Norwich City ended a five-match winless run with a 2-1 victory over struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers at Carrow Road. Grant Holt scored two goals, the second coming from the penalty spot, and was later sent off for a needless foul on Michael Kightly that earned him a second yellow card. Despite some late Wolves pressure, Paul Lambert’s team held on to secure a deserved, if ultimately narrow, win.
Lambert employed a 3-5-2 formation in the first half, with Simon Lappin making just his second Premier League appearance of the season at wing-back, but switched back to his preferred 4-4-2 diamond at the break.
The Canaries led 2-1 at half-time, but seemed uneasy at times in their new setup and the performances of midfielders Jonny Howson and Wes Hoolahan markedly improved after the break. Holt enhanced his growing reputation as a Premier League striker by cancelling out Matt Jarvis’ opener within 90 seconds of the Wolves winger giving the visitors the lead.
The striker latched on to Simeon Jackson’s pass, lobbing the bouncing ball over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and followed it up with a header into the empty net. Holt then doubled his tally from the spot after Eggert Jonsson blocked Hoolahan’s shot with his arm. Aside from Holt’s red card, the only real sour note on the afternoon for City came in the form of a spat between goalkeeper John Ruddy and defender Elliott Ward in the first half. Ward took issue with a few choice words offered by Ruddy following a Wolves attack, but the defender’s reaction was not well-received by the supporters behind the goal in the Barclay Stand.
Lambert had insisted that he had remained happy with his players’ performances despite their difficult run, maintaining his view that City deserved more from their match against Newcastle United last weekend, which they lost 1-0. Norwich, in 11th, are just a point behind eighth place Sunderland, but Lambert continues to focus on securing Premier League survival. This victory leaves his side requiring just a single draw to reach the coveted 40-point mark.