Norwich City 3-1 Birmingham City: Canaries end winless run in lively game

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Mario Vrancic’s goal for Norwich was one of four in 12 first-half minutes at Carrow Road

Norwich regained second spot in the Championship as they beat play-off chasing Birmingham City for their first win in five league games.

Four goals in the space of 12 first-half minutes started with Teemu Pukki slotting in Jamal Lewis’ cross for Norwich’s opener.

Birmingham levelled immediately as Che Adams smashed in a quality finish inside the penalty area from Jota’s through ball.

But Norwich regained the lead when Mario Vrancic found the bottom corner from 20 yards out and then Tom Tryball was left with a free header at a corner to make it 3-1.

Birmingham City missed the chance to put pressure on the top six and are without a league win in four.

The Canaries, whose last league win had come on 22 December, move three points ahead of third place Sheffield United, who travel to Swansea City on Saturday.

Following Norwich’s dominance in the early stages with the three goals, Pukki came within inches of making it 4-1 shortly after Tryball’s goal when his neat back heel crept narrowly wide.

Birmingham could have folded after that first-half onslaught but kept themselves in the contest after the break as Norwich were denied more goals.

Despite their more resolute display at the back, Norwich limited them to few clear-cut chances at the other end. Craig Gardner came closest in stoppage time with a cross that crept just wide of the post.

Garry Monk’s side stay eighth, four points off the play-offs.

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