Canaries down 10-man Rangers
Norwich substitute Steve Morison scored a late winner at QPR to seal a 2-1 victory after early goalscorer Joey Barton was sent off.
Last Updated: 02/01/12 5:23pm
Substitute Steve Morison scored a late winner at QPR to hand Norwich a 2-1 victory after early goalscorer Joey Barton was controversially sent off.
Midfielder Barton opened the scoring for Neil Warnock's side in the 11th minute at Loftus Road but saw red 10 minutes before the break after the referee adjudged he had tried to headbutt Bradley Johnson.
That dismissal proved the turning point as Anthony Pilkington equalised minutes later, blasting a stunning strike past Paddy Kenny and into the bottom corner from long range.
Rangers hunted desperately for the winner in the second half, with the introduction of a lively Shaun Wright-Phillips providing some opportunities.
But it was 66th-minute substitute Morison that found the winner, poking home a Pilkington cross from six yards to hand the Canaries their first win in five Premier League encounters.
Canaries boss Paul Lambert always maintained this season would be all about his squad, and handed a Premier League debut to former St Mirren midfielder Simon Lappin.
QPR's defeat at Arsenal on New Year's Eve was a seventh in the last 10 games, with manager Neil Warnock expected to do plenty more business in this month's transfer window to arrest that slide as on-loan Manchester United striker Federico Macheda was named among the substitutes.
Norwich, playing in green, made a positive start, with Lappin's inswinging free-kick headed behind for an early corner.
Pilkington made a determined run through the heart of the home defence, but was eventually blocked as was the follow-up effort from Simeon Jackson, whose stoppage-time goal had earned a point against Fulham on Saturday.
QPR, though, took the lead with their first real attack on 11 minutes as Norwich again failed to keep a clean sheet.
The ball was pushed out to the left to Clint Hill, and his low centre travelled straight through the visitors defence, with Rangers captain Barton arriving on cue to fire his shot past John Ruddy from 12 yards.
Norwich had also fallen behind to an early goal against Fulham, and looked for a response as Johnson's 20-yard effort was deflected safely through to fit-again keeper Paddy Kenny.
Jackson failed to make a clean connection with a low ball into the QPR six-yard box, and stabbed his effort wide.
After 36 minutes, Barton lost his cool and following a tussle with Johnson appeared to headbutt the Norwich midfielder and was, after consultation with the assistant, shown a red card by referee Neil Swarbrick.
The visitors immediately went on the offensive, as Pilkington flashed a 20-yard strike wide.
On 43 minutes, the former Huddersfield winger drew Norwich level when he was given space again on the edge of the box - and this time drilled the ball into the bottom right corner.
QPR made a change for the second half when Wright-Phillips replaced Jamie Mackie.
The former Chelsea and Manchester City man was soon in the thick of the action, as Ruddy had to get down quickly to save his low shot.
On 53 minutes, Norwich centre-back Daniel Ayala upended Heidar Helguson to concede a free-kick 25-yards out.
Adel Taarabt got his effort up over the wall, and Ruddy had to make a fine reaction stop low to his right, touching the ball onto the post.
The visitors seemed happy to try to make their advantage count on the break, as Bennett tested Kenny with a 20-yard effort.
Norwich continued to look vulnerable at the back, as Zak Whitbread deflected another QPR shot behind for corner.
Lambert had seen enough, and made a treble substitution on 65 minutes as Morison replaced Grant Holt, Wes Hoolahan came on for Lappin and David Fox replaced full-back Adam Drury to leave just three in the rearguard.
Norwich had plenty of width as Whitbread glanced a header wide from Pilkington's left-wing cross.
Macheda replaced Helguson for the final 10 minutes.
It was, though, the visitors who would have the final say.On 82 minutes, Morison blasted home from close range after Hoolahan had nodded down Pilkington's cross to leave Rangers just above the relegation zone and the Canaries back up in the top 10.
|Queens Park Rangers||Team Statistics||Norwich City|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||5|
|2||Shots off Target||8|
|43.7||1st Half Poss.||56.3|
|34.5||2nd Half Poss.||65.5|