Norwich 0-1 West Brom

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie returned from injury for his first start of the season

West Bromwich Albion earned their first league win of the season thanks to Peter Odemwingie's early strike.

Winless Norwich made a shaky start and it allowed the pacy Nigerian to convert a long pass from Nicky Shorey after three minutes.

Graham Dorrans thumped the home woodwork before young Norwich keeper Declan Rudd made a second-half penalty save from Odemwingie.

But it did not prove decisive as Steve Morison headed wide late on.

There was still time for more controversy as James Vaughan was left with blood streaming from his mouth following a stray elbow from Baggies defender Gabriel Tamas.

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Many Baggies fans would have been eagerly awaiting seeing Shane Long and Odemwingie line up for the first time together in attack before kick off.

And it did not take long for them to have an impact.

Ritchie De Laet failed to intercept Shorey's long ball and Odemwingie pounced to poke home past 20-year-old Rudd.

The keeper, making his full Premier League debut in place of the suspended John Ruddy, looked nervous as he lined up in the tunnel before kick-off.

And the goal did nothing to calm the youngster or his more experienced team-mates in a jittery opening for Norwich.

Eventually Paul Lambert's men did start to settle and fashioned their first chance when Chris Martin and Andrew Surman combined down the left before skipper Grant Holt scuffed wide.

Two further chances fell to Elliott Bennett, who scooped over and then stung the palms of Ben Foster in quick succession, as Norwich seemed to stir from their early slumber.

However, the game soon swung to the other end with the visitors constantly looking to expose Norwich's defence through Odemwingie.

His speed caused real problems for De Laet throughout and the Belgian defender was grateful to see Rudd collect a long ball ahead of the West Brom attacker shortly after the half-hour mark.

Moments later Odemwingie's skill left Marc Tierney for dead before a fizzing right-wing cross evaded the head of strike partner Long by millimetres.

Scottish winger Dorrans thought he had doubled Albion's lead when his sweetly-struck strike flew past the despairing Rudd - only to cannon back off the post.

After the break Norwich enjoyed plenty of possession without being able to create any clear-cut chances, until they came within a whisker of scoring through Bradley Johnson's stinging drive.

It was difficult to predict which side would grab the all-important second goal as the game passed the hour mark.

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Then West Brom were given a golden opportunity to seal victory when Steven Reid tumbled in the box under the close attentions of Morison.

But Rudd superbly denied Odemwingie with a full stretch to his right to give his side a glimmer of hope.

However, they could not capitalise on this fortune, with Wales striker Morison heading Tierney's cross agonisingly wide.

West Brom match-winner Peter Odemwingie said: "It was a difficult game - everyone saw we had to hold on. But it was very important to win away especially after three defeats.

"I was delighted to score. I was lacking confidence but scoring in the first five minutes gave me the state of mind I needed and that helped for the rest of the game.

"We knew Norwich played with a high line so that is why we needed players with speed who could run behind the line.

"[For] the last 10 minutes I was praying they didn't get an equaliser."

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