Match Report: Chris Hughton full of praise for for his nine-game unbeaten heroes Norwich City after win over Swansea City
Swansea City 2 Norwich City 4: Rare away victory at Swansea as Norwich record longest run in top flight without defeat
Sunday 09 December 2012
Chris Hughton, Norwich's manager, hailed his history-makers after his players sealed their first away win of the season to extend the club's longest unbeaten run in their Premier League history. The Canaries became just the second team to win at the Liberty Stadium this season following a rip-roaring contest.
Victory eclipsed the eight-game unbeaten run by Mike Walker's teams during the 1993-94 season and left Hughton purring over his players.
He said: "I'm proud of the players irrespective of any achievements or runs because they put in a tough shift every game. We showed enough resilience at the end to see the game through.
"The players deserve everything because they are the ones who identified we hadn't got enough points earlier in the season even though the performances weren't so bad."
Norwich surged into a three-goal lead at the break courtesy of strikes from lucky charm Steven Whittaker, Sébastien Bassong and Grant Holt.
Goals from Michu and Jonathan de Guzman sparked a second half fightback before Robert Snodgrass handed Norwich a deserved win, although Michu grabbed his 13th goal of a sensational season deep in injury time.
The Carrow Road outfit collected their first maximum on the road since winning at Tottenham in April, and Hughton said: "We got the right result. I'm delighted because it is an away win against a team who are in form. The first half couldn't have gone any better for us. We could have been four up when Bradley [Johnson] hit the bar early in the second half, but then we didn't do ourselves any favours by conceding.
"But I was really pleased with our response at 3-2. People would have expected Swansea to go on and draw or win. We had a period where we had to dig deep and show character, but the fourth goal was pivotal for us."
Scottish international full-back Whittaker powered his way forward in the 16th minute and worked a neat one-two with Snodgrass before tucking the ball away with his left foot past Gerhard Tremmel. Then Norwich hit a golden three minutes just before the interval when Holt's deep cross was met on the back post by Bassong, whose pin-point header beat Tremmel at his near post to notch his third goal in the last four League games.
Holt made it three moments later as the burly striker lost his marker in the box to power an unstoppable header past Tremmel.
In-form Swansea, fresh from emphatic wins over West Bromwich and Arsenal, responded when Ben Davies's low cross allowed Michu to poach his 11th Premier League goal in the 51st minute before De Guzman volleyed home eight minutes later.
Yet Snodgrass and his excellent left- footed free-kick gave his team-mates some breathing space. A second Michu goal in injury time made it more respectable for Swansea, whose manager, Michael Laudrup, said: "We did not play well in the first half. There was a great reaction in the second half, scoring two goals, and it could have been three had the equaliser not been disallowed. We didn't deserve to win after the first half."
Swansea (4-3-3): Tremmel; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Ki, De Guzman, Michu; Dyer, Graham (Shechter, 69), Routledge.
Norwich (4-4-2): Bunn; Whittaker (Barnett, 90), Bassong, Martin, Garrido; Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington; Hoolahan, Holt (Morison, 83).
Referee: Howard Webb
Man of the match: Snodgrass (Norwich)
Match rating: 9/10
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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