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Live Commentary: Norwich City 2-0 Ipswich Town - as it happened

Find out how Norwich City beat Ipswich Town 2-0 in the East Anglian derby to move up to third in the Championship, with Sports Mole's live text coverage.
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Norwich City hosted Ipswich Town in the 97th East Anglian derby, and one of the more important meetings with both sides in the running for promotion from the Championship.

Ipswich started the day above the Canaries, but Norwich now have all the bragging rights following a 2-0 win at Carrow Road.

It is the first time in their history that Norwich have won four in a row against their rivals.

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary below to discover how the action unfolded.


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Afternoon all! It's not often that we have a Championship game on Sunday, but the Old Farm derby certainly justifies the spotlight. It's one of the bigger local rivalries in English football and given the league table, today's game is even more important! Kickoff is in just over half an hour, so let's get to the team news...

NORWICH XI: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey, Johnson; Redmond, Howson, Hoolahan; Grabban
Subs: Turner, Jerome, Hooper, Andreu, Garrido, Dorrans

The Canaries, along with Nottingham Forest, are the in-form team in the Championship, but Alex Neil still makes a change to his starting lineup from Tuesday's 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers. It comes in central midfield as Graham Dorrans drops to the bench, with Alexander Tettey getting the nod ahead of the West Bromwich Albion loanee.

Neil's side are chasing a sixth straight win and Tettey should give them a more physical presence in midfield against one of the most solid outfits in the league in Ipswich.

IPSWICH XI: Bialkowski; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings; Skuse, Chaplow, Tabb, Bru; Sears, Murphy
Subs: Gerken, Parr, Clarke, Anderson, Benyu, Varney, Wood

Mick McCarthy makes two changes to his starting lineup for the short trip up to Norfolk. Richard Chaplow makes his full debut on the right of midfield, while Jay Tabb is preferred to Jonathan Parr on the other wing.



There are two new names on the Ipswich bench today, with new loan signing Chris Wood named as a substitute and he is joined by 17-year-old academy player Kundai Benyu, who is in the senior squad for the first time. McCarthy certainly isn't afraid to make big calls!

It's likely that Ipswich will be very narrow in midfield, with neither Chaplow or Tabb an out-and-out wideman. The Tractor Boys go to Carrow Road above Norwich in the table, but the home side are no doubt favourites because of their fine recent form.

The Canaries have won five games in a row to move into the top six and they are just a point behind arch rivals Ipswich going into this game. Win and they'll be above the Blues for the first time in a few months. Click here to see how the table looks going into today's match - the last of matchday 34. Most of the results went the way of these two yesterday, with Watford the only top-six side able to pick up three points. Top two Derby and Boro both suffered defeat to give hope to the chasing pack.

REFEREE WATCH! This match is often a tasty affair and the man tasked with the job of keeping it in order is Paul Tierney, who recently took charge of another feisty game when Leeds United hosted Millwall.

Norwich have fared much better in the recent meetings between these two sides, winning their last three games against the Tractor Boys by an aggregate score of 10-2 (4-1, 5-1, 1-0). They've never won four in a row against their bitter rivals.

The reverse fixture was a cagey affair at Portman Road that was settled by Lewis Grabban's contentious first-half header. The ex-Bournemouth man leads the line again today for the home side.

However, Ipswich do hold the better overall record with 40 wins to Norwich's 37. Blues fans will also be quick to tell you that their trophy cabinet is much fuller with an FA Cup and UEFA Cup success to their names.

PREDICTION TIME! Less than 10 minutes until kickoff now in what is sunny Norfolk today. It's one of the oldest cliches in the book, but form shouldn't really have an impact today. It's a massive occasion for both clubs and it will be about who handles it better on the day. Norwich have more talent at their disposal and I fancy the hosts to edge it 2-1.

Watch the video below to hear my in-depth thoughts on today's match, with Ipswich chasing a first win at Carrow Road since 2006. The Blues have won just two of their last 14 games at Norwich.


Looking at the pre-match poll on our game preview, most of you fancy Norwich to win with 80.4% of the vote. Less than five minutes to go now!

The two sides are now out on the pitch completing the pre-match handshakes. Let's get the niceties over and get on the with the game. Fantastic atmosphere at Carrow Road.



Norwich might have the better quality throughout their squad, but Ipswich do possess the Championship's top marksman in Daryl Murphy, who is having the best season of his career with 21 goals. He's the only man in the Championship to pass the 20-goal mark.

KICKOFF! Both sides are in their traditional colours of yellow and green and blue and white and it's Norwich who get us underway.

Oddly, Ipswich are attacking the end nearest their supporters in the first half. The sun is in Norwich keeper Ruddy's eyes and maybe that was a move by Norwich to ensure that Ipswich would be facing the sun in the second half.

First real opening goes the way of Norwich as Grabban attempts to burst into the box and is shepherded out well by promising Ipswich left-back Mings, who is said to have caught the eye of some big Premier League teams this season.

Murphy is an excellent header of the ball and he's just won his first flick-on trying to find strike partner Sears, but the latter handballed when trying to control it.

It may be a lovely sunny day, but it's also extremely windy out there today.

Ipswich centre-back Berra, arguably the Championship's best defender this term, goes down awkwardly under the challenge of Grabban, but he'll be fine to continue.

First shot on goal arrives from Ipswich as a free kick is headed as far as Tabb, whose first-time volley bounces into the turf and bobbles harmlessly through to Ruddy.

"PENALTY!" scream the Norwich fans as Grabban tumbles under the challenge from Smith. It was risky from the Ipswich defender, but it looks like he might have got the slightest touch on the ball and referee Tierney awards a corner.

Mings's clearance from the corner goes more up than away before Murphy's header out is volleyed at goal by Howson, whose effort goes wide. It's been an even start to the game.

Ipswich win their first corner as Chaplow's cross is blocked out. The visitors will be a danger from set pieces.

Tabb's delivery is a poor one that doesn't beat the first man and Norwich clear.

STAT: Norwich have won five league games in a row, their best run since January 2010 (eight games). They've scored 14 goals across those five games (2.8 per game).

The early possession count shows that it's been a really even start, with both sides having 50% of the ball.

CHANCE! First big moment of the match as Chaplow fails to see a ball out and Howson digs out a cross from the left. Ipswich just about scramble it clear from inside their own six-yard box. It all came after Norwich won a corner that shouldn't have been given as Bialkowski caught it when the ball was already out of play.

BOOKING! First yellow card of the game is shown to Skuse after Ipswich holding midfielder went in high on Johnson, who was trying to streak clear. Easy decision for Tierney.

On the whole, McCarthy will be the happier of the two managers so far. Ipswich haven't created much, but they've restricted Norwich to very little as well.

The visitors are certainly not saving any energy in the early stages, scampering around to give Norwich as little time as possible on the ball.

Grabban is caught offside again. That's the third time already that he's been the wrong side of the back four.

Little opening for Ipswich as Chaplow closes down Olsson's clearance and the ball loops into his path on the right edge of the box. Murphy is in support, but Chaplow's volleyed cross is too close to Ruddy.

GOAL! NORWICH 1-0 IPSWICH (JOHNSON)

The home side take the lead and it's another goal for Johnson, who scored the winner at Blackburn on Tuesday. Grabban makes a run down the right and his cutback takes a slight deflection off Berra's heel before making its way to the back post where Johnson arrives to slam home an unstoppable shot into the top corner. What a hit!

Ipswich look for an instant response through Murphy, but his shot is tame and easy for Ruddy to save.

That is league goal number 10 for Johnson this season - his best-ever campaign in front of goal.

Bradley Johnson of Norwich City celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Norwich City at Selhurst Park on January 1, 2014© Getty Images

"Handball!" cry the Ipswich fans as Murphy's cross strikes Olsson. The ball hit his thigh and might have brushed his arm. Definitely not a penalty.

SAVE! Big, big chance for Ipswich to equalise as Bru wins the ball back and sends Murphy away down the left. His early cross finds Sears at the back post and the striker does well to cut inside past Olsson before his shot is kept out by the onrushing Ruddy. Excellent goalkeeping.

Johnson goes for another spectacular from 30 yards, but this time he pulls his shot well wide of the target. Norwich fans will certainly let him off for that given some of the goals he's scored this season.

SHOT! Sears is the danger-man for Ipswich at the moment as he unleashes a fierce drive from 25 yards that Ruddy does well to keep under control. Any slip-up from the Norwich keeper and there was two blue shirts arriving to tap home.

Mings's clearance looks like a hoof upfield but it turns into a good ball over the top for Murphy, with Norwich captain Martin doing well to beat him to the ball and clear.

SHOT! Hoolahan with a dipping volley from 25 yards that Bialkowski watches well and holds onto.

Johnson again with a shot from distance that this time the Ipswich defence block. It was nowhere near as well-hit as his goal and would have been an easy save for Bialkowski.

Half time is fast approaching at Carrow Road and the first half has gone by in a flash. If you're only just joining us, Norwich lead thanks to Johnson's rocket in the 24th minute.

Bassong does well to outmuscle Sears and see the ball out for a Norwich goal kick after Ipswich had a decent spell of possession down the right.

Shortly after two minutes of added time are signalled Norwich are lucky to win a free kick as Murphy and Bassong go shoulder to shoulder, with the latter falling very easily.

HALF-TIME: NORWICH 1-0 IPSWICH

It's Norwich who lead the 97th East Anglian derby thanks to Johnson's piledriver midway through the first half then. The Canaries are on course for their sixth straight win.

Apart from Johnson's wicked strike, it's been a fairly even half of football. It was Norwich's only real chance and Johnson stuck it away with aplomb. Ipswich have been very direct, but they have come close to an equaliser.



Ipswich might possess the league's top scorer in Murphy, but their biggest threat has been Sears. He had the one really good chance and was denied by a good save from Ruddy.

The stats show that possession-wise it's been an even half, but Norwich have certainly been more assured on the ball. Ipswich like to knock the ball long for Murphy, who's not having much joy against the Norwich backline.

One thing Norwich have done well is not foul Ipswich in dangerous positions. The Tractor Boys will be dangerous at set pieces if they win some more free kicks and corners in the second period.

Click here to see the league table as it stands. With Norwich winning, they are set to go up to third on goal difference and move within three points of league leaders Derby.

Looking at the two benches, both managers have options to bring on if they need a goal. If Ipswich don't hit back soon, we'll surely see Chris Wood for a debut, while Norwich can bring on Gary Hooper and Cameron Jerome if they need to.

IPSWICH SUB: There's a Town change at half time and it's not Wood, but another new loanee Luke Varney who takes Chaplow's place on the right.

KICKOFF! Ipswich get us back underway at Carrow Road.

I said that Norwich didn't give away many free kicks, but they've done it within 20 seconds of the second half. Good position for Ipswich and Tabb...

CLOSE! It's a better ball from Tabb and Johnson is so close to directing the ball into his own net!

Ipswich had a couple of corners after that free kick, but neither came to anything as Norwich defended it well.

Now Norwich try to cause havoc with a free kick of their own, but Redmond's delivery is short and dealt with by Bru.

Johnson looks a little shaken, but he's fine to continue after a clash of heads with Varney. McCarthy is furious with a Norwich player after they gave the ball back for some reason.

Norwich win the ball back with Mings out of position and Redmond charges down the right before carelessly playing the ball out when trying to switch play.

Neat work from Hoolahan and Grabban, with the latter moving into the area before his attempted cutback is blocked out for a corner by Berra. From the resulting set piece, Johnson meets it at the near post and gets way too much on it.

This game very much reminds me of the reverse fixture at Portman Road. Norwich scored in the first half and then just saw it out without creating too much. The Canaries are better on the ball, but Ipswich have had just as many threatening moments.

Varney is a little lucky not to receive a booking after challenging for an aerial ball with Bassong with his arm raised. Tierney gives him a talking to, but doesn't produce a card.

CHANCE! The ball breaks to Sears in the box after Bassong flicked a header against Olsson instead of getting a better contact and heading it out. Sears gets away a shot, but Norwich are onto him quickly and block.

Norwich's first change will see their top scorer Cameron Jerome enter the fray. He's got 16 league goals this season.

NORWICH SUB: Right-winger Nathan Redmond comes off, so that could be a change of shape from the hosts.

GOAL! NORWICH 2-0 IPSWICH (GRABBAN)

It's extremely fortunate for Norwich as they take a 2-0 lead. Jerome shows good pace to beat Berra to a ball over the top and his shot hits Mings before richocheting off Grabban, who had no idea what was happening, and nestling in the corner.

Ipswich had started the second half pretty well and that's pretty harsh on them. Jerome's shot would have been saved by Bialkowski, but for it to hit Mings and then Grabban before creeping in is very cruel.

SHOT! Good again from Sears as he twists left then right before unleashing a shot from outside the area that Ruddy holds well. The Norwich keeper has been exemplary so far.

IPSWICH SUB: Hardly an attacking change from the visitors as Parr replaces Bru. Usually a defender, Parr has been playing in midfield of late.

Norwich are whittling away the clock whenever they can now. McCarthy must be thinking about sending on Wood soon.

CHANCE! The game should be over. Ipswich lose the ball in Norwich's half and the hosts break with Howson. He threads a nice through-ball into Jerome, whose one-on-one attempt is kept out by Bialkowski.

Chance for Ipswich to swing it into the box as Howson bundles over Mings off the ball. Clumsy from Howson.

CHANCES! A set piece again causes problems in the Norwich box and Ipswich have several little openings that they can't take. The best two fell to Mings and Parr, but neither could hit the target.

BOOKING! Olsson is booked as Ipswich prepare to take a corner. Probably for time wasting or dissent.

Wood is kitted up and ready to go on the touchline for his Ipswich debut.

IPSWICH SUB: Big call from McCarthy as he takes off Murphy for Wood. It just hasn't been the former's day.

OFF THE LINE! Ipswich take a quick free kick and Sears's lobbed effort is cleared off the line not once, but twice. Ipswich threatening a goal at the moment.

More pressure from the Blues, but they just can't quite eek out a decent chance as Norwich continue to defend well. Around 10 minutes left now as Norwich close in on four straight East Anglian derby wins for the first time in their history.

NORWICH SUB: Hoolahan, perhaps Norwich's best player today, comes off to be replaced by Dorrans.

BOOKING! Lazy from Mings as he clearly clips Howson's heels to become the second Ipswich player to be cautioned.

SIDE-NETTING! From the resulting free kick, Martin gets a toe to the ball at the back post but can only direct it into the side-netting.

CHANCE! Wood's first chance in an Ipswich shirt comes as he is left unmarked from Parr's cross but can only head over the top. Tettey was booked for delaying the take of a free kick and will now miss Norwich's next two games as it is his 10th of the season.

This afternoon's attendance at Carrow Road is 27,005 and that's a new record since the stadium became an all-seater. The majority are getting exactly the result they wanted.

Ipswich know the game is now up and they're moving very lethargically. Norwich are the side who look more like adding a third in the closing stages.

As four minutes of added time are signalled, there's some worrying signs for Norwich as Jerome stays down with an injury. They don't want to lose their top scorer given their recent form.

NORWICH SUB: Jerome has to come off and he's replaced by Hooper.

The ball bobbles up just as Chambers went to pass out to Parr and he sidefoots it out of play. Sums up Ipswich's luck this afternoon.

One last chance for Ipswich to give their fans something to celebrate as they win a free kick about 35 yards out...

FULL-TIME: NORWICH 2-0 IPSWICH

Six wins in a row for Norwich as they soar up to third in the Championship table. Are they now favourites for automatic promotion?

Even more importantly for Norwich, they go above Ipswich in the table. The Blues are far from out of it, but they have one of the toughest run-ins, while Norwich face only two of the other top-eight sides in their remaining eight games. Ipswich have to play five and three of those are away from home.

There was only one moment of real quality in the game and that came when Johnson slammed home the opener in the first half. After that, it was a pretty even game, with Norwich dealing well with Ipswich's route-one tactics.

Anyway, that's all we've got time for this on this commentary. Thanks for joining SM this afternoon for Norwich's fourth win in a row against arch rivals Ipswich - the first time they've ever done that. Overall derby win record now reads Norwich 38-40 Ipswich. The Canaries are closing in.

Lewis Grabban of Norwich City celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Ipswich Town at Carrow Road on March 1, 2015© Getty Images

By the way, you should now click here for our live text coverage of the League Cup final between Spurs and Chelsea. Enjoy!

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Cameron Jerome of Norwich City celebrates after scoring his teams equalising goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City at Ewood Park on February 24, 2015
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1Norwich CityNorwich33217547252270
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16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest331010132832-440
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18Derby CountyDerby32108142533-838
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21Birmingham CityBirmingham33810152541-1634
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham3185183342-929
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds3297162338-1528
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe3258192353-3023

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