Live Commentary: Stoke City 0-1 Norwich City - as it happened
Find out how Norwich City were able to overcome Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium with Sports Mole's text updates.
By Liam Apicella, Features Editor Filed: Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 12:30 UK
Last Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 01:15 UK
Norwich City headed to Stoke City this afternoon with only goal difference keeping them out of the relegation zone.
However, they were the better side at the Britannia Stadium and claimed all three points thanks to Jonny Howson's strike from distance during the first half.
You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.
12.33pmAfternoon all. So, after an entertaining Saturday of Premier League football, we are back underway today. Stoke City and Norwich City may not be the division's biggest names, but they try to play football the right way so hopefully we have a decent match ahead of us.
12.36pmRight, the team news is already out - these managers don't hang around these days! Let's start with how Norwich will start this encounter...
12.37pmNORWICH XI: Ruddy; Martin, Turner, R Bennett, Olsson; Tettey, Fer, Howson, Snodgrass, Pilkington; Van Wolfswinkel
12.39pmSo, despite his exploits against Watford during the week when he scored two goals, Gary Hooper has to settle for a place on the Norwich bench. Instead, Chris Hughton has kept faith with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, despite the fact that he has only scored once this season. Elsewhere, Sebastien Bassong is injured and so Ryan Bennett will partner Michael Turner in the defence.
12.41pmAnd here is who will be starting for the home team...
12.45pmThat is pretty much what was expected from Stoke boss Mark Hughes, who has stuck with Kenwyne Jones up front. Marc Wilson will also continue in midfield, while Charlie Adam, Jonathan Walters and Marko Arnautovic will feature in advanced midfield roles.
12.49pmStaying with Stoke, their defender Geoff Cameron has just been talking to Sky Sports News. He believes that Norwich will pose a threat to his side in the air: "We are all on the same board and have been enjoying our football. We were disappointed with the result last weekend against Arsenal, but we look back at some of the stats and we had some pretty good possession and done some good things.
"We are facing a team in Norwich that are good at set pieces, so we need to be sharp there. They are not just going to roll over for us. We are moving the ball around and are happy about that."
12.51pmMeanwhile, again speaking to Sky Sports News, Norwich midfielder Leroy Fer has expressed his eagerness for the Canaries to return to winning ways today: "Personally I've had some good matches, but the team needs some points. We have to know each better. We've come here to win the game and take the three points back to Norwich."
12.56pmIt was mentioned earlier that Hooper has only been named on the Norwich bench. Let's take a look at who joins the striker on there...
1.03pmIt is perhaps no massive surprise to see Hooper named among the substitutes, rather than in the starting lineup. After all, he played 120 minutes during the week and although he scored twice, he is coming back from an injury layoff. Hughton is likely to be wary not to rush him back to quickly and what's more, he is a decent option from the bench.
1.06pmBack to Stoke and their manager Mark Hughes has just been discussing this match with Sky Sports News: "The squad in terms of overall fitness and ability is good at the moment. If we can maintain the good form at home, that is going to help our season.
"Norwich are a good team and have added a number of new faces. They've got good threats and get the ball into the box as quickly as they can. If we can play the type of football that we have so far, hopefully we can take the game away from them."
1.10pmHughes's opposite number, Hughton, is without winger Nathan Redmond today. The summer signing from Birmingham City has been in good form this season, so he is likely to be a big miss for the Canaries. The England Under-21 international has actually just tweeted about his absence:
Picked up an injury in training & had not travelled to Stoke! Working hard to be ready to train at some point next week! #NCFC ⚽️🙏
1.15pmRedmond has actually been the shining light in what has been a difficult campaign so far for Norwich. Scoring goals has been extremely difficult - they've actually gone 202 minutes in the Premier League without finding the back of the net. Today would be a positive time for Van Wolfswinkel to start to justify his record price tag.
1.19pmTalking of goals, Hughton has just explained on Sky Sports News why he opted not to partner Van Wolfswinkel with Hooper: "You're always tempted because of the quality they have, but for me winning the football match is the most important thing.
"We've put out a side that will hopefully provide us with offensive options. We are up against a very good Stoke side that have changed the way that they've played. We've got to get on the ball and make a good account of ourselves."
1.23pmA bit of a strange happening during the warm-up involving Norwich midfielder Fer just now. Not sure if he has having breathing problems or not, but the physio has just been checking his chest with a stethoscope. He seems okay and Norwich need him to be because he is a big part of their midfield.
1.27pmRight here come the players, including Fer, who seems to be fine. There is a decent atmosphere inside the Britannia Stadium this afternoon. It's also looks to be a nice sunny day in the Potteries! Make the most of it Stoke fans, the cold weather is sure to be on the way soon. Not long now until we get underway.
1 minGAME ON! Norwich, attacking from right to left during the first half, get this Premier League encounter started.
2 minA really positive start for the Canaries as Anthony Pilkington cuts in from the left before seeing his powerful shot blocked. In fact, it's been all Norwich so far - they've come out of the traps at a really decent pace.
5 minAnother attack from Norwich and again Pilkington is involved. Russell Martin gets to the right byline and sends over a cross, which Asmir Begovic decides not to come and collect. Pilkington gets himself between two Stoke defenders, but the ball is just too high for him and the chance evaporates. It's important that the away side capitalise on this domination.
9 minStoke really haven't started well here. They've been wasteful in possession and what's more, they are committing needless fouls in dangerous areas of the pitch. Norwich are yet to take advantage, but if it continues, you'd expect them to punish the hosts at some stage.
10 minOFF THE BAR! How an earth are Norwich not in front? Robert Snodgrass sends over a dangerous corner which Ryan Bennett meets on the volley. The centre-back sends the ball crashing against the crossbar and when the rebound falls to him, he's too slow to react and Begovic is out to clear the danger. Another warning for Stoke.
14 minWe've had a bit of a stoppage in play as Stoke frontman Jones is down following a challenge with Bennett. There didn't look to be much in that, but Jones is visibly shaken. He's up now and play has restarted, but that is one that the Stoke medical team will be keeping an eye on.
19 minFer is having a really good game for Norwich at the moment. He has just taken out three Stoke players in the centre of the pitch with some neat footwork, before splitting the defence with a pass out wide to Martin. Norwich had three players in the area waiting for a cross, but the Scotland international's effort was wayward.
22 minA quick tweet from injured Norwich winger Elliott Bennett:
Great opening 20 from the boys. Not allowed stoke to get any rhythm and kept Britannia very quiet! @LeroyFer10 pulling strings #PLAYER 👍⚽️👏
26 minBOOKING! The first yellow of the afternoon goes to Stoke midfielder Wilson and he can have no complaints. Van Wolfswinkel is simply too quick for him on the halfway line and the Norwich frontman ends up being floored for his troubles.
30 minThose that argue that goalkeepers are over protected will have felt vindicated by what has just happened at the Britannia. Pilkington sends over a cross from the left, which leaves Begovic to contest the ball with Norwich striker Van Wolfswinkel. They get there at the same time, but the Stoke goalkeeper falls to the floor dramatically and a free kick is awarded. That's a safe decision from the referee, rather than the correct one.
33 minA quick statistic from this encounter so far from the Premier League on Twitter: "Still goalless after 30 mins, but Norwich have had 59% possession, won 67% of the duels and played 154 passes to Stoke's 107."
34 minJust moments after Stoke have their first shot of the contest through Arnautovic, Norwich take the lead. Pilkington, who has been very good so far, lays the ball into the path of Jonny Howson. The Stoke defence back off the former Leeds United man so he tries his luck from 25 yards out. It's a good hit, but one you'd expect Begovic to save. He fails to move his feet quickly enough, though, and the ball goes under his hand and into the net. Norwich are 1-0 up and deservedly so.
38 minWilson is having a bit of a shocker in the Stoke midfield it must be said. He was booked earlier in the game and since the Norwich goal, he has given the ball away inside his own half on two occasions. Luckily for him the visitors have failed to capitalise, but he could well be replaced at half-time.
40 minCHANCE! A decent opportunity for Stoke to draw level as Adam whips over a corner from the right. John Ruddy in the Norwich goal is caught in two minds and the ball eventually drops on the head of Ryan Shawcross. The Stoke defender fails to make a clean connection, though, and ends up sending the ball way wide of the target.
44 minIt's very quiet inside the Britannia Stadium right now. The credit for that should go to Norwich because they've been the dominant force, it must be said.
45 minThere will be one minute of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
2.19pmWell, that wasn't expected. Norwich lead in the Potteries and they deserve to be in front as well. Stoke have not been at the races and have failed to produce any of the neat football that they've managed so far this season. If anything, they look like the Stoke of old.
2.22pmHughton is bound to be pleased with his players, but no doubt he will be urging them to keep doing what they have been. If anything, they should be further in front, having let Stoke off the hook on a couple of occasions.
2.25pmFrom Stoke's point of view, surely it can only get better? They won't have been this sloppy in possession all season, that's for sure. Wilson in particular in the centre of the pitch has been very wasteful. It wouldn't be a surprise if Hughes is reading the riot act right now because he needs a reaction from his players - if not, his side will lose this one.
2.27pmWhere Norwich are concerned, their only area of weakness has been Van Wolfswinkel. It can't be easy playing as a lone centre-forward in the Premier League, but he needs to be stronger. Too often the ball has been worked up to him, but the move has broken down as Stoke wrestle back possession from the Dutch international. If it carries on into the second half, Hughton could well turn to Hooper, who has more of a physical presence.
46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! Two changes for Stoke as they restart the match. Stephen Ireland and Jermaine Pennant have come on in place of Walters and Adam. That's brave but good management from Hughes because his team was in major need of some fresh impetus.
50 minThey are yet to work Ruddy in the Norwich goal, but it's already been much better from the home side. Their passes have started to find their intended targets and the supporters have reacted as well. It's the sort of reaction Hughes must have hoped for.
51 minPENALTY APPEAL! Jones and Stoke want a penalty and you can understand why. The Stoke striker only has eyes for the ball, but his run is halted by Fer, who clearly hauls him back. What an earth was he thinking? The Norwich midfielder is lucky to get away with that, particularly when you consider that he was booked earlier in the contest.
56 minTo be fair to Norwich, they seem to have weathered that early storm from the home side. They can't get hold of the ball themselves, though, which is likely to be a cause of concern to Hughton. Their ball players - the likes of Snodgrass and Howson - have been anonymous so far in this half.
61 minPilkington has been very impressive for Norwich today. Not everything has come off for him, but he's remained positive throughout. Just now he has burst beyond to Stoke defenders on the left flank, before cutting inside. From there he unleashes a shot from 30 yards out, which doesn't trouble Begovic. Nevertheless, it's some much needed positivity from the away side.
65 minCHANCES! A smart counter-attack from Norwich which involves Van Wolfswinkel and Howson ends up finding Snodgrass on the right wing. The Scotland international cuts inside, before curling an effort towards goal from the edge of the box. It goes over the crossbar, but was a decent effort. Then, moments later, Jones fires straight at Ruddy from a narrow angle.
67 minSUBSTITUTION: And that was Jones's final involvement this afternoon. Stoke make their final change of the match by bringing off the striker and replacing him with former England international Peter Crouch, who had a loan spell with Norwich a few years back.
72 minAfter that initial burst during the early part of this half, Stoke really have struggled to create many chances. Pennant has looked bright, but apart from that they've been poor. There's still time for them to even win this game, but they need a goal sooner rather than later.
75 minBOOKING! A clear yellow card for Stoke full-back Erik Pieters, despite his protests. The Dutch international knew that Pilkington was going to be too quick for him so he decided to block the Norwich man's run down the flank.
78 minSUBSTITUTION: No major surprise to see Hughton introduce some physicality into his forward line. It's not Hooper that replaces Van Wolfswinkel, though, but former Bolton Wanderers frontman Johan Elmander. To be fair to the Sweden international, this sort of game is perfect for his style and he should give the Stoke rearguard something to defend against.
80 minSAVES! A routine stop for Ruddy, who gets down with ease to hold Steven N'Zonzi's effort from 25 yards out. It was a quick breakaway from Stoke that opened up the chance - something that has been majorly lacking from their play so far. Meanwhile, up the other end, Begovic tips Snodgrass's curling effort just beyond the post.
84 minSUBSTITUTION: Another switch for Norwich and this one is a defensive alteration. Off comes the impressive Pilkington, who hasn't played much football of late, and on in his place is Scottish full-back Steven Whittaker.
88 minIt's getting into now or never territory for Stoke, who have just wasted yet another free kick 40 or so yards from goal. That's the story of their match.
90 minNorwich won't be happy, but there are four minutes of stoppage time at the end of this match. Can Stoke pull off what would be an undeserved comeback?
3.22pmNorwich get through an uneventful stoppage time unscathed and deservedly claim all three points - their first away from home this season. That's all we have time for from the Britannia Stadium, thanks for joining us this afternoon. Be sure to look out for our analysis of the clash, which will be on the site shortly. Until next time, goodbye.