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Brighton & Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
December 22, 2012
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 25799
West Bromwich Albion
Z. Gera 44'
R. Lukaku 82'
R. Snodgrass 23'
West Brom record their first win in five matches after coming from behind against a Canaries side previously unbeaten in ten matches. The Canaries started the match the better of the two sides, taking the initiative in the first half and going ahead through Robert Snodgrass' free kick. Once going ahead however the Canaries seemed content to slow the tempo of the game down, despite the influential Snodgrass impressing when going forward on the counter and at set pieces. This may have been a deliberate plan from manager Chris Hughton, with his side lacking the understanding necessary to break through the opposing defence with the powerful but slow Steve Morison lacking the pace to penetrate the Baggies high back line. It however proved his undoing as the home side committed more and more players forward, equalising when Zoltan Gera followed up a set piece on the edge of half-time, then scoring the winner through Romelu Lukaku, who got close enough to head in the winner after the Canaries dropped deeper and deeper as the match went on. It was a battle between well-organised sides, but Steve Clarke will reap the benefits of his calculated risk going forward as Norwich console themselves with their achievement of a ten-match unbeaten run on the trip home.
90' + 5'
Norwich pour forward in search of an equaliser and win a last gasp free kick after Snodgrass wins a foul off Popov. The Scotland international's delivery is accurate but Bradley Johnson heads wide of the left post, and the referee blows the final whistle.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Goran Popov
90' + 3'
McAuley heads away a throw-in after previously shepherding the ball out of play. The Northern Ireland international has been impressive today.
90' + 2'
Norwich win a throw-in on the right flank and then a corner, with all their side forward. Keeper Ben Foster stays on his line but the defence are able to clear on their own.
90' + 1'
Goran Popov appears hurt following a challenge with Snodgrass, and as he eventually gets to his feet Norwich have lost the momentum they had.
Simeon Jackson meets Anthony Pilkington's cross in the box but heads wide of the right post.
Norwich belatedly introduce the pacey Simeon Jackson, who is quick enough to force West Brom to defend deeper up the park, but the Baggies move Gabriel Tamas into a back three as they look set to hold their lead for a win.
Norwich's winless league run looks to be coming to an end, and Steve Clarke will feel immense relief after his gamble succeeded. Lukaku's physical power overwhelmed Garrido in the air and with the Canaries' side sitting so deep the Belgian was able to head home from close range.
Gabriel Sebastian Tamaş
Snodgrass takes a free kick from the right flank and Russell Martin meets the delivery to head narrowly wide of the left post. Keeper Foster had it covered however.
Assist Goran Popov
Goal R. Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku heads in! Goran Popov crosses from deep on the left flank towards Lukaku who beats Garrido in the air to head past Mark Bunn from close range.
Fortune powers past his marker on the right byline, but is unable to find Lukaku with his pull-back.
West Brom are piling on the pressure, defending high up the pitch knowing full well that Steve Morison lacks the pace required to break past the back line on his own.
Olsson aims a long ball towards Long, but the ball runs out of play for a goal kick. Mark Bunn aims the delivery to Steve Morison who cushions the ball for his teammates allowing the Canaries a spell of possession to reduce pressure.
The ball reaches Lukaku on the left flank after a searching pass from Popov, and his low cross is cleared by Bassong.
Bunn takes a free kick long towards Morison, who in-turn concedes a free kick in the West Brom's half.
Bunn punches a cross clear and Snodgrass is forced to block a powerful Popov strike from the edge of the box.
Odemwingie proceeded to take the free kick and disappointingly blasts into the wall, to the apparent displeasure of captain Brunt.
Russell Martin puts Odemwingie's low cross out for a corner, with Lukaku waiting behind him for a finish. Bassong heads away the corner but Billy Jones receives the ball on the edge of the box before being fouled by Snodgrass. The home crowd gasp in expectation of a penalty but the foul occurred just outside the box, and Brunt stands over the ball.
West Brom string a series of passes along their back four as Norwich send a few players forward to press but keep most of their side further back. The Baggies successfully work the ball forward after good work from Brunt and Morrison, but Norwich clear. The Canaries are coming under pressure and appear content to play on the counter-attack at the moment.
Snodgrass carries the ball forward before crossing for McAuley to clear, and straight away Fortune looks to drive forward to launch a counter. Lukaku receives the ball on the left flank and crosses, and although Mark Bunn punches clear he is clattered in the process. The keeper is awarded a free kick but requires treatment in the aftermath. Steve Clarke looks to have set out to win this match with quick counter-attacks combined with physical play from his powerful forwards in the box, targeting the Canaries' reserve keeper.
Popov elegantly turns away from his marker on the left flank and passes to Odemwingie ahead of him, but the forward's low cross is cleared.
Steve Clarke brings on Shane Long in place of Zoltan Gera in a bold move. He now has four natural forwards on the pitch.
Morison holds the ball up near the right corner flag and does well to find right-back Russell Martin inside the right edge of the box, but the substitute's cross is deflected for a goal kick
Marc-Antoine aims in a low cross from the right flank but Norwich clear.
Odemwingie cuts inside from the left flank and shoots from well outside the box for keeper Bunn to catch. It was quite selfish from the forward, but he is well-capable of scoring a goal from a similar flash of inspiration closer to the goal.
Yellow Card Michael Turner
Chris Brunt swings in an excellent cross from a free-kick in the centre of the Norwich half, and McAuley rises unchallenged on the penalty spot to meet the delivery but is unable to adjust his body appropriately and heads over. Olsson just behind him appeared better placed but fell under pressure from Sebastien Bassong, and appeals unsuccessfully to the referee.
The Canaries' delivery is cleared, but Tettey finds Snodgrass in space on the right flank and the Scottish international aims a cross right onto the head of Michael Turner at the back post, but the centre-back heads wide of the left post.
James Morrison is dispossessed by a tackle from Alex Tettey, who promptly feeds a through ball to Steve Morison in the right channel before Gareth McAuley puts the ball out for a corner with an excellent sliding challenge.
Norwich are patiently keeping the ball in an attempt to draw West Brom towards them before looking for a long ball, but after Snodgrass receives a cross-field pass from Garrido he gives the ball away.
Snodgrass wins a free kick on the right flank after a foul from Goran Popov. Bradley Johnson wins the header but the ball bounces straight into Ben Foster's hands.
West Brom get the second half underway.
Steve Clarke brings on Marc-Antoine Fortune in place of midfielder Graham Dorrans. The Baggies have struggled in midfield against the Canaries' athletic duo of Alex Tettey and Bradley Johnson, and the move will likely yield a move for Morrison into midfield alongside Brunt, with Gera moving into the central attacking spot, and towards a strategy of finding the powerful front three of Odemwingie, Lukaku and Fortune more quickly.
Chris Teale at the Hawthorns: Half-time at the Hawthorns, and 1-1 is probably a fair reflection of a game in which both sides have cancelled each other out and been unable to mount much forward pressure. Norwich took the lead as Ben Foster palmed a Robert Snodgrass free kick into his own net, with Zoltan Gera equalising for the Baggies late in the half. Both sides will be hoping they can improve their attacking play in the second period as they search for a crucial win.
45' + 1'
The referee blows the half-time whistle.
Odemwingie twists into space on the left edge of the box and hits a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the right post with Mark Bunn unable to reach the effort as he dives.
Goal Zoltán Gera
West Brom equalise! Brunt's delivery is met by Olsson, who heads into the ground, and when the ball bounces up Mark Bunn is only able to tip it onto the bar as he falls to the ground under heavy pressure. Zoltan Gera follows up to tap in the equaliser.
Lukaku crosses from right right flank and Norwich concede a corner in clearing the delivery.
Steve Morison takes advantage of poor defending from right-back Billy Jones to advance into the left edge of the box before winning a corner. Centre-back Michael Turner heads into the ground but the referee deems him to have fouled his marker Jonas Olsson in the process and awards a free-kick accordingly.
RT @InfostradaLive: Robert Snodgrass has more Free Kick goals in league matches this season than Ronaldo (1) and Messi (1) combined.
Norwich clear a Goran Popov cross from the left flank and launch an attack quickly, but West Brom defend against the offensive.
Snodgrass neatly turns past his marker but is unable to find Morison with a through ball into the right channel.
Norwich keep the ball in their own half, drawing the Baggies out, before aiming a long ball to Steve Morison who successfully brings his teammates into play further up the pitch, but the Canaries' attack breaks down.
The linesman controversially awards West Brom a corner after Whittaker is deemed to have knocked the ball out of play, but the delivery flies harmlessly over the crowded box.
West Brom have managed more possession since conceding a goal, but the most profitable route of attacks has been James Morrison's neat touch and vision in between the lines. He received the ball from the midfielders behind him and quickly looked for Lukaku but the Norwich defence remained firm.
Popov strikes a fierce shot from outside the left edge of the box with his left foot, but the shot flies over the bar.
Chris Brunt flights an excellent corner from the right flank and after Jonas Olsson fails to get his head on the ball, his fellow centre-back Gareth McAuley gets an opportunity to equalise but is unable to adjust his feet in time to take the opportunity and the ball awkwardly comes off his midriff into the arms of keeper Mark Bunn.
Left-back Garrido gives away a corner after he is pressured by Lukaku chasing a long ball.
Zoltan Gera fouls Bradley Johnson as he attempts to win possession following a loose pass.
Chris Teale Live at The Hawthorns: Ben Foster will be very disappointed with that. Robert Snodgrass hits a free kick from about 25 yards out that the former England goalkeeper can only palm into the net, giving the Canaries the lead after 23 minutes.
Goal Robert Snodgrass
Robert Snodgrass scores the free-kick! He curves a powerful shot over the wall and towards the top right corner with his left foot, and although Foster gets a hand to the ball he is unable to contain the effort. The goalkeeper will be unhappy at failing to stop the free-kick, but Odemwingie will also come in for criticism after giving away the foul.
Odemwingie gives a free-kick away on the right edge of the box for a foul on Robert Snodgrass. It doesn't look like a good idea as Anthony Pilkington and Snodgrass stand over the ball.
Chris Teale Live at The Hawthorns: It's taken until the 21st minute for either side to create a genuine chance, and it fell to West Brom. James Morrison played the ball early into Romelu Lukaku, who shakes off Michael Turner and fires a shot that is well saved low to his right by Mark Bunn. Both teams have cancelled each other out for much of this game, but that might be the start of some momentum for the home side.
Lukaku gets the first sight of goal as James Morrison receives the ball in between the lines on the edge of the box and neatly turns placing a perfect through ball into the right channel. Lukaku shoots powerfully with his weaker right foot at goal forcing a save from Ben Foster diving low to his right.
Each side is keeping the ball on the pitch and attempting to hang on to possession save the occasional long ball, but neither is committing players forward in numbers and the game has got off to a slow start.
Bradley Johnson shoots well over the bar after left-back Javier Garrido rolls the ball into his path from the left flank.
Morrison spreads the ball out to Odemwingie on the left flank, but right-back Steven Whittaker wins the ball in a one-on-one situation after the forward is unable to get past him.
West Brom's James Morrison receives the ball on the edge of the box but is forced back as the Baggies turn to enjoy possession. Morrison has been moved back forward into his preferred role behind the striker, with Chris Brunt and Graham Dorrans behind him in the centre of the park. The move ends when left-back Goran Popov is unable to accurately deliver his cross into the box and it is cut out.
Snodgrass brings his side's spell of possession to an end with a poor cross from deep into the box that is hit far over the head of Steve Morison.
Morison aims a neat pass to Snodgrass on the right flank and runs into the box hoping to receive a cross in return, but the Scotsman looks back amid West Brom's pressure, and the Canaries continue to hold onto the ball in the centre of the park to continue a confident opening.
Steve Morison briefly heads off the pitch to remove his undershirt. It goes to show the temperature is surprisingly mild for this time of year.
West Brom aim a long ball towards Lukaku but the delivery is wayward.
Peter Odemwingie attempts to counter-attack after his defence clear a Norwich free-kick, but the Nigerian, left out of his country's provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, hangs onto the ball for too long and wastes the opportunity.
Romelu Lukaku is unfortunate to be called offside as he attempts to reach a long ball into the left channel. Chris Hughton's side have proven to be highly organised in defence throughout their ten-match run unbeaten, and they will have to be if they continue with such a high line at the back.
Foster is again called into action after the Baggies defence fail to clear a long ball and Robert Snodgrass gets the opportunity to shoot at goal from the right edge of the area, forcing a save from the goalkeeper.
Ben Foster is clattered by target-man Steve Morison as he nervily attempts to catch an Anthony Pilkington cross.
Left-back Goran Popov aims a cross from deep on the left flank onto the head of Romelu Lukaku, who heads narrowly wide of the top right corner from near the edge of the box.
Norwich kick off at the Hawthorns and the ball promptly finds its way to Ben Foster in goal, who looks long for lone striker Romelu Lukaku, given a rare start with regular Shane Long on the bench.
The two teams trot out onto the pitch to Faithless' Insomnia and begin the pre-match hand-shake routine. West Brom have failed to record a win in four league games and have suffered injuries to both halves of their midfield pivot Youssuf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob, but the Canaries have gone ten matches unbeaten and will be full of confidence.
Chris Teale Live at The Hawthorns: Norwich make one change to the side that beat Wigan last time out, with Steve Morison replacing the injured Grant Holt alone up front. Wes Hoolahan will captain the Canaries, who also welcome Tottenham loanee Harry Kane back to the bench after recovering from a metatarsal injury.
Chris Teale Live at The Hawthorns: The teams are in, with the home side’s goalkeeper Ben Foster making his first appearance since November 5 after recovering from a groin injury. The former England international replaces Boaz Myhill between the sticks. Elsewhere, the Baggies bring in Romelu Lukaku alone up front in place of Shane Long and Graham Dorrans in central midfield in place of Youssouf Mulumbu, whose suspension added to the injury crisis facing Steve Clarke with Claudio Yacob and Steven Reid both injured.
Norwich: Bunn; Whittaker, Bassong, Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington; Hoolahan, Morison. Subs: Steer, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Elliott Bennett, Barnett, Kane.
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Morrison, Dorrans; , Odemwingie, Gera, Brunt; Lukaku. Subs: Myhill, Ridgewell, Rosenberg, Long, Jara, Tamas, Fortune.
Hi and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary as West Brom take on Norwich at the Hawthorns. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through the events. You can make your voice heard on Twitter @GoalUK.
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