Josh Sargent and Danel Sinani score as Norwich beat Huddersfield
Norwich finally picked up their first Championship win of the season at the fourth attempt as early goals from Josh Sargent and Danel Sinani set up a 2-1 victory over 10-man Huddersfield at Carrow Road.
Sargent headed home with just six minutes on the clock before Sinani, who spent last season on loan with the Terriers, made it 2-0 after 16 minutes.
The visitors, who had Tom Lees sent off early in the second half for a professional foul, made a game of it after that, with substitute Pat Jones pulling one back near the end, prompting one or two anxious moments, but Norwich held on for the three points.
With their top scorer for the past three seasons Teemu Pukki out injured and Kenny McLean playing as a makeshift left-back because of other absences, the Canaries went into the game with an unfamiliar starting line-up – but they soon grabbed the initiative.
It was one of the fresh faces who made the breakthrough, with Pukki’s replacement Sargent heading his side in front after a swift break down the right.
Sorba Thomas thought he had been fouled by Max Aarons in the lead-up to the goal but referee Josh Smith waved play on and the ball was moved to Sinani, who sent over a beautiful cross which Sargent glanced past Lee Nicholls from close range.
Norwich, who had started the night bottom of the table, continued to dominate and deservedly doubled their advantage.
Another slick move, this time through the inside left channel, cut Huddersfield apart, with Marcelino Nunez and Kieran Dowell involved, and when Sargent’s shot was deflected off Josh Ruffels the ball fell kindly for Sinani, who worked himself some space in a crowded area before calmly slotting home.
Huddersfield, beaten 7-0 in their previous visit to Carrow Road in the 2020-21 season, had been blown away in the early stages but gradually got a foothold in the game and Tim Krul was kept busy as Danny Ward, twice, and Jack Rudoni both got decent efforts on target.
The Dutch keeper also did well to palm away a well-struck free-kick from Yuta Nakayama but Norwich continued the look the better side as they went searching for their first league win since their painful relegation from the Premier League.
Any chance the Terriers had of getting anything out of the game took a huge blow three minutes into the second half when Lees received his marching orders.
It was a clear red card, with the defender pulling back Sargent after he had been put clean through by Sinani and although the subsequent free-kick from Nunez came to nothing, the hosts now had a vice-like grip on proceedings.
Norwich looked comfortable and it needed a good save from Nicholls to keep out a powerful header from substitute Jordan Hugill.
The visiting keeper made further excellent stops to thwart Onel Hernandez and Gabriel Sara, two more subs, before the battling visitors pulled one back after 81 minutes.
Jones found himself in space after a quick break and took on the backtracking Grant Hanley before beating Krul with a low drive to the keeper’s left.
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