Robbie Brady’s 50th-minute goal gave Norwich the perfect start to the run of four matches that will almost certainly determine whether they stay in the League.
After the international break, the Canaries face Newcastle and Sunderland at home, with a trip to struggling Crystal Palace in between, offering chances to inflict damage on their immediate rivals as well as increase their own points tally.
A first victory in 11 matches for Alex Neil’s side took them out of the bottom three and a draw in today’s Tyne-Wear derby will ensure that they stay there.
“The win was crucial because it keeps things in our hands,” Neil said after the victory.
In a match in which the goal was the only shot on target, Brady knocked the ball in from close range after team-mate Matt Jarvis had failed to connect with a cross from Dieumerci Mbokani.
It capped a bad week for Albion manager Tony Pulis, who was told on Wednesday he must pay back the £2 million survival bonus paid to him by Crystal Palace just days before he quit the club in August 2014. He also faces a £1 million Premier League fine and an estimated £500,000 in legal costs.
“To put in a performance like that after playing so well recently was disappointing,” he said. Nonetheless, with Albion on 39 points Albion, Pulis’s record of never having been relegated looks safe.
WBA: (4-2-3-1) Foster; Dawson, McAuley, J Olsson (McClean, 90), Evans; Fletcher, Yacob; Sessegnon (Lambert, 86), Berahino, Gardner (Pritchard, 72); Rondon.
Norwich: (4-4-2) Ruddy; Martin, Klose, Bassong, M Olsson; Jarvis (Pinto, 90), O’Neil, Howson, Brady (Odjidja-Ofoe, 76); Bamford (Naismith, 71), Mbokani.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Man of the match: Bassong (Norwich)
Match rating: 6/10