Norwich showed no signs of a repeat of the Newcastle game midweek, with Cameron Jerome grabbing an early goal before Robbie Brady helped City to secure all three points in the second half, only for Wolves to score a consolation goal in the final 10 minutes.
Having faced their second defeat of the season against Newcastle United in extra time on Wednesday after being unbeaten in five games, City came into the game looking to bounce back.
Having made several changes against the Magpies, Alex Neil welcomed back Wes Hoolahan and Timm Klose back into the lineup, with Jonny Howson and Sebastien Bassong dropping to the bench. Alex Pritchard returned to the bench having been absent in midweek, whilst Nelson Oliveria and Josh Murphy were on hand if the Scottish Manager should have required attacking options.
Hoping tradition would replicate results, they debuted the third kit inspired by City’s successful 1994 season and it seemed as though City fans would wish the kit on a few more games, as Norwich stepped up their performance against the Wanderers to ensure the journey home wouldn’t drag.
The Canaries got off to the better start as City hoped to bounce back to second place in the Championship, with early attacks coming in the form of City and soon resulting in Cameron Jerome getting on the end of a Hoolahan cross into the box in the second minute.
Twitter: GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLL! https://t.co/3FCy3xsR60 (@NorwichCityFC)
Positivity and confidence dominated City’s performance during the majority of the first half, with City coming close on more than a few occasions, including a Jacob Murphy shot testing Carl Ikeme in goal, as City players took to Molineux in their stride.
It was Hoolahan who looked to be the key piece in the game, having only been named as a substitute against Newcastle, it became clear the player was indeed the missing piece in the jigsaw for the Canaries
Attacks by their opponents were far and few between, with Wolves struggling to compose a break and retain possession, as City covered any sort of chance.
Times did get frustrating for the Canaries during the closing stages of the first half, with Wolves coming into their own and City being tested to see out the 45 minutes.
Twitter: HALF-TIME: Wolves 0-1 Norwich City. #ncfc https://t.co/My9V1hprrY (@NorwichCityFC)
The second half started in a different fashion with Ivan Cavaleiro seemingly the player Wolves looked to for any chance in getting back into the game.
But it was Joao Teixeira who looked the most likely to score in the early stages of the second half, having beaten two City players, retained possession despite a slipped and shooting wide.
From there on, the Canaries struggled to get the ball away from their own half, with play contrastingly different to the ease the team experienced in the first half.
When they eventually did break, it was at the hands of Alex Tettey who seemed to be a key piece in breaking up play and winning the ball, with Wes Hoolahan helping City edge closer to the second goal, whilst Cameron Jerome’s brace was not to be as his chance was ruled offside.
The substitute of Nouha Dicko in place of Joao Teixeira proved to be the most testing and pivotal moment of the game for the Canaries after the striker made his return after a lengthy period out injured.
Dicko forced his side to pressure the Canaries, with Wanderers going nearly level through the striker and Michael McGovern claiming important saves in nervy moments of the game, as the Canaries were caught out and usually let off as shots went astray.
Despite the likelihood of a Wolves goal around the 70th-minute mark and the openness the game had become, it was the Canaries who grabbed the second goal of the game as Robbie Brady’s effort from 20 yards out met with the top left corner of the net to push Norwich further away in the 73rd minute.
Twitter: GOOOOOOAAAALLLLL! BRADY! [Wol 0-2 Nor] #ncfc (@NorwichCityFC)
A Hoolahan counter attack proved not to be as a Wolves break saw Timm Klose become an ever-more reliable figure in City’s defence, showing what the team was missing in his absence against the Magpies.
However, a clean sheet was not to be for Alex Neil’s side as cleared crosses and a Wolves offside from an attack saw a mishap in communication between Ivo Pinto and Russell Martin, leading Matt Doherty’s ball to meet Dave Edwards, beating McGovern to see Wolves grab an 80th-minute free header.
Twitter: 80 – Goal for Wolves. [Wol 1-2 Nor] #ncfc (@NorwichCityFC)
From there on out, the game became the most open it could have been, with both teams pushing for the last minute goal to either secure the victory or nick the draw, which saw Alex Neil opt for a second striker in the shape of Nelson Oliveria to replace Hoolahan rather than the like-to-like swap of Alex Pritchard.
Despite this, Norwich were forced to play on the back foot in the closing stages, tackling Dicko to force a throw in, whilst McGovern saved any last minute chances from one of Wolves’ most likely goalscorers in Conor Coady, along with a very close chance for City’s opponents in the busy penalty box which was eventually cleared by Ryan Bennett and Graham Dorrans.
By the time the referee blew the full-time whistle after the five minutes additional time (and the minutes added through a McGovern injury), City had secured their seventh Championship win of the season, seeing them edge a point ahead of Newcastle and two points behind Huddersfield to enter second place in the league table, and certainly no repeat of the dying moments just days earlier.
Twitter: “Rise and rise again until lambs become lions” #tk15 #wewontstop #therearenoeasygames #instakräss #otbc https://t.co/ArZaw4j3mH (@TimmKlose15)