Norwich City 1-0 Stoke City: Canaries continue impressive start to season

Norwich City continued their impressive start to the season with a deserved victory over Stoke in the Championship.

Jack Stacey's first goal in three years gave the Canaries the lead just before the break as he slotted home from close range following slack defending.

Norwich could have been further ahead at half-time but Stoke goalkeeper Mark Travers kept out efforts from Christian Fassnacht, Adam Idah and Jonathan Rowe.

The visitors grew into the game in the second half but rarely tested Norwich keeper Angus Gunn, while Stacey made a crucial block from Sead Haksabanovic's shot.

Gunn was finally called into action in the 85th minute when he saved well from Wouter Burger - Stoke's only notable effort on target - and substitute Dwight Gayle missed from a few yards out with virtually the last kick.

The Potters have now lost three league matches in a row, failing to score in any of them, while Norwich are the division's leading scorers with 15 goals and climb to fourth.

David Wagner's side looked set to go into the break without any reward, despite dominating the first half, when Stacey latched on to a deflection off Mehdi Leris' and poked the ball past Travers.

It was the full-back's first goal for the Canaries since joining from Bournemouth in the summer and first since scoring for the Cherries in September 2020.

The hosts were unable to match their free-flowing football of the first half, but saw out the game comfortably to provide the ideal response to defeat by Rotherham before the international break.

Debutant Hwang Ui-jo could have made it 2-0 deep into stoppage time but Travers made a good save after the South Korea international cut inside and unleashed an effort.

Norwich next face in-form Leicester City at Carrow Road on Wednesday, while Stoke visit Huddersfield on the same day.

Norwich manager David Wagner told BBC Radio Norfolk:

"We played fantastic in the first half, apart from the (lack of) goals, but the players pushed until the final seconds and luckily we got the golden shot just before half-time.

"Our full backs are starting to score now as well, which is great.

"The second half, I can only say because of the energy we used in the first half, we were not as good but the guys dug in and showed a togetherness to get the result over the lion, and a clean sheet which we needed.

"We had some chances to kill the game and our game management in the last five minutes was anything but good but to have this result against a top side that invested a lot of money in the transfer window makes it even bigger."

Stoke manager Alex Neil told BBC Radio Stoke:

"The goal was the only defining factor in the game really. We played more than good enough, and had enough chances, to get a result from the match.

"Ty Campbell had a really good chance that fell to him and we had good chances in the second half. Their goal was really scruffy from our perspective.

"We were countering, gave the ball away cheaply and they countered us, and it's a horrible time to concede the goal just before half-time.

"In the Championship games are decided by who is the most clinical and takes their chances in the game."