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Norwich City 3 Albion 0

23 September 2015

Scoreline fails to reflect Albion's effort

ALBION were knocked out of the Capital One Cup as a result of three second-half Norwich City goals.

Matt Jarvis and a double from Kyle Lafferty ensured Norwich City's progress in a game that was more even than the three-goal difference suggested.

Norwich were the brighter side before the break but Albion started the second half with more energy and intent, only to be suckered by a breakaway goal converted by Jarvis.

Lafferty netted twice  - both times Albion were searching for an equaliser.

Making his Albion debut was Anders Lindegaard, the recent signing from Manchester United. He was one of 10 changes for the visitors, with Norwich naming making eight of their own.

It was a low-key opening for both sides with Norwich shifting through the gears with a little more urgency than the visitors, yet Albion had their moments. Sessegnon teased past two yellow shirts only to lose his footing as he looked to deliver a low pass into the path of Gnabry. Norwich escaped on that occasion.

Yet it was Norwich who were close to the opener. Gary O'Neil's low 20-yard took a sturdy deflection, wrong-footing Lindegaard but bouncing against the post. Ryan Bennett was the quickest to react, only to plant his close-range shot wide. 

Albion reshuffled their pack. Chester moved from right-back into a position just in front of the defence, with Cristian Gamboa moving to full-back. Albion's best move came late on in the half when Pocognoli rode two challenges only to overcook his final left-wing cross. Sessegnon stretched, but the ball was cleared.

The Baggies were to see the whites of the Norwich goalframe within the opening two minutes of the second-half. Gamboa surged down the right. His cross looked bound for a well-placed Lambert to nod goalwards, only for Bennett to leap out and claim the ball.

Gardner, meanwhile, wasn't far away himself seconds later. Norwich failed to clear adequately and in the subsequent passage of play Albion's midfielder struck a left-footed effort which flew to the right of Rudd's right-hand post. And then it was Lambert's turn to assist his colleagues - his left-wing ball, just failing to reach Gamboa at the far post.

The breakthrough came on 62 minutes. Matt Jarvis peeled away into space on the left-hand side. The angle looked too optimistic for a strike on goal, yet the winger thumped a shot past Lindegaard's outstretched hand into the roof of the net. 

That goal came very much against the run of play.

Albion threw on all three substitutes during the final period of the game, with 16-year-old Jonathan Leko coming on for his debut. It was Lambert who was to go close for Albion. His strong effort was well saved by Rudd and came just moments after McClean was denied a great chance thanks to a strong last-ditch tackle by Bennett.

The game was effectively over with just five minutes remaining. Lafferty peeled away from Albion's back-line and drove a low-shot past Lindegaard's outstretched left-hand.

Laffterty made it three from close range in the final minute.

NORWICH: Rudd; Wisdom, R Bennett, Bassong, M Olsson; E Bennett, Dorrans, O'Neil (c), Jarvis; Grabban (Hoolaham 59); Mbokani (Lafferty 76). Subs: Kean (GK), Whittaker, Howson, Toffolo, Redmond. 
Goals: Jarvis (62), Lafferty (85, 89)

ALBION: Lindegaard, Chester, Dawson, J Olsson (C), Pocognoli, Gamboa, Anichebe (McClean 77), Gardner, Sessegnon (Leko 77), Lambert, Gnabry (McManaman 68). Subs: Rose (GK), Ward, Edwards, Donnellan.

Bookings: Gardner (foul 54), Chester (foul 69)

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Albion Man of the Match: Gardner

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