WBA vs. Norwich City: Final score 2-1, Lukaku ends Canaries' unbeaten streak

Michael Regan

Romelu Lukaku powered West Bromwich Albion above parent side Chelsea with a late winner against Norwich City. The Canaries were riding a long unbeaten streak and had earned a surprising lead through Robert Snodgrass, but the Baggies struck back at the stroke of halftime before the on-loan Lukaku headed them towards a huge three points at the Hawthorns.

WBA were asking most of the questions early, with Lukaku at the centre of most of their attacking play. The big striker, however, failed to make the most of his early chances, nodding well over Mark Bunn's bar during the opening exchanges then seeing a scuffed shot easily saved by the Norwich backup keeper. And immediately after that second effort, the visitors struck.

It was, in fairness to Ben Foster, a brilliant free kick from Robert Snodgrass, hammered over the wall and bent into the corner. However, it also went in off Foster's hands, and after doing superbly to even get to the ball the keeper should have done better than simply helping it into the back of the net.

And now that Norwich were ahead, West Brom were starting to look a bit stodgey. The hosts had issues pushing the ball up to Lukaku, mostly because the Canaries were content to sit back and clog up the midfield in hopes of protecting their lead. Fortunately for Steve Clarke (and anyone interested in watching the match), Zoltan Gera hauled the Baggies level in the 43rd minute.

Bunn might have done better on the corner -- he was only able to touch Jonas Olsson's bouncing header onto the crossbar, perhaps due to some interference from Peter Odemwingie -- but Gera was in the right place at the right time to hook the loose ball in for the equaliser before being clattered by the onrushing Lukaku.

After the break, West Brom continued to look the more likely, but Norwich were defending well and Clarke was eventually forced to add Shane Long to the mix. The gamble didn't look like paying off until the 82nd minute, when Goran Popov spotted Lukaku isolated against Javier Garrido in the box, played in an inch-perfect diagonal, and was rewarded with the sight of the big Belgian powering a header past Bunn and in for a hard-fought winner.

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