Alex Tettey’s second-half goal gave Norwich a hard-fought win over 10-man Southampton at Carrow Road.
Saints went a man down when Victor Wanyama was sent off, with Norwich scoring just three minutes later.
Canaries’ striker Dieumerci Mbokani had missed good chances from close range before the break, while Steven Davis forced the hosts’ Declan Rudd into a fine save in the first half.
Norwich move onto 23 points, just one behind Southampton.
Ronald Koeman’s side have now lost six of their past eight Premier League outings.
The Saints manager dropped attacker Sadio Mane after the Senegalese player missed a team meeting.
Wanyama’s reckless challenge on Tettey changed the course of a game that had, until then, featured a lot of effort but not much high-quality football.The Kenyan had been booked in the first half, and there were few quibbles after he had lunged at the eventual Norwich match-winner.
Norwich substitute Vadis Odjidja made a telling contribution to the game, setting Tettey up for the Norwegian to shoot home, left-footed, high into the net.
Saints on the slide
Their fine 4-0 win over Arsenal apart, Southampton’s recent results must make for grim reading for Koeman and the club’s fans.
A yield of just four points from a possible 24 does not bode well, and although they are seven points above the relegation zone, Southampton are sliding towards danger.
It remains to be seen whether Koeman elects to strengthen his squad early in the transfer window, or give his current players the chance to get themselves out of their rut.
Norwich, meanwhile, have had a good festive season, with a return of nine points from 12. They are unbeaten in five at home, and their form at Carrow Road could prove to be vital as the season progresses.
Man of the match
The stats you may have missed
- Norwich have kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since January 2014
- They have won three of their last four Premier League games, the same amount they had won in their previous 23
- The Canaries have won back-to-back home games in the top flight for the first time since November 2013
- After a run of six unbeaten, Saints have lost their last four Premier League games away from home
- Victor Wanyama picked up his second red card of the season, more than any other Premier League player
- Alexander Tettey scored with Norwich’s only shot on target of the game
Southampton begin a run of three home games in a week against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, then they host Watford and West Brom