Onel Hernandez was Norwich’s hero as they secured four straight wins with a last-minute 2-1 win over Birmingham at St Andrew’s.
Hernandez, who spent the second half of last season on loan with the Blues, netted the winner three minutes into second-half stoppage time.
The 29-year-old Cuban winger’s first goal since scoring for Birmingham in a 3-0 win over Luton on February 12 came after Scott Hogan’s clinical strike five minutes after the break was canceled out by Andrew Omobamidele’s equalizer in the 63rd minute.
The Hernandez winner made a happy return to the Second City for former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, now in charge of the East Anglian side.
Before kick-off, the Blues announced the signing of West Ham left-back Emmanuel Longelo on a season-long loan. The 21-year-old was at St Andrew’s to watch the game.
Blues right-back Josh Williams was shown a yellow card early on for a foul on Kenny McLean and it was quickly followed in referee Keith Stroud’s notebook by Norwich midfielder Kieran Dowell for holding off Juninho Bacuna.
Dowell had the first chance, the unmarked side foot 12 yards out from Max Aarons’ cross.
It took a fine intervention from Wolves defender on loan from the Blues, Dion Sanderson, to block the danger as Sam Byram prepared to shoot after a loose ball.
It seemed to bring Norwich to life. Josh Sargent’s cross shot was hacked off the line by Auston Trusty after the forward snuck in and rounded former Norwich keeper John Ruddy.
The Blues took the lead in the 50th minute with their first shot on goal.
Hogan tapped home from Bacuna’s left wing cross, which escaped from Aarons after Jordan Graham’s chip was placed in space down the line. It was the striker’s second goal this season.
Four minutes later, Blues captain Troy Deeney crashed a ferocious, upward blow over the bar from Williams’ cut from the right.
Norwich equalized in the 63rd minute when centre-back Omobamidele rushed home.
Ruddy knocked down Marcelino Nunez’s curling free kick brilliantly, but on the loose ball Sargent won a few headers as he circled around a packed six-yard penalty area before the Republic of Ireland defender don’t come home.
Norwich should have scored again shortly after, but Teemu Pukki widened side-footed following a drop from fellow substitute Hernandez.
The Blues came close to a winner when Marc Roberts’ header from a corner kick was hacked away by Pukki.
But Hernandez rewarded Norwich’s late pressure when he passed Ruddy after latching onto Pukki’s pass into space after a long ball blasted Roberts.