Premier League
NorwichNorwich City2SouthamptonSouthampton1

Norwich City 2-1 Southampton: Canaries fight back to earn victory in Dean Smith's first game

By Harry PooleBBC Sport
Grant Hanley scores the winner for Norwich
Dean Smith is the first manager to take charge of successive Premier League matches against the same opponent

Norwich City fought back to clinch a first home Premier League win of the season against Southampton in Dean Smith's first game in charge.

Captain Grant Hanley headed in a late winner from Billy Gilmour's corner as the Canaries, who climb off the foot of the table to 19th, recorded successive top-flight wins for the first time since 2016.

Former Aston Villa boss Smith suffered the worst possible start to his Norwich tenure when Saints striker Che Adams found the bottom corner after only four minutes at Carrow Road.

However, the hosts were level three minutes later as Teemu Pukki headed in Max Aarons' cross at the near post.

The equaliser was Norwich's sole attempt in an otherwise entirely one-sided first half. A dominant Saints registered 12 shots on goal but Adams was denied by Tim Krul at close range with the visitors' best chance shortly before half-time.

Smith's men were much improved following the interval, Milot Rashica forcing Alex McCarthy into action while the Saints goalkeeper sprang to his near post to deny Pukki a fine solo goal with 15 minutes remaining.

He was unable to reach Hanley's header, though, and Southampton remain 13th in the table after Norwich survived late pressure to secure a winning start to Smith's reign.

"Winning two on the spin is hard to do and coming from behind is hard to do, so this should build on the belief gained from the Brentford game," Smith said.

"We know how hard the Premier League is and when you have home advantage and the supporters behind you, like they were today, it is really important.

"We want to make this a tough place to come, win, lose or draw. Whenever a team leaves, they have to say this was a tough place to come."

Smith enjoys winning start in bid for survival

Norwich 2-1 Southampton: Dean Smith pleased with Canaries win

A mere eight days separated the end of Smith's three-year spell at Aston Villa on 7 November and his appointment as manager of Norwich during the international break.

The struggling Canaries acted swiftly to replace the dismissed Daniel Farke, whose own reign ended with a morale-boosting first league win of the season to offer his successor suitable encouragement that survival can be attained.

Indeed, Smith insisted he had not taken a "risk" in assuming control of a club with five points - effectively six points from safety - after 11 games.

The former Walsall and Brentford manager's first task was to end Norwich's 10-game winless home run in the top flight, but Adam's well-taken opener made that aim substantially tougher for a side which had lost their previous 33 Premier League matches when conceding first.

Norwich City 2-1 Southampton: Ralph Hasenhuttl disappointed with defeat

Mohamed Elyounoussi, Kyle Walker-Peters and Adam Armstrong each saw strikes repelled by resolute Canaries defending and - after Ibrahima Diallo had robbed Hanley of possession - Krul came to the hosts' rescue when Adams broke clear before the break.

Aiming to win three successive league matches for the first time since November 2020, Southampton had hit form prior to the two-week break but failed to replicate their first-half display.

The hosts still had to hold their nerve in the closing stages and Theo Walcott's header flew narrowly wide in stoppage time, but it was ultimately a second-half performance that will fill Smith with optimism at the beginning of his new challenge.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said: "We had a fantastic first half and we must kill them. Dominating is not enough against a team trying to find their rhythm.

"We must score more than once and it was clear the longer the game goes with the crowd, the new manager, it is normal they put you on the back foot. This is where you have to take the point and that is why I am disappointed."

Player of the match

GilmourBilly Gilmour

with an average of 8.49

Norwich City

  1. Squad number8Player nameGilmour
    Average rating

    8.49

  2. Squad number5Player nameHanley
    Average rating

    7.58

  3. Squad number22Player namePukki
    Average rating

    7.53

  4. Squad number24Player nameSargent
    Average rating

    7.30

  5. Squad number23Player nameMcLean
    Average rating

    7.08

  6. Squad number2Player nameAarons
    Average rating

    7.03

  7. Squad number16Player nameNormann
    Average rating

    7.03

  8. Squad number18Player nameTzolis
    Average rating

    7.00

  9. Squad number17Player nameRashica
    Average rating

    6.95

  10. Squad number7Player nameRupp
    Average rating

    6.87

  11. Squad number21Player nameWilliams
    Average rating

    6.78

  12. Squad number1Player nameKrul
    Average rating

    6.78

  13. Squad number14Player nameCantwell
    Average rating

    6.35

  14. Squad number4Player nameGibson
    Average rating

    6.12

Southampton

  1. Squad number10Player nameAdams
    Average rating

    7.46

  2. Squad number9Player nameA Armstrong
    Average rating

    6.62

  3. Squad number21Player nameLivramento
    Average rating

    6.58

  4. Squad number6Player nameOriol Romeu
    Average rating

    6.21

  5. Squad number2Player nameWalker-Peters
    Average rating

    6.10

  6. Squad number22Player nameSalisu
    Average rating

    6.03

  7. Squad number24Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    6.02

  8. Squad number35Player nameBednarek
    Average rating

    5.96

  9. Squad number27Player nameDiallo
    Average rating

    5.95

  10. Squad number8Player nameWard-Prowse
    Average rating

    5.83

  11. Squad number18Player nameBroja
    Average rating

    5.22

  12. Squad number1Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    5.19

  13. Squad number4Player nameLyanco
    Average rating

    4.69

  14. Squad number32Player nameWalcott
    Average rating

    3.88

Line-ups

Norwich

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1KrulBooked at 90mins
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 4Gibson
  • 21WilliamsBooked at 64mins
  • 8GilmourSubstituted forRuppat 86'minutes
  • 16NormannBooked at 90mins
  • 23McLean
  • 17RashicaSubstituted forTzolisat 90'minutes
  • 22Pukki
  • 14CantwellSubstituted forSargentat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Rupp
  • 11Placheta
  • 18Tzolis
  • 20Lees-Melou
  • 24Sargent
  • 28Gunn
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 35Idah
  • 44Omobamidele

Southampton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1McCarthy
  • 21Livramento
  • 35BednarekBooked at 64mins
  • 22Salisu
  • 2Walker-PetersBooked at 71mins
  • 27Diallo
  • 8Ward-Prowse
  • 6RomeuSubstituted forLyancoat 73'minutes
  • 24ElyounoussiSubstituted forBrojaat 57'minutes
  • 9A Armstrong
  • 10AdamsSubstituted forWalcottat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Lyanco
  • 7Long
  • 15Perraud
  • 18Broja
  • 20Smallbone
  • 23Tella
  • 32Walcott
  • 43Valery
  • 44Forster
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
26,885

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home8
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Norwich City 2, Southampton 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Norwich City 2, Southampton 1.

  3. Booking

    Mathias Normann (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Armando Broja (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mathias Normann (Norwich City).

  6. Booking

    Tim Krul (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Christos Tzolis replaces Milot Rashica.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adam Armstrong (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Max Aarons.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jan Bednarek (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Lukas Rupp replaces Billy Gilmour.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adam Armstrong (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Walker-Peters with a headed pass.

  16. Post update

    Jan Bednarek (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Milot Rashica (Norwich City).

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Norwich City 2, Southampton 1. Grant Hanley (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Billy Gilmour with a cross following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Jan Bednarek.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

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