West Bromwich Albion's struggles continue. Having been beaten by Manchester City in midweek -- an excusable hiccup -- the Baggies were undone by another City in a game they should really have won. They dominated against Norwich, putting them on the back foot all match, but goals in each half meant a 2-0 loss that's sure to leave Steve Clarke ruing his luck.
The Canaries grabbed the lead against the run of play. West Brom had done all of the attacking, but a lucky bounce put them behind as Leroy Fer's through ball taking a nick of Gareth McCauley and thus falling perfectly for Gary Hooper. The former Celtic man was in plenty of space just outside the box, and his first-time shot flashed across Boaz Myhill and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The hosts replied immediately, but a pair of free headers by Youssuf Mulumbu and Victor Anichebe were hit straight at John Ruddy when they should have tested the Norwich goalkeeper. Anichebe then came somewhat closer with a blistering effort from the edge of the area, which would have screamed its way into the top corner had Ruddy not punched behind.
The Baggies made a positive change at halftime, hauling off Liam Ridgewell and Morgan Amalfitano for Shane Long and Saido Berehino, and it should have paid off straight away. Matin Olsson cleared a header off the line, but Stephane Sessegnon seized upon the rebound only to see his shot blocked by Olsson's arm. Mark Clattenberg wasn't interested in the hosts' penalty claims, but it's a bit of a mystery as to why.
Sessegnon was then denied by Ruddy after a poor clearance from Martin presented him with an easy opportunity, and Long failed to get any power on his shot in similar circumstances minutes later. The pattern continued for most of the half, with the hosts pouring on an absurd amount of pressure only to be turned aside by Norwich or be undone by a lack of quality at the last minute.
And then, with time running out, Fer sealed West Brom's fate with a precise shot after being given too much space.
West Bromwich Albion starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Liam Ridgewell (Shane Long 45'), Diego Lugano, Gareth McAuley, Billy Jones; Youssuf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacub; Chris Brunt, Stephane Sessegnon, Morgan Amalfitano (Saido Berehino 45'); Victor Anichebe.
Norwich City starting lineup (4-4-2): John Ruddy; Martin Olsson, Sebastian Bassong, Michael Turner, Steven Whittaker; Leroy Fer, Bradley Johnson, Jonathan Howson, Nathan Redmond; Gary Hooper, Johan Elmander.
Goals: Hooper 13', Fer 89'.