Lewis’s Goal Boost Norwich’s Survival Chances
Norwich boosted their bid for Premier League survival as Jamal Lewis fired the bottom club to a crucial 1-0 win over third-placed Leicester on Friday.
Daniel Farke’s side ended a four-game winless run as they took three points for just the second time in 15 league matches.
Norwich were in danger of being cast adrift in the relegation battle, but Lewis’s fine finish in the second half at Carrow Road gave them renewed hope of avoiding the drop.
The Canaries are now four points behind fourth-bottom Aston Villa after scoring their first league goal from open play since New Year’s Day, ending a barren run lasting almost 700 minutes.
After keeping just their second clean sheet at home this season, Norwich are three points behind second-bottom Watford, who host Liverpool on Saturday.
Leicester remain third but have won just one of their last seven league games, failing to score in three successive matches as their bid to qualify for the Champions League hits a rocky patch.
In the midst of his worst drought for three years, there was bad news for Jamie Vardy as the Leicester striker missed the trip to Norfolk with a calf injury.
After 17 goals in his first 18 league appearances this season, Vardy was without a goal in his last seven games and Kelechi Iheanacho started up front in his absence.
Norwich threatened first when Ondrej Duda’s cross found Ben Godfrey for a header that was too close to Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Harvey Barnes opened up the Norwich defence with a nimble run and pass to Dennis Praet, but Tim Krul was equal to the midfielder’s strike from the edge of the area.
Praet went closer in the 25th minute when he met Ricardo Pereira’s cross with a near-post volley that bounced off the woodwork.
Leicester were starting to turn the screw and Ayoze Perez glided gracefully past two defenders but couldn’t muster enough power or accuracy to beat Krul.
Iheanacho was guilty of a poor miss when he controlled Perez’s cross and blazed over from no more than six yards.
The Nigerian thought he had made amends for that howler four minutes into the second half when his curling shot beat Krul from the edge of the area.
But the ball had bounced onto Iheanacho’s arm as he competed for possession with Godfrey and VAR intervened to rule it out.
Norwich responded with a thunderous 25-yard drive from Duda that Schmeichel tipped over at full stretch.
Schmeichel won another duel with Duda moments later, palming away a powerful effort when the midfielder should really have scored.
Farke’s team were rewarded for their enterprising spell in the 70th minute when Max Aarons’ cross reached Lewis wide on the left edge of the Leicester area and he drilled a superb strike past Schmeichel into the far corner.
The defender’s first Premier League goal sparked wild celebrations, but Leicester should have been level seconds later when substitute Wilfred Ndidi headed over from close range.