Norwich City 1-3 Blackburn Rovers: Pressure grows on Canaries boss David Wagner after another loss

Sammie Szmodics scores Blackburn's third goal at Norwich City
Blackburn's top scorer Sammie Szmodics took his tally to nine goals for the season after his close-range second at Carrow Road

Blackburn heaped more pressure on beleaguered Norwich City boss David Wagner with a comfortable 3-1 win at Carrow Road.

Tyrhys Dolan scored with Rovers' first shot as he blasted in at the near post and Sammie Szmodics doubled the lead soon after as fans at Carrow Road jeered a Norwich side that looked bereft of any confidence.

Wagner, who succeeded Dean Smith as Norwich boss in January when the Canaries were fifth, saw his afternoon get worse when Szmodics finished off a great move from close range soon after the break.

Rovers' Scott Wharton was sent off a minute later for denying a goalscoring opportunity but City could not find a way back into the game until stoppage time when Gabriel Sara converted Przemyslaw Placheta's cross.

Having been three points off top spot in September, Norwich have dropped to 17th place in the Championship table and earned just one point from their last six games, making it their worst start to a season in the second tier since they ended up being relegated to League One in 2008.

Meanwhile, Rovers' fourth win in five league games moves them up to 10th, three points off the play-off places.

Dolan's early goal - after lovely control from Joe Rankin-Costello's pass to set himself up - shattered what little, fragile, confidence the Canaries had.

Soon after the lead was doubled as Andrew Moran's pass picked out Szmodics, who peeled off debutant defender Jaden Warner and coolly side-footed into the bottom corner.

Norwich showed some attacking glimpses as Hwang Ui-jo looked dangerous at times, but they were poor in transition as Szmodics and Callum Brittain missed chances on the break.

Hwang had Norwich's first shot on target from the edge of the box after half an hour which garnered ironic cheers from the home crowd as Leopold Wahlstedt comfortably gathered it, while Marcelino Nunez headed straight at the Rovers keeper and Onel Hernandez fired just wide in the following few minutes.

David Wagner watched Norwich City play Blackburn from the technical area
David Wagner has guided to Norwich to 14 wins in his 39 games in charge, losing 18 times

Blackburn's third goal showed all that was good about Rovers and bad about Norwich as Szmodics picked up the ball on the edge of his own area and ran unchallenged for half the length of the field before giving the ball to Dolan 25 yards out.

He drew in five Canaries defenders and lofted an excellent ball to the unmarked Rankin-Costello on the right, and his first-time low ball across the face of goal was converted by Rovers' top scorer at the far post.

Norwich were given a glimmer of hope a minute later when Wharton was red-carded for denying a goalscoring opportunity after a defensive error saw Hernandez break through on goal and the centre-back dive in and trip the Cuban attacker.

Wagner made four changes straight away in a bid to get something from the game and they almost got a goal back when two of the substitutes - Placheta and Christian Fassnacht - combined as the latter saw a header from the former' cross palmed away by Wahlstedt.

The extra man allowed Norwich to create a few more chances as Nunez fired wide while Gabriel Sara's shot from the edge of the box was deflected over his own bar by Brittain but, for the most part, the hosts failed to trouble Rovers.

They finally found the net when Placheta - who was by far Norwich's best attacking threat - got to the byline and set up Sara for his fourth goal in seven games, while Hwang's shot from the edge of the area soon after was blocked by the goalkeeper before being cleared off the line.

Those fans that remained at Carrow Road on the final whistle made their unhappiness known as more questions over Wagner's leadership were asked after an eighth loss in 10 games.

Norwich City manager David Wagner told BBC Radio Norfolk:

"It's disappointing. Obviously it hurts. I think the first three or four minutes we came into the game quite well, had some high turnovers that we didn't covert into chances.

"Obviously afterwards we didn't get our press right for 10 minutes and were 2-0 down.

"I can't complain about the efforts the players brought on the pitch, they tried until the final second, we were unlucky in front of goal and were not clinical today.

"I didn't get the press right in the first 15 minutes, I hold my hand up for this, I'm the manager, even if we know that when they cross the white line they have to do what we've spoken about."

On his future as Norwich manager:

"I can only work as hard as I can with my backroom staff and try and solve the issues, try and find solutions, anything else is not in my hands.

"I've felt support so far from everyone who has responsibility here at this football club.

"I love this football club, I love this dressing room as well, the city, the community, this is the truth, but the results are at the moment not good enough, and this is the truth as well.

Blackburn Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"I'm delighted with the win, I thought the performance was great. Some of the football we played in the first half was on a very high level.

"We knew Norwich is in a difficult place at the moment, but they still have a very good team and very good players, but we were on the front foot immediately to make it difficult for them and on the ball we created chances, scoring great goals.

"Second half we started well, scored immediately with a well-worked goal and after that we were in control, got the red card and then we were defending like lions with a great team spirit defending the box.

"It's a third away win in a short while in the league, so that's really positive for this young team with all the ups and downs."