Romeu screamer puts seal on Southampton’s defeat of Norwich


If a mini mid-winter revival under Dean Smith offered Norwich City faint hope, this defeat saw them revert to type. On this evidence, the remainder of the season promises to be a slog and it would have been a travesty had Southampton only came away with a slender victory. Just as it seemed Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side would have to settle for what would have been tantamount to a one-nil battering, the midfielder Oriol Romeu smacked in a wonderful effort from the edge of the box with a couple of minutes to spare, building on Che Adams’s first-half strike. Southampton, who have lost just once at home all season, are keeping good company in the top half.

The home support were able to afford a communal chuckle at the slapstick manner of Adams’s 36th-minute opener but it made painful viewing from a Norwich perspective. Brandon Williams, who struggled at left-back, made a sliding intervention but inadvertently gifted the ball to the swarming Tino Livramento and the teenager sent a low cross into the six-yard box. Angus Gunn, the Norwich goalkeeper whose last Premier League game at this ground was for Southampton in the infamous 9-0 defeat to Leicester, skewered the ball with his right boot and it bounced off Max Aarons and to Adams. The Southampton striker made a mess of applying the finishing touch, swiping at thin air the first time around before finally scooping the ball over the line and setting off towards the corner in celebration. By then, Gunn had repelled a Mohamed Elyounoussi volley and a deflected strike by the superb Stuart Armstrong as Southampton peppered the Norwich goal.

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Written by Ben Fisher at St Mary’s Stadium
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