West Brom hit back to beat Norwich and keep play-off hopes alive
West Brom kept their faint Championship play-off hopes alive by coming from behind to beat Norwich 2-1 at The Hawthorns and end the Canaries’ top-six aspirations.
Josh Sargent opened the scoring for David Wagner’s men in the 41st minute before Conor Townsend’s perfectly-executed free-kick levelled the scores before half-time.
Jed Wallace then fired in Albion’s winner in the 56th minute.
The opening 10 minutes was a tale of two glaring chances passed up – one at either end.
The visitors created the first opportunity, breaking on their hosts in slick fashion.
Christos Tzolis, who had earlier tested goalkeeper Alex Palmer, fed the ball into the feet of Sargent who, having escaped the attentions of Erik Pieters, bent a shot wide of a post.
Albion should made Norwich pay for that miss moments later.
John Swift slipped an intricate ball through for Brandon Thomas-Asante to latch on to, but, one on one with Angus Gunn, the striker could only fire his effort straight at the keeper.
Even though the match was effectively a play-off eliminator for both sides, there was plenty of good football on show and chances created at both ends.
West Brom, who had lost just one match at home since October, began to ask more questions of their opponents, Wallace dragging a shot just wide from distance before Semi Ajayi’s powerful header was turned over the bar by Gunn.
Wallace continued cause problems down Norwich’s left-hand side, but Jayson Molumby was unable to turn home either of his two excellent deliveries in quick succession.
Instead, it was Norwich who broke the deadlock.
Dimitris Giannoulis swept a pass into the path of Sargent, who this time made no mistake as he fizzed his low strike beneath Palmer.
West Brom replied immediately and impressively.
Karlan Grant was brought down on the edge of the Norwich area and Townsend stepped up to curl an effort beyond the outstretched arm of Gunn.
The home side were buoyed by that goal so late in the first half and carried their momentum into the second period.
Good work from Thomas-Asante down the left freed up Townsend on the overlap and his low delivery was turned home at the back post by Wallace.
Thomas-Asante was proving a problem for the Norwich defence and he almost added an audacious third.
His sharp turn just inside the Norwich half gave him the time to look up, see Gunn off his line and attempt the spectacular. His effort had Gunn back-pedalling, but the ball landed on the roof of the net.
Two proved enough for the Baggies, though, as they kept their play-off hopes alive.