Match Analysis: West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Norwich City

Match Analysis: West Brom 0-2 Norwich
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Sports Mole analyses the Premier League clash between West Brom and Norwich City at The Hawthorns, where the Canaries recorded their first away win since September.

Goals from Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer secured Norwich City a 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion and their first Premier League away victory since September.

Hooper was restored to the starting XI by Canaries boss Chris Hughton and rewarded his manager by scoring the opening goal with a driven shot on 13 minutes.

The Baggies had a host of chances to equalise, with Stephane Sessegnon and Shane Long missing the best of them, before Leroy Fer secured Norwich the points with an 89th-minute second.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action at The Hawthorns.

Match statistics:

West Brom:
Shots: 27
On target: 12
Possession: 64%
Corners: 10
Fouls: 10

Norwich:
Shots: 8
On target: 3
Possession: 36%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 6

Was the result fair?

Rarely will you see a team spend so much time in the opposition's half and emerge without victory, let alone without a point at all. The Baggies put relentless pressure on Norwich from the beginning of the first half right up until Fer put the game beyond them with his 89th-minute goal, and they were deserving of at least a draw, a result they would no doubt have come away with had their finishing been more clinical.

West Brom's performance:

Steve Clarke could not have asked much more of his side, who were the better team in every aspect of play apart from the most crucial one, finishing. They created numerous clear-cut chances, but Sessegnon and Long amongst others could not take them. Sessegnon was otherwise bright and was one of many attacking options which West Brom utilised, with Billy Jones and Youssouf Mulumbu also big contributors going forward. Uruguay captain Diego Lugano was assured on his Premier League debut at centre-back.

Norwich's performance:

Hughton went with two strikers, not with the intent of containing West Brom, but that's how it materialised. After Hooper's opener, they were content to sit back, soak up long periods of Albion pressure and then attempt to hit them on the break, where Nathan Redmond was a real outlet. The former Birmingham City winger showed a great turn of pace and lovely footwork, but his final ball was often missing. Sebastien Bassong and Michael Turner, reunited in central defence, were often required to make last-ditch blocks and interceptions, while goalkeeper John Ruddy also made a wonderful late save to keep out Long.

Sports Mole's man of the match:

Youssouf Mulumbu: The Congolese midfielder was outstanding playing in both directions, starting many of West Brom's attacks with his powerful carrying of the ball, and then helping them win back possession, recycle the ball and launch further assaults on the Norwich goal. He also created several chances for teammates, and for himself, and was the only Albion player to regularly test Ruddy with his shooting. It's a real injustice that he was not on the winning team this afternoon.

Biggest gaffe:

Sessegnon was Albion's worst culprit in terms of wastefulness. The Benin international, who has scored twice since joining from Sunderland in the summer, missed a sitter against Aston Villa a fortnight ago and had similar fortune in-front of goal today, shooting the wrong side of the post from 10 yards when he was through one-on-one against Ruddy, in what could have been a game-changing moment.

Referee's performance:

The Baggies will argue, probably correctly, that they should have had a penalty in the early stages of the second period, when Martin Olsson blocked a Sessegnon shot on the line with his hand. It definitely struck his arm and referee Mark Clattenburg did not award anything, although, in his defence, he may have been unsighted while trying to assess the incident through a congested penalty area.

What next?

West Brom: Albion have two fixtures against newly-promoted sides in succession, with Hull City visiting The Hawthorns a week after the Baggies travel to Cardiff City next Saturday.

Norwich: The Canaries also have Welsh opposition next, and will go in search of consecutive Premier League wins for the first time this season when Swansea City visit Carrow Road next Saturday.

Gary Hooper of Norwich celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City at The Hawthorns on December 07, 2013
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