Svensson restores belief at Norwich

Norwich City 1 - Charlton Athletic 0

Another footballing drama was played out at Carrow Road yesterday as the substitute Mathias Svensson struck an 88th-minute winner against his former club to lift Norwich off the bottom of the Premiership table. Two weeks ago they beat Manchester United, they had a dramatic three-all draw at Palace last week, scored an injury-time winner against Newcastle last Wednesday and with this victory Delia Smith's club appear to be reaching boiling point with perfect timing.

While Charlton have now won only once in 11, blowing a potential European spot for a third straight season, Norwich have three games to avoid relegation away to Southampton and Fulham with the visit of Birmingham in between. They remain in the relegation zone on goal difference and how they could do with their first away win of the season. This was by no means a classic, but Norwich fans looked as if they had won the Cup. "That's why there are 90 minutes in football matches," said the Norwich manager Nigel Worthington.

Debates about the relegation battle a fortnight ago safely started with "who's going down with Norwich?" That might yet be the case, but their run of a draw and three wins has given hope where there previously was none.

"We've opened the door and got one foot in it, but we've achieved nothing yet and can not get carried away with three big games still to go," Worthington added.

There were some edgy moments against a Charlton side with an eye on European qualification, but the loud, excited crowd let them know they had no option but to win.

Svensson had already missed a great chance to score moments after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for David Bentley. Then Charlton so nearly nicked it as Danny Murphy clattered a free-kick against a post with six minutes to go and Franny Jeffers fluffed the follow-up. So, it looked all set for a draw before Adam Drury launched a long throw into the Charlton area, Dean Ashton flicked on, Leon McKenzie got a touch in the challenge that led to the ball dropping kindly for Svensson to finish from six yards. Swede dreams are made of this.

Svensson's introduction for Bentley had seemed a strange choice, but turned out to be ridiculously inspired, as have most of Worthington's decisions for the past fortnight.

Negative Charlton were more positive at the start of the second half, but they faded, leaving the manager Alan Curbishley puzzled. He said: "Perhaps we're not that good. Perhaps we're not a top-six side because whoever finishes in the top positions deserves to."

The same, of course, applies at the bottom of the table, but it is going to be tough on this season's fall guys. Few can recall a season where, with so few games to go, so many teams are still battling against possible relegation. Any three of the bottom six could go.

"Even Portsmouth and Fulham will be looking over their shoulders," Worthington pointed out. "It's game on."

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect