Norwich beat Southampton to earn their first win of the Premier League season
Last Updated: 31/08/13 6:05pm
Nathan Redmond: Celebrates scoring the winning goal for Norwich
Nathan Redmond's fine second-half strike gave Norwich their first Premier League win of the season - a 1-0 triumph over Southampton.
In a frenetic, end-to-end clash at a sold-out Carrow Road, the hosts' 19-year-old winger proved the difference as he capped a fine performance with the winner.
Redmond's pace often had Southampton on the back foot and saw him score the decisive goal in the second half, cutting in from the left to unleash a fierce drive from the edge of the box.
It was a goal the England Under-21 international more than deserved, although the match could have ended quite differently had it not been for an earlier contentious call from referee Howard Webb.
Best of the match:
- Man of the match: Nathan Redmond - a constant threat in front of England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate
- Tactical decision: Chris Hughton opted to play Redmond and Robert Snodgrass as inverted wingers, allowing both to cut in off the touchline, The move resulted in Redmond driving in the winner.
- Dribble of the match: Saints defender Dejan Lovren showed good composure on the ball all afternoon, never more than when he used a step-over, and nutmeg and a dummy to beat two Norwich defenders to get into the box.
- Save of the match: Artur Boruc and John Ruddy were both very safe all afternoon but the England stopper's diving parry to deny Osvaldo in the second-half was the goalkeeping highlight.
- Escape of the match: Michael Turner was lucky to avoid action for putting an elbow on Osvaldo but Southampton will be more unhappy not to receive a first-half penalty when Johnson handled in the box.
- Talking point: Redmond's goal proved to be the difference between two very evenly matched sides. Norwich will take confidence into the international break, but Southampton played their part in a very entertaining game.
Bradley Johnson clearly handled an Adam Lallana strike in front of Webb, but the referee waved away those penalty claims and then less vociferous calls from the hosts after Calum Chambers also appeared to handle.
Southampton captain Lallana also saw a volley smash against the post and record signing Dani Osvaldo had a close-range effort saved by John Ruddy - missed opportunities the visitors were made to pay for.
Despite Robert Snodgrass being refused a stoppage-time penalty, Redmond's solo effort proved enough to secure Norwich a first league win of the season, ending the visitors' unbeaten start to the campaign.
Both sides reverted to their first choice line-ups after fielding heavily-rotated sides in their respective midweek Capital One Cup victories.
One of those returning to the starting line-up for Norwich went close to grabbing the opener inside four minutes.
Summer signing Redmond dispossessed fellow teenager James Ward-Prowse and burst down the left, cutting inside and unleashing a drive that went just wide.
Southampton were looking sloppy and were almost punished when Danny Fox, in at left-back for Luke Shaw, gave away a second free-kick in a matter of minutes.
Snodgrass' free-kick was nodded goalwards by Ricky van Wolfswinkel and into the path of fellow Holland international Leroy Fer, who was unable to find a way past Artur Boruc from close range.
The close call appeared to act as a wake-up call for Southampton and the visitors should have had a 19th-minute penalty.
Lallana wriggled free of City's defenders, only for his strike goalwards to be batted away by Johnson in the box. Southampton appealed but Webb dismissed the appeals, despite being well placed to see the incident.
Norwich soon had a handball shout of their own after a Van Wolfswinkel header hit Chambers, but Webb again waved play on.
Steven Whittaker struck a fizzing effort across goal as Norwich pushed for an opener, which was close to going the other way as half-time approached.
Ward-Prowse's floated free-kick was only cleared as far as Lallana and the Southampton captain's venomous left-footed volley struck the post.
Mauricio Pochettino's side returned for the second half strongly and Ruddy had to be at his best to deny Osvaldo.
An excellent, flowing team move down the right saw the ball fed to the 27-year-old, whose fine turn and strike forced the England squad goalkeeper into a fine save.
Redmond was the Canaries' biggest threat and he crossed for Johan Elmander, only for the Sweden international to head wide.
Southampton were pushing at the other end but were being too easily caught out down the flanks when the ball came back their way.
It was a vulnerability exposed by Norwich in the 68th minute, when Redmond cut inside and lashed home low from the edge of the box, out of Boruc's reach.
The goal led Pochettino to ring the changes, with substitute Jay Rodriguez causing the City backline problems before fellow replacement Steven Davis lashed over.
There was to be no comeback, though, as Norwich stuck to their task to secure victory - with Redmond again going close and Webb waving away another penalty appeal as Snodgrass went down under pressure from Jose Fonte in stoppage time.
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