English Premiership

Brady ends Norwich's barren run

soccer ball (File)
soccer ball (File)

London - Robbie Brady boosted Norwich's fight for Premier League survival as the winger sealed a crucial 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion that lifted his side out of the relegation zone on Saturday.

Brady's strike early in the second half at the Hawthorns ended Norwich's barren run of 10 league games without a victory as they celebrated three points for the first time since January 2.

Alex Neil's side move above Sunderland into 17th place and they are three points clear of the bottom three, although the Black Cats would plunge Norwich back into the relegation zone if they win the Tyne-Wear derby at Newcastle on Sunday.

Albion were unbeaten in their previous four league games, including a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in their last outing.

But Tony Pulis's team went into the match holding the unwanted distinction of having fewer shots on target than any other top-flight side this season and once again they badly lacked a cutting edge.

Albion were gifted an early chance to increase their tally in the early stages when Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy miscued a clearance straight to Salomon Rondon.

But the Albion striker had to stretch to reach the ball and couldn't get his shot away before Norwich scrambled back to clear.

Ruddy was a bundle of nerves and he made a hash of punching a corner clear, allowing Albion midfielder Claudio Yacob to fire just over from the edge of the penalty area.

After a lacklustre start, Norwich finally showed signs of life in attack when Patrick Bamford and Dieumerci Mbokani combined to set up Brady, whose 20-yard strike flew over the crossbar.

A low quality half reached its nadir when Gary O'Neil's careless pass presented Stephane Sessegnon with a chance to gallop clear on goal, but the Albion winger completely lost his composure as he lashed hurriedly wide.

Neither side managed a shot on target in the first half, but Norwich took the lead with their first opportunity five minutes after the interval.

Matt Jarvis swung and missed when he tried to take a shot from Mbokani's knock down, but Republic of Ireland international Brady followed up to slam his strike past Ben Foster.

Although Norwich hadn't kept a clean sheet away from home all season, their defence looked much improved in a 0-0 home draw with Manchester City last weekend.

They built on that promising effort with another obdurate rearguard action to easily frustrate Albion and secure a priceless result.

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