Norwich City 3 Wolves 1
PUBLISHED: 17:02 21 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 22 January 2017
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Norwich City hit back to inflict a first defeat on Paul Lambert against his old club as 10-man Wolves slipped to a 3-1 Championship reverse at Carrow Road.
Wolves finished the game with outfield player Matt Doherty in goal after keeper Carl Ikeme was sent off for his reaction to conceding a second-half penalty against Wes Hoolahan, converted by Robbie Brady.
Lambert’s side had already made all three substitutions after getting back on levels terms when Helder Costa slotted a penalty to cancel out Steven Naismith’s first-half opener. Jonny Howson sealed the victory in stoppage time to bounce back after last weekend’s league defeat at Rotherham.
Cameron Jerome replaced the suspended Nelson Oliveira and Brady was back in the side in the other change to the starting line up that lost 2-1 at the Millers. Steven Whittaker (hamstring) dropped out of the matchday squad but there was a place on the substitutes’ bench for Ben Godfrey, after his impressive showing at Southampton in midweek.
Lambert included Dominic Iorfa and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in two changes from the side that beat another of his old clubs, Aston Villa, last weekend.
City looked tentative in the early sparring but got the perfect start when Naismith superbly slotted Howson’s thunderous 30-yard shot which cannoned back into play after clipping the top of Ikeme’s bar.
Dave Edwards then had to clear Brady’s low cross at his near post after an inventive free kick from Wes Hoolahan into Naismith.
Jacob Murphy barrelled his way through in the 22nd minute but Jerome skied his shot into the Lower Barclay.
Hoolahan sparked a home counter in the 27th minute for Howson to link with Jerome but Ikeme parried from the midfielder.
Brady worryingly went down after being clipped by Edwards but returned to the pitch after treatment to his left knee area. The Republic of Ireland international looked far from happy, however, in the immediate aftermath of his collision with Edwards given the on-going backdrop of transfer window interest.
Hoolahan and Naismith linked superbly following a prolonged lull in the goalmouth action but Richard Stearman threw himself in front of Jacob Murphy’s goalbound strike.
Lambert introduced new loan signing Andreas Weimann for Cavaleiro at the start of the second half. City continued to look comfortable without threatening to add a second until Hoolahan rolled in Jerome who unleashed a curling shot against the inside of a post from 22 yards but the ball rebounded back into play.
That proved a painful miss when Wolves were awarded a spot kick after Matt Doherty tumbled after bursting the wrong side of Ivo Pinto inside the Norwich penalty area. Television replays appeared to show Pinto had put his hands into Doherty’s lower back, and the full-back’s protests cut little ice with the referee as Costa stepped up to send John Ruddy the wrong way from the penalty spot.
But there were further fireworks at the opposite end when Hoolahan went over Ikeme’s challenge to earn the hosts a penalty. An incensed Ikeme reacted angrily - shoving the Dubliner to the floor - to earn a straight red card. With Lambert having made all three substitutions, outfield player Doherty had to don the keeper’s gloves but Brady coolly stepped up to send him the wrong way, when order was restored.
Hoolahan and Jacob Murphy made way in the 81st minute for Alex Pritchard and Josh Murphy before Kyle Lafferty completed the set.
City managed to avoid a tense finale when Howson capped a fine display with an instinctive volley in stoppage time from 20 yards out after Pritchard’s corner was only partially cleared.
• Norwich: Ruddy, Pinto, Martin, Klose, Brady, Howson, Tettey, Jacob Murphy (Josh Murphy 81), Hoolahan (Pritchard 81), Naismith, Jerome (Lafferty 87). Subs: (not used): McGovern (GK), Bassong, Bennett, Godfrey.
• Booking: Hoolahan (ungentlemanly conduct, 74)
• Goals: Naismith (13), Brady (75), Howson (90+1)
• Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Batth, Stearman, Doherty, Price, Edwards, Costa, Mason (Enobakhare 58), Cavaleiro (Weimann 45), Bodvarsson (Dicko 66). Subs (not used): Burgoyne (GK), Saville, Coady, Evans.
• Bookings: Edwards (foul on Jacob Murphy, 70); Doherty (ungentlemanly conduct, 74)
• Sending Off: Ikeme (ungentlemanly conduct, 72)
• Goal: Costa (57)
• Time added on: 2 minutes / 5 minutes
• Referee: David Coote
• Attendance: 26,303