Leicester manager Enzo Maresca was impressed with the way his side coped with a stern challenge as they edged to a 2-0 win at Norwich to maintain their excellent start to the Championship season.

Maresca’s team have now won six of their seven league games to lie second in the embryonic table but they were made to work hard for their success by a home side who had won all their games at Carrow Road before this one.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Kasey McAteer struck for the Foxes.

“I am very pleased with our performance because of the opponents we were up against,” he said.

“I have watched all their games and they usually score goals – 15 I think – so I am very pleased to come away with a win and a clean sheet.

“We had to work very hard for the points – I said to the lads afterwards that you can work on the way you play, the way you defend but you also have to have the desire out there on the pitch.

“The way the team defended was unbelievable, clearing the ball from corners and second and third phase play and that made all the difference tonight.”

Maresca made five changes to the side that won at Southampton last time out, with Jamie Vardy and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall among the players left on the bench, and he was delighted with the way the new-look line-up coped.

He said: “It’s a 46-game season and you can’t just rely on a small group of players. You need at least 20 and I want to get them all involved. You can’t just play in every game.

“It was tough because they went man for man, which meant our keeper (Mads Hermansen) saw a lot of the ball and he played an important role for us when we played out, and he also made a great save – I think he is the complete keeper.”

A tight match was settled by late goals in either half, with Leicester getting their noses in front in the 44th minute through Iheanacho’s penalty.

Referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot when Stephy Mavididi went down under a challenge from Christian Fassnacht and Iheanacho did the rest, despite a valiant effort from keeper Angus Gunn.

The Foxes had to withstand plenty of pressure after that, with Hermansen making a terrific reaction save to keep out a close-range header from Shane Duffy and Kenny McLean hitting the underside of the crossbar with a well judged chip.

But a well drilled defence stood firm and Leicester sealed the points in the 87th minute when Dewsbury-Hall squared for an unmarked McAteer to tap home.

Norwich head coach David Wagner felt hard done by afterwards.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose but I am fine with the performance – it was top class,” he said.

“I am unhappy we twice gave the ball away in the lead-up to the penalty but apart from that I am very pleased with the way we played.

“We were the better side in the second half and created three or four very good opportunities but unfortunately we were not clinical enough. The lads battled hard, never gave up and in the end were beaten by a quality side so we move on.

“I think Leicester will finish top this season and the rest of the teams will be battling for the other positions. It’s tough to take but I have every faith in this group of players going forwards.”

Striker Ashley Barnes limped off early in the second half and Wagner added: “It looks like knee ligaments and we will know more after a scan tomorrow. Hopefully it is not too serious but we have strength in depth now which is good.”

Leicester moved back into the top two of the Championship with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Norwich.

The Canaries had won all three of their previous games at Carrow Road this season and proved to be spirited opponents on a miserable evening in Norfolk.

But the visitors turned in a disciplined display to take all three points, with a Kelechi Iheanacho penalty on the stroke of half-time and a late tap-in from Kasey McAteer securing a sixth win in seven games for Enzo Maresca’s men.

A dull first half sprung to life in the dying minutes, with Leicester edging in front from the penalty spot.

Dangerman Stephy Mavididi set up the opener by bursting clear down the left flank and racing into the area, where his progress was halted by a shove in the back from Christian Fassnacht.

Referee Graham Scott pointed straight to the spot and Iheanacho did the rest, with Angus Gunn unable to keep out his well struck penalty despite getting a hand to it.

Moments later Mavididi was through again and this time he managed to get in a shot himself, with a curling effort drifting just wide of the far post.

Earlier both sides had struggled to create openings as they sought to build patiently from the back.

Fassnacht had a couple of shots for the Canaries, the latter drawing a comfortable save from Mads Hermansen, while defender Wout Faes went close with a pair of headers for the Foxes.

Despite losing striker Ashley Barnes to injury Norwich looked the side more likely to score early in the second period, although they again struggled to create decent openings.

The visitors seemed content to sit back and rely on the occasional counter-attack, with Gunn seeing precious little action.

Norwich continued to press and almost drew level in the 71st minute when it needed a superb reaction save from Hermansen to keep out a close-range header from Shane Duffy, who was picked out by a pinpoint cross from substitute Onel Hernandez.

They came even closer a few minutes later when Kenny McLean shipped an effort against the underside of the bar following a poor clearance from the otherwise excellent keeper.

It was all Norwich now, with Gabriel Sara brushing the side-netting with a 25-yard free-kick, although McAteer should have sealed it for the Foxes with a free header at the back post.

McAteer made up for that glaring miss by wrapping up the points for Leicester in the 87th minute.

A slick move ended with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall one on one with Gunn and instead of shooting the substitute squared for his unmarked colleague to side-foot home into an empty net.

Norwich head coach David Wagner was impressed with two facets of his side’s game as they beat Stoke 1-0 to maintain their excellent start to the Championship season.

The Canaries had to battle hard to secure a third straight win at Carrow Road but got their noses in front just before the break through Jack Stacey and then defended well in the second half to secure the points.

Wagner said: “I thought we played a lot of good stuff in the first half, kept going to the end and finally got our reward.

“Then in the second we had to dig in at times to get the result. Sometimes in football players get asked questions, about the need to work hard and put in a shift and they have done that.

“It was a tough game against a strong Stoke side with a lot of good individuals and we have come away with a deserved win.

“The only thing I can complain about is the way we managed the game in the final five minutes when we should have be taking the ball to the corner flag rather than going for a second goal.”

A scrappy match with few highlights was settled by a 44th minute goal from Stacey, his first for the Canaries since signing in the summer from Bournemouth.

The defender was in the right place at the right time to convert from close range after a cross from the right from Christian Fassnacht had taken a fortunate deflection off Mehdi Leris.

Norwich barely threatened after that but Stoke also struggled to get a clear sight of goal.

Tyrese Campbell missed a great chance to equalise almost straight away, dragging a first-time shot wide from a good position, and substitute Dwight Gayle failed to convert a close-range chance in stoppage time.

But the hosts had few anxious moments as they maintained their bright start to the campaign.

Wagner also praised goal hero Stacey, adding: “He scored a good goal, got plenty of crosses in and was also solid in his defensive work. He has done well since he arrived and we are delighted to have him.”

Stoke manager Alex Neil was frustrated to come away from his former hunting ground empty-handed.

He said: “I am very disappointed we didn’t get something – I certainly don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“It always looked like a game which would be won by the more clinical team and that’s the way it turned out.

“We had four or five good opportunities but didn’t manage to score any of them while they scored a scruffy goal from just about the only time we didn’t defend our box properly.

“I thought the performance was really encouraging at a really difficult place to come but I would rather we’d played poorly and won. On another day we could certainly have won the game.

“It’s difficult because we are working with a new-look squad and we have lost a number of players with injuries but I have no complaints with the effort they put in today.”

Norwich maintained their excellent start to the season at Carrow Road with a third straight home win as they beat Stoke 1-0 to keep up with the early pacemakers in the Championship.

A scrappy game with few clear opportunities was settled by a 44th-minute goal from defender Jack Stacey, his first for the Canaries since his arrival from Bournemouth during the summer.

It was a deserved win for the hosts, although they rarely hit the heights against a Stoke side who also struggled to create as they slipped to a fourth defeat in six league games.

Both sides looked short of ideas early on, with the warm conditions clearly having an affect on the pace of play, and it wasn’t until the later stages of the half that the game livened up.

The first good chance at either end didn’t arrive until the 39th minute and it was wasted by Norwich striker Adam Idah, who got a firm connection inside a crowded area but fired straight at Mark Travers.

Jon Rowe did likewise a couple of minutes later after working himself some space by cutting inside from the left but the late pressure did eventually tell, with the hosts taking the lead just before the break.

Christian Fassnacht set the goal up by dinking in a cross from the right and Stacey was in the perfect place to fire home from close range following a fortunate deflection off defender Mehdi Leris.

Stoke almost got back on level terms from their next attack but Tyrese Campbell screwed his shot wide from a good position after being set up by Wouter Burger.

The visitors started the second half brightly, with Campbell having a decent effort blocked, but Norwich looked comfortable enough after their excellent finish to the first.

The Canaries gave a debut to on-loan South Korea international Hwang Ui-jo as they went looking for a second, which nearly arrived on the hour mark when Fassnacht lifted the ball just over after muscling his way through.

Stoke still posed a threat, as they emphasised on 77 minutes when skipper Josh Laurent curled an excellent effort just over from distance, and they almost grabbed a point in the final minute of stoppage time, with substitute Dwight Gayle making a mess of a close-range opportunity.

Rotherham manager Matt Taylor believes the 2-1 win against Norwich will give his players the “shot in the arm” they needed.

Taylor was breathing a sigh of relief as the Millers earned their first Championship victory of the campaign and inflicted Norwich’s first loss.

Dexter Lembikisa’s stunning strike – his first career goal – broke the deadlock midway into the first half, smashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Rotherham continued to dominate and doubled their advantage five minutes before the break when Cafu’s inviting cross was glanced home by Jordan Hugill, who took great joy in scoring against his former side.

Norwich started the second half much better and got a goal back through Christian Fassnacht, who poked in at the near post from Jonathan Rowe’s pass, but they could not salvage a point.

Taylor said: “We got the goals which always makes it a better performance in the first half.

“You always know there is going to be a reaction. Them scoring when they did gave us time to settle. We weren’t comfortable by any means but we saw out the game.

“We were close against Blackburn, with no points and more of a match for Leicester. It could have gone either way. The players have to keep believing because we are good enough to compete and we have to get something out of these games.

“It is a shot in the arm which they needed, which I have been trying to put in with words, but nothing speaks louder than three points.

“We were at a little bit of a crossroads and waiting for the first win to give us belief.

“I was disappointed with their goal and we could have taken more pressure off ourselves by sustaining our attacking moments.”

Norwich head coach David Wagner bemoaned their first-half display but was pleased with the reaction following a half-time dressing down.

He said: “The first-half performance was below par. We were miles off and not focused.

“It was not the energy level we expected. We spoke about this at half-time and it was good in the second half. We competed on a much higher level.

“In the second half we showed exactly what we were about. But it was too late. It was a deserved defeat. Every individual should learn from it.

“The defeat hurts but it is a reality check. You have to concentrate for every single second. It does not matter what happened in the last game.

“It was no surprise with how Rotherham played. We have known the answers and what to do. We showed it in the second half but not the first.

“This game is part of the start. Now it’s a good start and not a super start.”

Dexter Lembikisa’s stunning first career goal set Rotherham on their way to a 2-1 victory over Norwich at the New York Stadium.

The 19-year-old Jamaica international, on loan from Wolves, blasted the Millers ahead before Jordan Hugill added a second.

Christian Fassnacht gave the Canaries hope but they suffered their first Championship defeat of the season as Rotherham celebrated a first win.

Norwich had the first chance of the game and it was carved out by Dimitris Giannoulis down the left wing but his cut-back was diverted wide by Gabriel Sara.

Luton loanee Fred Onyedinma came within inches of bagging his third goal in as many home games when he showed great skill in the box before rattling the post with a powerful effort.

The opener came from the next attack in the 22nd minute with a long throw falling towards Lembikisa who lashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Viktor Johansson was first brought into action by Ashley Barnes who tried to curl into the bottom corner from distance but the Swede got down well to save.

Rotherham were still having the better of the play and deservedly doubled their lead after 40 minutes when Hugill guided in a pinpoint cross from Cafu.

Norwich started the second half with more purpose and threatened when Sara’s low corner was poked just wide by Kenny McLean.

They got a goal back after 50 minutes with Jonathan Rowe supplying Fassnacht to poke in at the near post.

Rotherham could have restored their two-goal advantage with a counter-attack move led by Hugill and Cohen Bramall but Andre Green misjudged his header at the back post.

A deflected cross from Jack Stacey then posed problems for Johansson who would have been relieved to see it strike the outside of the post.

Cafu came agonisingly close to a third for Rotherham with a stunning curling effort after Ollie Rathbone had glided by McLean down the left flank.

Another big chance fell the way of Stacey but he could not get a solid connection on his strike.

Lembikisa had to do some last-ditch defending to block an effort as the visitors cranked up the pressure in the final five minutes.

Substitute Przemyslaw Placheta should have done better with an effort from Tony Springett’s centre but he could not get on top of his strike and it sailed off target.

David Wagner was bursting with pride after seeing his much-changed Norwich team reach the Carabao Cup third round with a deserved success at Bristol City.

The winner came on 49 minutes when Przemyslaw Placheta accepted a pass from Sam McCallum inside the box and turned to fire a right-footed shot just inside the far post.

It was enough to edge a fast, open game in favour of a Canaries team featuring nine changes.

Wagner said: “I am over the moon and very proud. We picked a young side and they have produced a very mature performance.

“We were not as clinical as against Huddersfield, but it was a great win against a very good Bristol side.

“What we showed was that whoever starts and whoever comes on as a sub, everyone knows his job and there is a togetherness about the group.

“We have a good and reliable squad, even if it is not high on numbers. I won’t rule out anything before the transfer window closes, but if we go with the current players I am up for the fight.”

Bristol City lacked a cutting edge to capitalise on some promising approach play.

Boss Nigel Pearson said: “It was about key moments again. There was a situation where Anis Mehmeti could have set up Nahki Wells for a tap-in and we have to do better in those situations.

“Ephraim Yeboah goes and looks dangerous, but we squander chances to give him the ball. That is poor decision-making.

“I expect more from all the players in terms of the winning mentality we need. We came up a bit short tonight against a very good team.”

Norwich created the better chances, Max O’Leary saving brilliantly from Adam Idah in the first half and Liam Gibbs striking the crossbar just before Placheta broke the deadlock.

An opportunist second-half strike from Przemyslaw Placheta was enough to put Norwich through to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 victory over Championship rivals Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The winner came on 49 minutes when Placheta accepted a pass from Sam McCallum inside the box and turned cleverly to fire a right-footed shot just inside the far post from a narrow angle.

It was the decisive moment in a fast, open game that did credit to both sides.

The highlight of an entertaining first half was Max O’Leary’s brilliant 27th-minute save to keep out a powerful downward header from Norwich striker Adam Idah.

Both teams failed to match promising approach play with a decisive finish, Nahki Wells forcing Norwich’s debutant goalkeeper George Long into a smart save with a 44th-minute drive.

Idah shot narrowly wide early on, while Gabriel Sara also went close for the visitors with a 40th-minute shot.

Norwich made a fast start to the second half, Liam Gibbs striking the crossbar with a shot from inside the box before Placheta broke the deadlock.

From then on, the visitors defended strongly to repel a committed home side, lacking a cutting edge.

Manager David Wagner expressed his pride as Norwich claimed a 4-0 Championship victory on his return to Huddersfield.

The Canaries continued their impressive start to the season as they stretched their unbeaten run to five games.

Josh Sargent pounced on a Lee Nicholls error to hand the visitors an early lead and score in a third-successive game.

The hosts’ calamitous start worsened when Matty Pearson conceded a penalty and Ashley Barnes converted from the spot.

Straight after the interval, the in-form Jonathan Lowe continued his feat of scoring in every game as he notched a fifth goal this term. And Adam Idah rounded off a delightful Norwich display with a late fourth as they rose to second place.

“We scored some very good goals and it was a deserved win,” former Huddersfield boss Wagner said.

“Nobody knows better than me how difficult this place can be and this was a big win from us.

“Coming to Huddersfield away from home, if you don’t take the lead or if you give chances away, the supporters can make a big difference.

“The players have done fantastic, used their opportunities and defended their goal with everything they had.

“(Goalkeeper Angus) Gunn was fantastic and it’s our first clean sheet and offensively we were able to break from that.

“Unfortunately, Sargent has a serious ankle injury but this goal shows the character and desire of him and the whole group.

“Overall, it was a very good performance and all our strikers have done great and scored and our substitutes made an impact as well.

“We can create good opportunities and score and this is good to know, but our whole performance was right today.

“The fact we scored four is pleasing but to keep our first clean sheet in the Championship this season, makes the win even greater.

“I’ll never rule anything out with the transfer window still open but I am very happy with the squad we have.”

It was another miserable afternoon for Huddersfield, who are still yet to record a victory this season.

Josh Ruffels went closest to handing the hosts a reprieve, but his goal-bound header was saved miraculously by Gunn.

“I can’t fault the effort at all,” said boss Neil Warnock. “There’s nobody on the pitch today who’s not given everything.

“The goals we’re conceding are silly and we can’t keep giving goals away like that – Norwich is a good side without giving them a goal.

“We started off really strong, on the front foot and I didn’t think they were going to cope with us and then we gave a goal away.

“And then the penalty’s very iffy and you’re two-nil down and you can’t believe it.

“The lads are giving everything and you can’t ask any more, but they’re very elementary goals and you can’t concede like that at this level.

“We’re getting in decent positions, but we’ve not been able to finish.

“At the end of the day, I can’t fault the effort and they’re giving me everything. And there’s a lot of the points of the game today that I did enjoy.

“But if you make mistakes like that at any level of football, you’re going to get punished and we can’t be doing that.

“I think we can beat anybody on our day but when we’re playing well, we shoot ourselves in the foot.”

In-form Norwich heaped misery on winless Huddersfield as David Wagner clinched a 4-0 Championship victory on his return to the John Smith’s Stadium.

The Canaries continued their unbeaten start to the season as they secured a third-successive win in all competitions and moved up to third.

Wagner’s visitors rose to an early lead when Josh Sargent pounced on a Lee Nicholls error to score for the third league game in a row.

And the erroneous hosts fell further behind when a Matty Pearson challenge was punished and Ashley Barnes converted the ensuing spot-kick.

A calamitous opening 17 minutes set the tone for the Terriers, who fell further behind after the restart when Jonathan Rowe notched his fifth goal in as many games.

Substitute Adam Idah added a late fourth as Neil Warnock’s side continue their search for a first win of the campaign.

Despite their contrast in seasons so far, it was Huddersfield who started the brighter and they nearly took the lead inside five minutes.

An audacious Josh Koroma effort from range dipped and swerved viciously, but goalkeeper Angus Gunn was saved by the foot of his woodwork.

However, the hosts’ spirited start was undone as Sargent benefitted from a comedy of errors to notch the game’s opener.

The United States international – who scored against the Terriers last season – blocked a Nicholls clearance and then beat the keeper in a foot race before heading the ball into an empty net.

Sargent was taken off through injury in the process, following his collision with Nicholls, but the enforced change in personnel did not deter Norwich.

And a matter of moments later, they doubled their advantage after a clumsy Pearson felled the impressive Rowe in the area.

Summer recruit Barnes, who scored his 100th EFL goal and his first for the Canaries last weekend, took the responsibility from 12 yards and converted coolly.

A shell-shocked Huddersfield rallied to shorten their arrears and they should have halved the deficit before the interval.

Josh Ruffels’ goal-bound header was destined to nestle in the top corner if not for the heroic intervention of Gunn, who clawed the ball clear.

Wagner’s half-time instructions clearly had an impact as Norwich added a third instantly after the restart.

An incisive Canaries counter ended with Idah’s inviting cross finished first time by Rowe – in the process, the 20-year-old continued his feat of scoring in every game this season.

Warnock’s outfit held onto their slim hopes of staging a comeback with Tom Edwards, Koroma and substitute Pat Jones forcing saves from Gunn.

However, any chance of a fightback was extinguished when Idah latched onto a Marcelino Nunez through-ball and calmly slotted it beyond Nicholls.

Norwich clinched a third win in their opening four league games as they equalled their strongest start to the season since 2002.

Norwich head coach David Wagner feels his side have given themselves a great platform to build on after beating Millwall 3-1 at Carrow Road to make it seven points from a possible nine in the Championship.

Jonathan Rowe scored for the fourth successive game to give the Canaries a first-half lead before Josh Sargent and Ashley Barnes struck early in the second period.

Millwall substitute Aidomo Emakhu pulled one back in added time but Norwich were worthy winners as they extended their unbeaten start to the campaign.

“I am very pleased with the performance,” Wagner said. “We created many opportunities, scored some good goals and could have scored more.

“We were also solid at the back and showed the sort of fight you always have to have against a side like Millwall.

“I had a feeling in pre-season that we had got something going here and we have now carried that on into the season proper.

“We have performed well so far and although it is only early days we have given ourselves a good platform to build on. Now we need to keep that going in the three matches we have before the international break.”

The former Huddersfield boss was full of praise for Barnes, who opened his Norwich account by netting his 100th goal as a professional.

Wagner added: “The goals speak for themselves with Ashley but he is also very good defensively and works his socks off for the team. I love working with him, he is a good pro and a great guy as well.”

A big travelling contingent made their discontent with manager Gary Rowett clear during and after the game.

And the Millwall boss admitted the abuse had been tough to take.

“To be fair if you are a fan you spend a lot of time and money on following your club and you can say what you want,” Rowett said.

“I understand they were frustrated with a poor performance but as a human being what they were saying about me is something I found disappointing and hurtful.

“No-one likes to hear things like that said about them but I have to take it on the chin, and I suppose I would prefer them to take it out on me rather than the players.

“We need a reaction from everyone, myself and my staff included, and have to work hard to turn this around. We had a great start at Middlesbrough but since then we have had three poor defeats.

“I can take getting outplayed by Norwich, because they are a good side who will be up there at the end of the season, but I can’t take getting out-fought and out worked. I was very disappointed with the way we played today.”

Norwich maintained their impressive start to the Championship season with a comfortable 3-1 win over Millwall at Carrow Road.

Young winger Jonathan Rowe maintained his record of scoring in every game so far this season to make it 1-0 and further goals from Josh Sargent and Ashley Barnes early in the second half effectively sealed the points.

For the Lions a late strike from substitute Aidomo Emakhu proved little consolation for the big travelling contingent, who expressed their displeasure with manager Gary Rowett during the game.

Norwich have picked up seven points from a possible nine and the quality of their performance suggests there could be plenty to excite the Norwich faithful this season.

The hosts were soon into their stride on a sunny afternoon at Carrow Road and Sargent was only inches wide with a first-time drive after just six minutes.

The pressure continued, with Gabriel Sara’s curling free-kick being tipped around the post by Matija Sarkic, before the Canaries made early dominance count in the 25th minute.

Excellent first-touch passes from first Sara and then Barnes saw the ball fed into the path of Rowe just inside the box and the in-form winger produced a sublime rising finish into the top corner to open the scoring.

Millwall were producing little at the other end, with a blocked shot from Kevin Nisbet their best moment of the first half, and Norwich almost doubled their lead just before the break when Rowe sent a powerful header narrowly wide from Christian Fassnacht’s deep cross.

The Canaries wasted no time in doubling their advantage after the break, Sargent netting his second of the season in the 49th minute.

Millwall were guilty of some poor marking as Sara’s inswinging free-kick came into the box, and the American frontman had little trouble heading past Sarkic, with his close-range effort going in off the far post.

Strike partner Barnes quickly got in on the act, making it 3-0 after 56 minutes following more ragged defending from the Lions.

This time Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper got in each other’s way as they attempted to clear Jack Stacey’s low cross from the right, and the ball fell kindly for Barnes to turn and fire home from just outside the six yard box.

The game fizzled out after that, with the destination of the points clearly decided, although substitute Emakhu tucked home a neat consolation in stoppage time.

Norwich boss David Wagner urged Norwich matchwinner Jonathan Rowe not to get carried away after his Carabao Cup first-round winner at QPR.

Rowe’s header in the final seconds at Loftus Road secured a 1-0 victory and an away tie against Bristol City in the second round.

The 20-year-old has scored in all three of the Canaries’ games this season and his manager has challenged him to keep improving.

Wagner said: “It’s great that he scores goals and great for him as an individual.

“If you work hard you will get your rewards and this is what Johnny has done.

“He’s a talent but he has a lot of work to do – keep the feet on the ground and make sure you work hard and continue what you are doing.

“We will support him but we will challenge him as well.”

The game produced very few clear-cut openings before a late Norwich flurry, with Ashley Barnes missing a great chance for the Canaries before Rowe netted.

“I think it was a deserved win and that we were the better team – the team which really chased for the win,” Wagner added.

“It was not a top performance but as the game went on I thought we created opportunities without being clinical in the final third.”

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth was encouraged by the performance of his young players.

Both managers made several changes and Ainsworth brought on academy products Alexander Aoraha and Rayan Kolli in the second half for their senior debuts.

Ainsworth said: “I got what I needed tonight and that was seeing the commitment and the standard of the players that haven’t been playing.

“We had players on the pitch from the academy during the game and two debutants at the end who are playing against players who have been sold for millions.

“So I’m really proud of the boys, but it is gutting to lose the goal at the end. The boys didn’t deserve that. Gutted but very proud.

“It’s cruel but it’s a lesson for some of our young boys, and the future looks quite rosy here.”

Jonathan Rowe’s goal in the final seconds gave Norwich a 1-0 win at QPR and a place in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

As the tie appeared to be heading for a penalty shoot-out, Rowe headed home Kellen Fisher’s cross for his third goal is as many games.

The game produced very few clear-cut chances before a late Norwich flurry.

Canaries substitute Ashley Barnes missed a great chance when he sent a free header wide of the target.

Rangers keeper Joe Walsh was then called into action, saving with his legs to deny Gabriel Sara, and City went close again when Przemyslaw Placheta fired narrowly wide.

QPR’s best opportunity fell to Lyndon Dykes, who was unable to react quickly enough after Albert Adomah’s cross had been headed down by Elijah Dixon-Bonner.

Scotland striker Dykes went off in obvious discomfort shortly after the hour mark having appeared to pick a knee injury – a concern for the R’s given their lack of attacking options.

The Canaries will be away to Bristol City in the next round.

Southampton manager Russell Martin admitted his side were too nervous after being bailed out by a 97th-minute equaliser to draw 4-4 against Norwich.

Adam Armstrong smashed in the last-gasp penalty to end a thriller at St Mary’s – which had seen the Canaries lead three times.

But Martin, in his first appearance in the home dugout on the south coast, was frustrated with the hangover from Premier League relegation.

“It was a fair result for both teams,” admitted Martin. “I would have been really upset if we had lost and really gutted for the supporters and players.

“It was a good advertisement for the Championship. It was entertaining. I don’t think either keeper did much wrong – it is madness they both conceded four goals.

“It was a strange and crazy game and I hope we don’t have many like that.

“There were too many moments that we wouldn’t have wanted. We gave them too many moments.

“I’m angry and annoyed at conceding four goals but on the other hand I’m proud about the team’s character and being so dominant in some parts.

“We had 31 shots which is a lot so there is plenty to be proud of but still be annoyed.

“It is the first time back this season and after last year there was too much nervousness.”

There were five goals in a crazy first half, which included three goals in 344 seconds, starting with Josh Sargent’s back-post header in the seventh minute.

Southampton burst back into the match and led after Jan Bednarek collected a rebound to score his first goal since April 2022, and Armstrong converted his first penalty of the match after Shane Duffy’s handball.

Gabriel Sara and Jon Rowe both netted to give the visitors the advantage again, only for substitute Che Adams to rifle in a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Christian Fassnacht thought he had won it six minutes from time after capitalising on Ryan Manning’s miskick but Armstrong ended the helter-skelter match from the spot, after Kyle Walker-Peters had been shoved by Dimitris Giannoulis.

Norwich boss David Wagner said: “No [it wasn’t naive to concede a late penalty], under pressure and away from home those situations can happen. I thought the players worked really hard but there was a lack of concentration at the end of the game that must not happen.

“We weren’t super clinical but we still scored four goals!

“Today it was entertaining. I think you have seen two quality sides early in the season when both teams want a win. I am happy about how brave the players were but I’ve seen we have a lot of work to do.”

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