Norwich City 3 Newcastle United 2: Late Olsson strike seals dramatic win
Martin Olsson's dramatic late winner saw Norwich City give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost as they secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over relegation rivals Newcastle United on Saturday.
A towering header from Timm Klose in first-half stoppage time capped off an impressive start for Alex Neil's men, but the opener was cancelled out by Aleksandar Mitrovic, who came off the bench to restore parity with a planted header midway through the second half.
The visitors' hopes of salvaging a result looked to be extinguished after 74 minutes as Mbokani cut inside from the left to lash home, only for referee Mike Dean to point to the spot following Gary O'Neil's handball, allowing Mitrovic to level again with a confident penalty.
A rejuvenated Newcastle pressed for a winner but were dealt a hammer blow deep into stoppage time when Olsson found space in the penalty area to drill home.
The result leaves Norwich four points clear of the relegation zone, while Rafael Benitez's men are now six points adrift of safety, with relegation now looking an increasingly likely prospect.
Newcastle arrived at Carrow Road having lost their last seven Premier League games on the road but dominated possession during the opening 10 minutes, with Papiss Cisse looping a header narrowly over the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow, in for the injured Rob Elliot as one of five changes from the 1-1 draw with Sunderland, was called into action a minute later as Norwich responded, producing a smart save to keep out Steven Naismith's low drive.
Norwich, previously without a Premier League win at home in their last five attempts, grew in confidence and had the ball in the net when Mbokani finished Jonny Howson's low cross, but the striker was denied by the offside flag.
Robbie Brady then stung the palms of Darlow with an angled effort after half an hour, before Mbokani's close-range effort was denied by another fine save three minutes later.
But a deserved opener for the hosts came on the stroke of half-time as Klose rose highest to head home Brady's teasing free-kick from the right.
A more positive start to the second period from the visitors saw Cisse attempt to catch out Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy with an audacious lob from distance, before Andros Townsend saw a low drive well saved.
Newcastle's derby-day hero Mitrovic was introduced shortly after the hour as they sought a breakthrough, and the Serb once again made an impact 19 minutes from time, beating Ruddy with a header following Townsend's cross.
But the scores remained level for just three minutes as Mbokani waltzed into the penalty area and picked his spot to swing the pendulum back in favour of the hosts.
However, they were pegged back again when Mitrovic slotted in a penalty in the 86th minute following O'Neil's handball, with the visitors then looking the more likely to get a winner.
Ruddy kept the score level with a fine save to deny Cisse, which proved crucial as Olsson found space in the area at the other end to drive home a decisive strike in injury time - the Swede's first goal of the season.
Key Opta stats:
- Newcastle United have lost each of their last eight away games in the Premier League – their longest run without a win on the road in the league since a nine-game run between May-October 1977.
- There were just 130 seconds between Aleksandar Mitrovic’s first equaliser and Dieumerci Mbokani's goal.
- Mitrovic has scored as many Premier League goals in his last two games as he did in his previous 18 combined.
- Newcastle United have conceded in 15 of their last 16 Premier League matches.