NORWICH, England (Reuters) - Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis boosted their hopes of Premier League survival with a 70th-minute goal to beat visiting high-flyers Leicester City 1-0 and secure a vital three points on Friday.
Norwich remain adrift at the bottom but are now only four points from the safety zone — three behind Watford and West Ham United with Aston Villa another point ahead.
Leicester stay third, six points ahead of Chelsea who now have a game in hand and nine clear of Manchester United, but they have gone four games without a win and look vulnerable.
Unmarked defender Lewis’s superb swerving strike into the far corner past Kasper Schmeichel was the Canaries’ first goal in open play since New Year’s Day, or more than 700 minutes of action.
It was also the 22-year-old’s first league goal, in his 82nd appearance for the Norfolk club, while the clean sheet was only the home side’s second of the campaign.
“It was a great cross by Max (Aarons). I just saw it come over to me, decided to chest it, saw the situation and cut across it and knew I had to hit that spot in the goal,” said Lewis.
“We’re bottom but we feel like we’ve put in a lot of great performances but the results haven’t followed. It was so rewarding today.”
The win was only the fifth of the season for the Canaries.
Leicester, with top scorer Jamie Vardy left at home to nurse a calf strain, had the ball in the net after 49 minutes through Kelechi Iheanacho but it was ruled out after VAR replays showed the ball hit his arm in the build-up.
“I thought we played OK,” said disappointed Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, who felt the VAR decision had been harsh but recognised his side needed to be better.
“I just felt probably in the final third of the pitch we lacked that little bit of quality this evening and it’s something that’s just come out of our game for a few weeks now.
“You shouldn’t lose a game like that,” he added. “We’re still in a great position with 10 games to go but we have to up that level of quality and get back to where we were for large parts of the season.”
Norwich manager Daniel Farke said he was proud of his side’s performance.
“We are playing in the best league in the world and played against one of the best teams in the league and to get a clean sheet and a deserved win we can be pretty proud. It is an amazing result,” he said.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ken Ferris