images
It would be the Swans who would have the next moment of the half. Grimes pin-point corner strayed off the head of a Norwich defender towards the back post, with Yates finding the loose ball. Surrounded by defenders, the Swansea number nine would show invention to backheel a deflected effort across the Norwich goal – but narrowly wide of the far post.
But with both sides looking to assert their dominance and clinch the elusive winner, a rather cagey affair played out in the second half.
Norwich would produce the first chance ten minutes after the restart, with Rowe finding space on the left before cutting inside Key to send a low effort narrowly wide of the Swans far post.
A spate of substitutions from both sides would liven up the proceedings, with the game becoming more stretched. Chances would come at either end, with the Swans briefly thinking they had regained the lead as Cooper hammered a half-volley towards goal from the penalty spot – and despite Gunn’s save, Yates was on hand to slot into an empty net, though he was immediately flagged for offside.
The Canaries though would be wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead minutes later with substitute forward Adam Idah heading over from Polish midfielder Prem Platcheta’s right-wing cross from close range – when it looked easier to score than miss.
The Swans would have the ball in the net once more – or so they thought. Referee Tom Nield, however, would not be convinced that Yates’ back post header had crossed the line, with Norwich starting to ride their luck at the back.
With the impetus behind them, the home side rallied and would not be denied on their next foray forward. A series of shots from Lowe would be saved by Gunn, before the ball would fall for Chelsea loanee Humphreys to lash an effort high into the goal for his first goal for the club.
Duff’s side would come close to putting the icing on the cake, nearly getting a third with Lowe’s deflected effort looping over the crossbar. It would though be a resolute few minutes as the Swans held on to secure the victory to make it three wins in as many games.