Norwich 1-0 Southampton: Alexander Tettey on target after Victor Wanyama sees red
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 02/01/16 6:19pm
Norwich began the New Year with three vital points as Alexander Tettey's 76th-minute strike secured a 1-0 victory over 10-man Southampton at Carrow Road.
The hosts looked fairly uninspired for much of a damp and drizzly afternoon, but the match turned when visiting midfielder Victor Wanyama was red carded after foolishly picking up a second booking.
Clearly buoyed by the dismissal, Norwich began to press, and they scored the only goal of the game moments later, with Tettey finding the top corner after good work from impressive sub Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe.
It was a second win in a row for the Canaries and they are now six points clear of the drop zone, just a point behind Southampton, who continue to struggle on their travels.
The Saints began the match with Sadio Mane on the bench, the lively forward punished by boss Ronald Koeman for his late arrival at a team meeting.
Even without the Senegal international, the Saints shaded the first-half, but Shane Long could not convert their best opportunities.
Having latched onto a lovely pass from Cuco Martina, the forward possibly dallied too long over his shot, and Declan Rudd came rushing out to pull off a decent save.
Moments later, Long met a set-piece with a powerful downward header, but Rudd rose to the task again and diverted the ball over the bar.
At the other end, Jonny Howson volleyed wide after a bad header from Jose Fonte sent him through on goal, and the Norwich man then picked the wrong option after a Virgil van Dijk blunder, sending a pass through the box when a shot looked the better option.
The Canaries began the second-half brightly but chances remained thin on the ground. Dusan Tadic shot over from a tough angle at the other end for Southampton, who looked firmly on course for at least a point, until shooting themselves in the foot with 18 minutes left.
Having been booked in the first-half for a late tackle on Nathan Redmond, Wanyama dived in recklessly to foul Odjidja-Ofoe and there was never much doubt that referee Mark Clattenburg would reach for a second yellow.
Norwich sensed three points were now there for the taking and Odjidja-Ofoe then came up trumps, skilfully eluding Jordy Clasie down the right before cleverly cutting the ball back to Tettey, who finished really well, calmly sweeping a first-time shot into the top corner.
Having taken the lead, the hosts then retreated into their shell somewhat, and the home fans had to endure a somewhat tense final 10 minutes although, despite the arrival of Mane from the bench, Southampton failed to seriously threaten Rudd's goal.
The Saints defeated leaders Arsenal 4-0 last week but two away defeats in a row have taken some of the gloss off that win, but the mood is more upbeat at Norwich and the Canaries look very credible candidates to secure another season in the top flight.
Norwich: Rudd (7), Bennett (6), Brady (7), Martin (6), Bassong (6), Redmond (6), O'Neil (6), Hoolahan (6), Tettey (7), Mbokani (6), Howson (6).
Subs: Odjidja-Ofoe (7), Olsson (6), Jerome (6).
Southampton: Stekelenburg (7), Martina (6), Van Dijk (5), Fonte (5), Betrand (6), Wanyama (4), Tadic (5), Clasie (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Davis (6), Long (7).
Subs: Ramirez (6), Mane (6), Reed (6).
Player of the match: Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe.