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Premier League

  • 15 October 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: J. Moss
  • • Attendance: 26567

Norwich City 3-1 Swansea: Anthony Pilkington double keeps rampant hosts ninth in Premier League

Norwich City 3-1 Swansea: Anthony Pilkington double keeps rampant hosts ninth in Premier League

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Canaries win battle between the newly promoted sides at Carrow Road thanks to brace from ex-Huddersfield man to continue fine start to the season as Swans drop into bottom half

Anthony Pilkington's double fired Norwich City to a convincing 3-1 win over Swansea City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The match was the first meeting between any of the Premier League's newly promoted sides and Norwich backed up their standing as the highest placed of the three with a fine performance.

Leon Britton returned to the Swans' line-up after recovering from injury during the international break with Steve Morison keeping his place ahead of Grant Holt for the hosts.

Carrow Road was bathed in sunshine as the Canaries made the brightest possible start. Elliot Bennett's cross was headed back into the area by Morison and Pilkington was on hand to smash the ball in to give Norwich the lead inside the first minute.

Paul Lambert's men had started the game at a ferocious pace and could have had a chance to double their lead just minutes later as Morison looked to run through one-on-one before being hauled down by Swansea skipper, Gary Monk, who was booked.

Norwich did double their lead in the tenth minute, however, after Russell Martin was given a free header from David Fox's free-kick.

Just as it looked to be a tough afternoon developing for Brendan Rodgers, his side grabbed an instant goal.

Scott Sinclair burst down the left-hand side leaving Kyle Naughton and Bennett in his wake, before he slipped in the area but still managed to prod the ball into the path of Danny Graham who swept in his second goal in as many games.

The game continued at break-neck speed, Graham just failing to latch on to William's ball into the area and the lively Morison volleying wide.

Angel Rangel and Sinclair both had efforts from distance which failed to properly test John Ruddy as the Swans began to dominate possession.

But Norwich came right back, former Millwall striker Morison initially turning provider for Pilkington who could only hit the ball into the side netting and then testing Michel Vorm out with a low drive.

Swansea were looking for a way back into the match but were unable to create any clear cut opportunities, Nathan Dyer in particular being guilty of lacking a quality final ball.

They were almost made to pay right before half time as Bennett's cross drifted over goalkeeper Michel Vorm and went over via the crossbar.

                 Flying high | Russell Martin grabs Norwich's second goal at Carrow Road

The Canaries started the second half in a similar vein to the first with Johnson heading wide from a corner and Morison troubling the entire Swansea backline with his pace, strength and touch.

The Swans only had a scuffed Sinclair effort to show for their efforts and made a change on the hour as Stephen Dobbie replaced Wayne Routledge.

The substitution failed to have the desired impact for the Swans as a Norwich corner fell to Johnson who was unable to shoot but prodded the ball to Pilkington who swivelled and put in his second of the game to restore Norwich's two-goal cushion.

Morison was forced off through injury shortly afterwards and was replaced by Norwich club captain, Grant Holt.

Sinclair was trying to take the game to Norwich, hitting another long-range effort but failing to hit the target as boss Rodgers showed a sign of intent by replacing Dyer with Leroy Lita.

Johnson hit an effort from the edge of the box straight at Vorm before being tested by a 25 yard drive from Holt which sent the Dutchman sprawling to his right to parry away.

The game's substitutions had slowed the tempo slightly which was playing into the hands of Swansea's possession game and they had a chance to grab a goal following Danny Graham's surging right-wing run but Dobbie's shot was blocked and his follow-up header drifted comfortably into Ruddy's arms.

Norwich were still looking to attack, however, and showed their own competence on the ball with a fine passing move finding Bennett who couldn't hit the target with his effort.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Norwich began to sit back and allow Swansea more and more of the ball, Rodgers' side were unable to create any substantial chances as they move down into the bottom half of the table.