Baggies claim opening win
Nigerian's goal seals point for Baggies
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: September 12, 2011 8:30am
Odemwingie: Early goal enough for West Brom
Peter Odemwingie's early goal gave West Brom a 1-0 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road as Roy Hodgson's side claimed their first three points of the season.
The goal, the fastest in the Premier League so far, arrived just three minutes in as Odemwingie latched onto a long ball and poked home past rookie home keeper Declan Rudd.
Norwich had their own chances, although in truth Ben Foster did not have a serious save to make in the 90 minutes.
Indeed West Brom should have made the game safe in the second half as they were awarded a penalty but Odemwingie failed to convert from 12 yards.
West Brom had lost all three of their Premier League games before Sunday afternoon - but two of those were against title hopefuls Manchester United and Chelsea, while Stoke stole a 1-0 win in the last minute at The Hawthorns before the international break.
It took the Baggies only three minutes to go ahead following a terrible mix-up in the Norwich defence.
A long ball from Nicky Shorey caught the Norwich rearguard cold, as Ritchie De Laet's header did not reach a hesitant Rudd, and Odemwingie nipped in to poke the ball into the far corner.
Norwich looked for a response, with Andrew Surman getting in on the left and his near-post effort was kicked out by Foster, with captain Grant Holt unable to guide the rebound on target.
Norwich continued to press, but without really stretching the West Brom defence, while looking vulnerable on the counter.
Surman drove in a low 20-yard effort, but Foster was down quickly to make a comfortable save.
Elliott Bennett slammed Marc Tierney's left-wing cross over from eight yards after 30 minutes.
The former Brighton winger did better when cutting inside to sting Foster's hands with a rasping drive from the edge of the penalty area.
Rudd lifted his confidence with a decent block from Odemwingie as the West Brom forward burst clear down the right after the Norwich defence was easily split once again.
West Brom were inches away from going 2-0 ahead five minutes before the break when Graham Dorrans strode forward and lashed a 25-yard effort against the post.
Norwich had more purpose at the start of the second half, and worked the ball up to Chris Martin in the right side of the West Brom box, but his cut-back was hooked over by Andrew Crofts.
Bradley Johnson let fly from 25 yards and his effort flew inches over the top-right corner.
Norwich manager Lambert - who had not named a keeper on the bench - made a change on the hour as Wes Hoolahan replaced the lively Surman.
The Canaries were now enjoying their best spell, but again opted for the wrong pass when well placed in the final third.
Lambert made a double change with 20 minutes left as captain Holt was replaced by Steve Morison, and James Vaughan came on for Martin to make his first appearance since a summer move from Everton.
On 75 minutes, West Brom swung a deep free-kick into the Norwich area, which dropped to Steven Reid, who went down under what looked minimal contact from Wales forward Morison.
Referee Mark Halsey, though, had seen enough and pointed to the spot. Odemwingie rolled the penalty towards the bottom left corner - but Rudd dived full stretch to produce a magnificent save.
Norwich were lifted by the sense of justice served, and moved on the offensive again.
Wales striker Morison planted a free header wide from six yards after Tierney whipped the ball in from the left when he really should have hit the target.
In stoppage-time, Vaughan was flattened by an elbow from Gabriel Tamas at a corner, which was missed by the referee and just about summed up Norwich's afternoon.
The Canaries continued to push West Brom back in desperate search of an equaliser.Reid bundled over Morison on the edge of the area - but Johnson's free-kick hit the wall and that was game over.
|Norwich City||Team Statistics||West Bromwich Albion|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||6|
|12||Shots off Target||6|
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Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||37||48|
|10||West Ham United||37||43|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||37||25|