Norwich City 2, Swansea City 3
David Cuffley Three Swansea goals in the space of five disastrous minutes sent Norwich City crashing to their third home defeat of the season - and further into trouble at the wrong end of the Championship table.
Three Swansea goals in the space of five disastrous minutes sent Norwich City crashing to their third home defeat of the season - and further into trouble at the wrong end of the Championship table.
Italian striker Arturo Lupoli, starting a first team match for the first time since mid-September, gave the Canaries the lead with his fourth goal of the season and his first at Carrow Road after 28 minutes as the hosts generally had the better of the first half.
But after one narrow escape when Swansea defender Ashley Williams had a goal disallowed, the visitors drew level two minutes before the break when Jason Scotland scored from a cross by Angel Rangel.
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City then made a catastrophic start to the second half by conceding two goals in the first three minutes.
First Darren Pratley scored with a header from a corner by Jordi Gomez, and then a clever back heel by Gomez set up Ferrie Bodde to make it 3-1 with a cool finish.
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An own goal by Rangel gave the Canaries fresh hope on the hour but they were unable to salvage even a point from the contest and with four of the next six games away from home, it could be another winter of discontent for City and manager Glenn Roeder.
The City starting line-up showed four changes from last week's 2-2 draw against Preston.
With centre half Dejan Stefanovic ruled out for the rest of the season with ankle ligament damage, Gary Doherty continued at centre back after coming on as an early substitute.
Antoine Sibierski was sidelined after having an injection in a knee injury and his place in attack went to Arturo Lupoli, starting a first team match for the first time in more than eight weeks.
Mark Fotheringham returned in midfield as skipper with Darel Russell starting a three match ban for his red card against Preston.
There was one more change with winger Lee Croft said to be under the weather and Matty Pattison returning in one of the wide positions.
Elliott Omozusi, ruled out last week by a hamstring problem, was named among the substitutes.
Swansea boss Roberto Martinez made eight changes in midweek for the Carling Cup defeat by Watford, but returned to his favoured Championship line-up against the Canaries by naming the same 11 who beat Watford 3-1 last Saturday.
Midfielder Leon Britton managed to shake off a back problem to keep his place.
Swansea kicked off, defending the Barclay goal, and had their first shot at goal inside eight seconds. It was Scotland who let fly left footed, from around 35-yards and his shot was not too far over the crossbar.
Bell, starting on the left again, tried to squeeze in a cross as City pushed forward but it took a deflection off Rangel, which took the pace off the ball, and goalkeeper Konstantopoulos gathered it easily.
It was a lively start and when Williams fouled Lupoli, City were awarded a free-kick wide on the right. Bell took it and Lupoli rose to glance a header just off target.
Another free-kick, given for a foul on Pattison, was taken by Otsemobor but this time Rangel managed to head clear.
Swansea won a free-kick when Bertrand fouled Gomez on the halfway line. It came to nothing, but still the Swans pushed forward and Pratley wasted one opportunity to cross from the right by dithering too long and his centre was cut out.
In the ninth minute, Bodde fouled Lupoli and a quick free-kick found its way to Otsemobor on the right, with Lita heading just over the top from the full back's cross.
Pratley was penalised for a foul on Lupoli, although this time the Swansea man seemed a bit unfortunate, and Lupoli again headed just off target from the resulting free-kick by Bell.
A good interception by Fotheringham halfway into the Swansea half gave him time to set up a right foot shot, which was well struck but Konstantopoulos was right behind it.
After 13 minutes there was yet another free-kick for Norwich when Gower fouled Pattison, but the Swansea man came off worse and needed attention before the game could resume. From the free-kick, taken by Bell, Lita had a free header and might have done better than head over the top from little more than six-yards out.
A diagonal pass from Fotheringham then sent Pattison away on the right but in trying to get past Bessone, he stumbled and ran the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Lita showed some neat footwork before firing in a cross of his own from close to the left corner flag, but Fotheringham was unable to get out of the way and merely diverted it out for another goal kick.
With 20 minutes gone, Gower set off on a twisting run and forced Otsemobor to concede the first corner of the match.
From the kick, the ball was cleared as far as Bodde, whose low shot deflected off Kennedy for another corner. This time, the flag kick was a poor one and was cleared before it reached the near post.
A late challenge by Kennedy on Gomez gave Swansea another free-kick 10-yards into the Norwich half. The ball eventually found its way to Bodde and his centre across the six-yard box had to be cleared by Otsemobor for another corner.
Marshall punched clear from Gower's corner and City were soon on the counterattack with Lupoli picking up a neat header by Lita and letting fly with a left foot shot which cleared the angle of post and crossbar, although he may have done better to have looked for Pattison, who was moving into the penalty area.
Norwich were putting some good moves together and after a cross from Bell flashed across the six-yard box, Pattison played Lita into a shooting position with an excellent ball, but the striker shot straight at the keeper.
With 28 minutes gone, the Canaries finally got the goal they deserved with Lupoli scoring for the fourth time this season and the first time at Carrow Road. Lita started the move when he found Pattison and he in turn picked out Fotheringham but as the skipper was challenged by Williams, the ball broke free for Lupoli to drill home a low right foot shot.
City came close to making it 2-0 but an excellent challenge by Williams denied Lita as he moved onto a through ball from Pattison.
It was all Norwich and Otsemobor played a lovely one-two with Pattison inside the Swansea area, only for his low centre to be cut out by the overworked Williams.
Swansea won another corner 10 minutes before the break when Gower's shot took a deflection off Doherty.
Gower took the kick and with Marshall impeded by Scotland, Otsemobor headed clear but Swansea retained possession and Marshall made a brilliant save from Gomez, tipping over his powerful drive for another corner.
This time, Swansea had the ball in the net from the flag kick when Williams hooked the ball home from six-yards, but assistant referee Amy Rayner flagged for offside against Scotland, who was standing close to the line.
Referee Hegley had to step in when Bodde reacted angrily to a challenge from Fotheringham on the halfway line. Moments later, Gomez tried to play Scotland through but the striker was again ruled offside.
Lita spoiled one promising move when he ran into Rangel in trying to take on one man too many.
Two minutes before the break, there was a nasty shock for City when Swansea equalised through Scotland. Rangel was sent away on the right and crossed low into the six-yard box, where the unmarked Scotland slid in to knock the ball home from about three-yards out.
The Canaries almost regained the lead a minute later, however, when Pattison set off on a long run and was desperately unlucky to see his curling left foot shot rebound off the inside of the post with Konstantopoulos completely beaten. Pattison, on the anniversary of his Norwich debut, was still waiting for his first goal for the club, but suffered wretched luck this time.
t Half-time: Norwich City 1, Swansea City 1
Swansea won a corner, conceded by Bertrand, in the opening minute of the second half. It was bad news for the Canaries when Pratley gave the visitors the lead from the flag kick. Gomez took an in-swinging corner and Pratley flicked it on with the back of his head, with the ball taking a slight deflection off Bell on its way past Marshall.
Things went from bad to worse for City when Bodde made it 3-1 just two minutes later. A clever back heel by Gomez set up Bodde and he produced a cool finish by tucking a right foot shot just inside the post with no real hint of a challenge from the home defence. There was immediately a chorus of boos from the home crowd in reaction to this double shock.
It almost became 4-1 in the 51st minute when Gomez created space for a powerful shot which whizzed past Marshall's left hand post.
Britton suffered a bang in the face from Lita's raised boot just inside the Swansea half but he was soon able to continue.
Swansea were well on top now and Lupoli conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area with a trip on Gomez. Monk got his head to the free-kick by Bodde but he was unable to make clean contact and his effort drifted wide.
Pratley was next to get in a shot from Bodde's pass but he was crowded out and his effort squirted wide of the target.
Swansea were visibly lifted by those two goals in as many minutes and were giving Norwich a bit of a run around at this stage.
The Canaries were handed an unlikely lifeline on the hour when an own goal reduced the arrears. Pattison battled well to find Fotheringham and when the skipper tried to thread the ball into the Swansea area, Rangel appeared to be the man to divert his pass past his own keeper.
It was Fotheringham's last involvement in the match because one minute later, he was replaced by Hoolahan, with Doherty taking the captain's armband.
Hoolahan took up a position on the right with Pattison switching to the centre of midfield alongside Clingan.
A cross by Bell was headed away by Williams as Norwich looked for the equaliser but only as far as Hoolahan, who produced a curling shot but straight at Konstantopoulos.
After 66 minutes, goal scorer Lupoli was withdrawn and Cureton was sent on to try to end his goal scoring drought stretching back to March.
Doherty came to the rescue for City by cutting out a cross from Bessone after the fullback had nipped past Pattison, but it was at the expense of a corner. Swansea took a short corner and after playing the ball across the edge of the area, Rangel struck a low drive which was deflected for another flag kick. Marshall palmed away Monk's header in a packed six-yard box as City again came under pressure.
The Canaries went close with 20 minutes left when Hoolahan showed excellent control in the Swansea area before rolling a cross towards Bell but the winger's shot was blocked as Swansea defended in numbers.
Bodde was shown the first yellow card of the afternoon for a foul on Bertrand.
With rain now sweeping across the ground, Lita jumped to nod on a long kick from Marshall but it was just too strong for Cureton to get on the end of it.
Swansea won another corner when Rangel weaved his way into the area and his left foot shot was deflected behind by Doherty. Gower and Bodde played a short corner routine but Gower's attempt to cross fell behind the goal.
Otsemobor blocked a shot from Gower in an uncomfortable place as the visitors threatened again and then it was time for Swansea to make their first change of the afternoon when Pintado replaced Gower.
A clearance by Williams gave City their fourth corner but it was a very poor delivery from Bell and Bodde headed clear with the ball failing to reach the near post.
Doherty got forward to good effect when he found Otsemobor close to the right corner flag, but the fullback's cross was cut out and another opportunity went begging.
With six minutes left, City had another corner on the right, with Monk heading clear from Bell's kick and the ball dropping to Clingan, but the midfielder completely miss-kicked as he tried to line up a shot from just outside the area.
There was one opening when Hoolahan and Cureton combined neatly to find Doherty in space on the right but as his low cross reached Cureton, the striker miss-kicked and his shot looped into the air for Konstantopoulos to gather it under the bar.
Kennedy was forced to concede a corner as the visitors threatened again and when Gomez played it short to Scotland, he took it back towards the flag to try to waste time but was dispossessed by Hoolahan. City swept forward but Doherty's pass to Otsemobor was too strong and the fullback could not keep the ball in play.
In stoppage time, Swansea sent on Brandy in place of Scotland and the home crowd were very unhappy with the amount of time it took for Scotland to leave the field.
t Result: Norwich City 2, Swansea City 3
t Norwich v Swansea Norwich: Marshall, Otsemobor, Kennedy, Doherty, Bertrand, Bell, Clingan, Fotheringham, Pattison, Lupoli, Lita.
Subs: Nelson, Drury, Cureton, Hoolahan, Omozusi.
t Swansea: Konstantopoulos, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Bessone, Gomez, Britton, Bodde, Pratley, Gower, Scotland.
Subs: Krysiak, Tate, Brandy, Pintado, Bauza.
t Referee: Grant Hegley (Hertfordshire)
t Attendance: 24,262
t MoM: Clingan