Norwich City 3 Newcastle United 2: Benitez's side look destined for Championship after dramatic defeat

Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey

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Norwich City delivered a devastating blow to relegation-threatened Newcastle United's hopes of staying up.

An injury-time strike gave Alex Neil's side a 3-2 Premier League win this afternoon.

Newcastle had twice come from behind – substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic scored both their goals – at Carrow Road.

But Rafa Benitez's team couldn't see the game out after Mitrovic levelled for the second time with an 86th-minute penalty.

And Martin Olsson claimed all three points for Norwich with a dramatic late goal.

The result saw 17th-placed Norwich stretch the gap between themselves and second-bottom Newcastle to six points.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Sunderland are two points better off than them in 18th place.

Newcastle manager Benitez made five changes at Carrow Road – Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor, Vurnon Anita and Karl Darlow were handed starts – and Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez dropped to the bench.

Newcastle started well, and Cisse put a header on to the roof of John Ruddy's net, but their afternoon quickly started to unravel.

United, playing a high line, made a series of mistakes in their own half, and the dangerous Dieumerci Mbokani had a goal ruled out for offside in the 17th minute.

Norwich targeted makeshift left-back Anita – who was offered no protection by Moussa Sissoko in front of him – at every opportunity.

Darlow, making only his second Premier League start for the club, denied Robbie Brady and Mbokani just past the half-hour mark, and it seemed only a matter of time before they would score.

Newcastle out until first-half injury time, when they conceded a needless free-kick in front of their travelling fans.

Darlow opted not to come for the ball – he stayed on his line – and Timm Klose met Brady's delivery to head Norwich in to the lead.

Benitez replaced Tiote with Perez for the second half, and United's best chance fell to Cisse in the 52nd minute, but the striker somehow missed from eight yards after Ruddy parried a shot from Andros Townsend.

Mitrovic, on for Anita, had a weak shot saved by Ruddy in the 67th minute.

But Ruddy couldn't stop Mitrovic's 72nd-minute header, the striker having met a cross right-wing cross from Andros Townsend.

The lead, however, was shortlived. Mbokani took the ball on the left-hand side, cut inside and smashed a fierce shot across Darlow and into the far corner.

The outlook looked bleak for United until Norwich captain Gary O'Neil handled the ball in his own box in the dying minutes.

Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot and Mitrovic stroked the ball past Ruddy to equalise.

But Olsson claimed all three points for Norwich with an injury-time shot.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Wisdom, Bennett, Klose, Olsson; Jarvis, Howson, O'Neil, Brady; Naismith (Hoolahan, 81); Mbokani. Subs not used: Rudd, Bassong, Jerome, Bamford, Mulumbu, Redmond.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Janmaat, Mbemba, Taylor, Anita (Mitrovic, 62); Townsend, Tiote (Perez, 46), Shelvey, Sissoko; Wijnaldum; Cisse. Subs not used: Woodman, Sterry, Lascelles, De Jong, Riviere.

Goals: Klose 45, Mitrovic 72, 86 Mbokani 74, Olsson 90

Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral)

Attendance: 27,137