Norwich 2-0 Brighton: Seagulls have to wait to clinch title after defeat
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 22/04/17 9:18am
David Stockdale scored a remarkable two own goals as Brighton suffered a 2-0 defeat to Norwich at Carrow Road, meaning they must wait to clinch the Championship title.
Victory at Carrow Road would have seen the Seagulls crowned champions, but they found themselves behind early on after Alex Pritchard's shot rebounded into the net off the back of Stockdale.
The Canaries doubled their lead shortly afterwards with almost a carbon-copy goal - Stockdale once again the unlucky party as another excellent Pritchard shot deflected in off his back after hitting the woodwork.
Brighton pushed for a way back into the match after the break but they failed to trouble John Ruddy as Norwich remarkably won by two goals without having a single shot on target in the match.
The visitors were uncharacteristically slow to get out of the traps and almost conceded after just five minutes when Norwich striker Nelson Oliveira failed to connect with the ball when unmarked inside the six-yard box.
The Canaries continued to dominate possession as the half wore on and deservedly took the lead, although in fortuitous circumstances.
Josh Murphy showed great determination to bundle his way through two challenges before laying the ball off for Pritchard on the edge of the box.
His sweet strike cannoned off the crossbar into the back of Stockdale and then back into the Brighton goal.
It was a case of déjà vu 20 minutes later as another excellent shot from Pritchard struck the woodwork - only to once again rebound off the back of Stockdale and trickle over the line for a freakish second.
Brighton had looked like a shadow of the side that had secured promotion to the Premier League earlier in the week and Hughton would have demanded a response during the half-time interval.
The visitors began the second period with real intent and could have pulled one back when Jamie Murphy's cross narrowly evaded Glenn Murray inside the Norwich box.
The former Crystal Palace man, who netted against Wigan on Monday, thought he had his goal moments later but his looping header was well cleared off the line by Russell Martin.
Norwich continued to provide a real threat on the counter-attack and youngster Murphy was unlucky to see his penalty appeals waved away after he was brought down in the box by Lewis Dunk.
That proved to be the last real talking point in the match, as the hosts closed out a surprisingly comfortable win against the champions-elect.