Norwich City 1 Crystal Palace 0 match report: Chris Hughton’s big win highlights size of the task for Tony Pulis

Crucial three-points for Canaries sees Palace return to the bottom of the Premier League table

Carrow Road

The largest crowd of the all-seated era flocked to Norfolk’s county town yesterday, many of them doubtless wondering whether this would be the last time they saw Chris Hughton in the home dug-out. The final week of November is the start of the serious sacking season and the feeling locally was that the personable Norwich City manager would have been out with a fifth defeat in seven games. Instead, his team came through for him, just.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace sank to the bottom of the table after a performance which nevertheless gave heart to their new appointee, Tony Pulis. As Pulis has never been relegated and Palace have never stayed up in the Premier League, something will change come May and the odds are still on the club preserving their record and the manager losing his.

Having admitted possibly having drilled too much into the players during his first week’s work, he had plenty more to say while bestriding the technical area throughout the afternoon in trademark tracksuit, trainers and baseball cap. “Tony Pu-lis/ He looks like a chav,” sang the home supporters.

Afterwards the new man said: “We didn’t have the breaks today. I can’t fault the players, they worked their socks off and gave it everything. I know how tough it’s going to be but it’s not the first time I’ve been in this position.”

A relieved Hughton, with a second successive win against fellow strugglers behind him, said: “It feels like a big win. In the first half we were the better team but probably needed another goal, as we knew we’d come under pressure after that. It was a massive blow losing [Anthony] Pilkington and [Robert] Snodgrass in the last week, which means we’re without three wide players altogether in a squad that hasn’t got the depth of others.”

Fortunately Nathan Redmond remains fit and well, and is one of those tricky young wingers the country is starting to produce in abundance. He tested Palace most, and Wes Hoolahan would have done so to greater effect had he been fully match fit.

For Palace, Barry Bannan was equally effective in midfield, and Pulis may be able to get more out of Marouane Chamakh if he keeps playing him more centrally, rather than stranded on the wing as he tended to be under Ian Holloway.

Savvy Norwich supporters do not worry about missing the kick-off; the 30th-minute goal yesterday was the first time this season they have scored that early. There had been some fun at both ends before that, however, starting when Johan Elmander met a free-kick with an acrobatic effort against the underside of the bar. With Palace slow to settle Redmond then veered inside for a fierce shot pushed for a corner.

At the other end two outstanding pieces of defending by Martin Olsson were required to prevent Palace going ahead. First he threw himself in the way of Jason Puncheon’s shot; then, after John Ruddy saved well from Puncheon, Bannan thrashed a fierce effort towards the far corner of the net and Olsson somehow leapt to head on to the bar and away.

But in between times Norwich scored. Redmond, having switched to the right flank, began the move, Elmander turned his pass across goal, and with the crowd screaming for a shot Hoolahan calmly set up Gary Hooper, who also took a touch before scoring in his second goal of the season. 

The second half was less eventful as the tension took hold. Palace had such chances as there were, starting when Dean Moxey overlapped well and the home team’s Sebastien Bassong skewed the ball narrowly wide of his own goal. Ruddy did not grasp the resulting corner, which bounced off Palace’s Damien Delaney and over the bar. The spindly Jimmy Kebe, one of three Palace substitutes, hit a low drive into the side-netting, and after one long thrown from Moxey out of the Pulis coaching manual, there was an almighty scramble that Norwich survived.

To survive the season they must improve their away form, which will not be easy this week when they visit Liverpool on Wednesday and West Bromwich on Saturday.

“There aren’t too many tougher places to visit than Anfield but it’s much better going there on the back of a win and a clean sheet,” Hughton said.

Line-ups:

Norwich (4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Hoolahan, (Johnson, 78), Howson, Fer, Redmond; Elmander (Becchio, 80); Hooper (Whittaker, 89)

Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey; Puncheon (Kebe, 75), Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan (Williams, 72); Chamakh (Gayle, 79); Jerome.

Referee: Chris Foy.

Man of Match: Redmond (Norwich).

Match rating: 5/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders