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West Brom bring Norwich run to end
Published : 22 Dec 2012 18:16:54
West Bromwich Albion brought Norwich City's 10-match unbeaten run in the English Premier League to a crashing halt with a 2-1 win at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku headed the winner with eight minutes to go to leave West Brom sixth in the table, five points ahead of Norwich.
Robert Snodgrass gave Norwich the lead with a 23rd-minute free kick but Zoltan Gera ended the hosts' near six-hour goal drought two minutes before the break.
Lukaku, on loan from European champions Chelsea, then capitalised on West Brom's momentum by nodding in the decisive goal.
For Albion, former England goalkeeper Ben Foster returned after seven matches out with a groin injury, replacing Boaz Myhill.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke rested top scorer Shane Long, bringing Lukaku in, while midfielder Graham Dorrans came in for the suspended Youssouf Mulumbu.
Norwich made one change, with Steve Morison replacing hamstring injury victim Grant Holt in attack.
Lukaku headed just over Mark Bunn's crossbar in the third minute, and had an even better chance in the 21st, taking a pass in his stride but Bunn dealt comfortably with his shot across goal.
Norwich wasted no time in punishing the Black Country side for not taking their chance as three minutes later Snodgrass curled in a free kick.
Peter Odemwingie had brought Snodgrass down and though Foster got a hand to the ball, he could only deflect it into the roof of the net.
West Bromwich went on the counter-attack and got their reward when Hungary midfielder Gera levelled.
Bunn parried Jonas Olsson's downward header from a corner onto the crossbar but Gera reacted quickest to volley in the rebound.
It was Lukaku who eventually made the difference, climbing high above Javier Garrido to meet Goran Popov's cross with a powerful header to score.