05.04.2014 19:09 h

Football: Amalfitano strike sees Baggies beat Norwich

Morgan Amalfitano scored the only goal of the game as West Bromwich Albion won 1-0 away to Norwich City on Saturday to move five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

The Baggies arrived at Carrow Road following the controversial fall-out from last week's 3-3 draw with Cardiff, amid reports that James Morrison had punched team-mate Saido Berahino in the dressing room in the Welsh capital after that match.

Berahino was left on the bench and Morrison started in midfield as West Brom's Spanish manager Pepe Mel looked to guide the Midlands club to a much-needed victory.

But it was France winger Amalfitano who had the final say as Norwich, who twice hit the woodwork, suffered their second successive defeat ahead of testing fixtures against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Norwich's Johan Elmander had a chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute but shot way over the crossbar.

And it proved a particularly costly miss, when Amalfitano scored the lone goal of the match four minutes later.

Receiving the ball some 40 yards from the Norwich goal, former Marseille star Amalfitano skipped past Martin Olsson after the Canaries' left-back slipped and beat John Ruddy with a shot into the far corner that gave the England goalkeeper no chance.

It was nearly 2-0 when Jonas Olsson just failed to get on the end of a free-kick at the far post.

Ruddy then blocked Matej Vydra's close-range effort to keep the home side in the match.

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster, also an England international, then produced a superb save to tip away Elmander's glancing header minutes before half-time.

Norwich striker Gary Hooper, the former Celtic forward, almost drew the Canaries level in the 57th minute only for his angled shot to hit the woodwork.

And Foster had to react smartly to turn Robert Snodgrass's 25-yard free-kick onto the crossbar.

Berahino came on in the 71st minute for Vydra and soon afterwards dragged a shot wide.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton then sent on both Luciano Becchio and then Jonas Gutierrez as his side went in search of an equaliser.

But it was Berahino who then came closest to scoring, with his stoppage-time shot saved by Ruddy at his near post.

The result saw the Baggies go above Norwich on goal difference, with the Canaries looking anxiously over their shoulder heading into the final five games of the season.