Reading 1 Norwich City 2 report: Cameron Jerome's thumping header seals another excellent win for Canaries
PUBLISHED: 09:25 01 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:25 01 October 2017
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Cameron Jerome's first league goal of the season has maintained Norwich City's excellent Championship form, sealing a 2-1 win at Reading.
Jerome’s header from a James Maddison corner early in the second half put City back in the driving seat, after an early Maddison free-kick had been cancelled out by a Liam Moore header in the first half.
The success extends the unbeaten run of Daniel Farke’s team to seven matches and wrapped up a fourth successive away win in all competitions
Josh Murphy and Wes Hoolahan were the only two changes from the team which started Tuesday’s impressive 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, which Murphy missed due to ‘unprofessional’ preparation.
It was a flying start for the visitors, with James Maddison curling home a sublime free-kick in just the 10th minute. The youngster was chopped down on the edge of the D and fired the set-piece over the wall and into the top-left corner – for his second goal in two games.
City’s lead lasted less than three minutes though – bringing an end to a club-record run of five successive league clean sheets. That was due to centre-back Liam Moore heading home at the back post, beating Cameron Jerome to a whipped free-kick from the right from Sone Aluko, which left Angus Gunn stuck in No Man’s Land.
The Royal were very much up for the fight as they looked to put an end to a run of five games without a win in all competitions but it was Norwich who nearly struck the next blow.
Timm Klose played Jerome into the left channel in the 22nd minute and the striker beat the keeper with a scuffed shot, only to be denied his first league goal of the campaign as the ball bounced against the base of the far post.
The home fans were on their feet 11 minutes as Gareth McCleary wrestled past James Husband to reach a bouncing ball on the edge of the City area and lifted a shot over the on-rushing Gunn – only to see the ball drop the wrong side of the post.
The Canaries reclaimed the lead just eight minutes into the second half though, after James Husband and Murphy combined well to force a corner on the left. Maddison swung in the set-piece to the back post, where Jerome emerged unmarked to ram a header above Vito Mannone from close range.
Jaap Stam’s side began to get frustrated, with three players booked in the opening 22 minutes of the half. They did go close in the 69th minute, when right-back Chris Gunter clipped the cross bar with a powerful shot from the right of the area, as City were forced deeper.
The visitors cleared their lines desperately and kept Reading chances to a minimum, with Moore heading tamely wide from a Roy Beerens free-kick from the left in the 88th minute.
There was late drama however as substitute Marley Watkins, who had replaced the limping Josh Murphy in the 59th minute, stupidly lunged into a tackle on Gunter in the Reading area and was shown a straight red card – but City held out in a nervy climax.
It is the first time a Canaries team have won four away games on the spin since the early days of the Alex Neil era in February and March of 2015, when four away league games were won in succession.
Farke’s team now head into the international break on the back of a superb unbeaten September, returning to action on Saturday, September 14 when Hull City head to Carrow Road.
Norwich: Gunn; Pinto (C) Zimmermann, Klose, Husband; Tettey, Trybull; Hoolahan (Wildschut 84), Maddison (Reed 76), Murphy (Watkins 59); Jerome. Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Vrancic, Oliveira, Hanley.
Booked: Reed, foul on McShane (78)
Sent off: Watkins, dangerous tackle on Gunter (90+2)
Reading: Mannone; Gunter, McShane (C), Moore, Blackett (Richards 75); Van den Berg, Bacuna, Kelly; Beerens, McCleary (Barrow 75); Aluko (Böðvarsson 68). Unused subs: Jaakkola (GK), Edwards, Ilori, Clement.
Booked: Bacuna, foul on Murphy (6); Moore, foul on Jerome (56); Beerens, foul on Pinto (63); Van den Berg, foul on Maddison (66)
Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)