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Norwich leave it late to beat Sheffield Wednesday and return to the top

Norwich City v Sheffield Wednesday – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Norwich scored two late goals to clinch a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday which took them back to the top of the Championship table.

The Canaries had been knocked off top spot by Bournemouth’s 4-0 win at Barnsley on Friday evening and looked unlikely to reclaim it after Josh Windass had headed the Owls into the lead on the hour mark.

They were still behind going into the final 10 minutes but finally got back on level terms when substitute Josh Martin opened his account for the club and followed that up with a winner three minutes later as Max Aarons, another of City’s talented young players, fired home.

The win got Norwich back on track after taking just one point from their previous two games while struggling Wednesday are still looking for their first victory under new boss Tony Pulis.

With 2,000 supporters cheering them on, the Canaries created a good chance after just three minutes, with visiting keeper Joe Wildsmith saving well at his near post to deny Jacob Sorensen, who had latched on to a beautiful cross-field pass from Emi Buendia.

At the other end, Julian Borner’s header from a Barry Bannan corner was nodded off the line by Marco Stiepermann before Kadeem Harris tested Michael McGovern with a low shot from a tight angle.

Top scorer Teemu Pukki was back in the Norwich starting line-up after missing two games with a hamstring issue and had his first effort on goal after 14 minutes but the shot from just outside the area was comfortably gathered by Wildsmith.

It was a disjointed opening period, with the home side having marginally the better of it, and mounting pressure saw them force two free-kicks in dangerous areas as the interval approached.

To the audible disappointment of the fans, Buendia’s effort went straight into the wall and Mario Vrancic’s shot soared over the bar a couple of minutes later.

Norwich were quick to up their intensity after the break but nothing came of their early pressure and the first effort of note came from Wednesday, with Moses Odubajo sending one just over from long range.

The Owls then stunned the home faithful by taking the lead on the hour mark from an excellent counter-attack.

The ball was swept out to the left where Adam Reach sent over a perfect cross for Windass to head home from the edge of the six yard box with McGovern badly exposed.

The goal had arrived slightly against the run of play and Norwich were soon back on the offensive with the visitors dropping deep to protect their advantage, although they twice had loud appeals for penalties turned down as breakaways ended with Harris going down in the box.

However, clear-cut chances were at a premium and it took a late substitution to change the course of the game.

Daniel Farke brought on young winger Martin for the ineffective Stiepermann with 11 minutes remaining and within a couple of minutes he grabbed his first senior goal for the Canaries.

A clever pass from Vrancic from just outside the box put the youngster in and he reacted quickly to slip the ball under Wildsmith from close range.

It got even better for the hosts three minutes later when they got their noses in front with another well-worked goal.

This time clever approach work on the right-hand side of the box ended with Aarons having a clear sight of goal and the England Under-21 international confidently curled the ball into the far corner of the net to complete a dramatic turnaround.