Marcelino Nunez's first-half free-kick saw Norwich City take all three points against Ipswich Town, winning 1-0 in the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road.

The Blues, who entered the match as slight favourites, struggled to get a foothold in the match as the Canaries grew in confidence. Nunez's swerving set piece saw them take the lead shortly before the break and Town were unable to recover, falling to a narrow defeat in Norfolk.

SIGN-UP! Get two months of ALL our Town content for just £2 - or 30% off a whole year!

Norwich aimed for a fast start, pressing up the pitch straight from kick off. Borja Sainz won a corner as his cross deflected off Axel Tuanzebe, but it was cleared up as far as the Spaniard, who blazed a shot over the bar from outside the box.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Blues failed to register a shot on target in the first half of the matchThe Blues failed to register a shot on target in the first half of the match (Image: Pagepix)

The Canaries had the better of the chances in the opening stages of the game, although they failed to carve out anything concrete. Ipswich, on the other hand, struggled to use the space when they played the ball forward.

Norwich were presented with a golden opportunity to open the scoring on the half-hour mark as Josh Sargent snuck behind Luke Woolfenden and pounced on a through ball, racing through on goal. Axel Tuanzebe rushed in to clear it but caught the striker, giving away a free-kick on the right edge of the box and picking up a yellow card.

Marcelino Nunez struck it hard and low as the wall jumped, with the ball deflecting out of play for a corner, which the Blues cleared.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Canaries opened the scoring in the first half of the gameThe Canaries opened the scoring in the first half of the game (Image: Pagepix)

It opened up the game for the hosts, who found more and more space to work the ball into dangerous areas. Town, on the other hand, were struggling to get a touch of the ball, giving away free-kicks in threatening areas.

They were made to pay for it in the 39th minute as Sam Morsy brought down Sargent. Marcelino Nunez stepped up to take it, firing a swerving free-kick in off the post from 25 yards out to give his side the lead in the derby.

Ipswich showed a bit more in the early moments after the restart, but they looked sloppy playing out from the pack. Norwich almost pounced on a sliced kick from Vaclav Hladky, and as the visitors pushed up the other end, they were still lacking the crisp pass to create their first real chance of the game.

East Anglian Daily Times: Town enjoyed more time on the ball after the breakTown enjoyed more time on the ball after the break (Image: Ross Halls)

Norwich came again in the 57th minute as a lobbed ball hit Sainz on the head and bounced over him, allowing him to break down the left as Hladky came out of his goal, although the winger flicked his dinked shot wide of the target.

Sam Morsy was lucky to avoid his 14th yellow card of the season three minutes later as the Canaries capitalised on a slip-up at the back. The Egyptian clipped Sargent on the edge of the box as the home fans howled for a free-kick. Referee Matthew Donohue was unmoved, however, as Ashley Barnes fired a low shot into the gloves of Hladky.

Just as it looked like they were going to sit deep and try to see out the game with a mid-block, David Wagner's side came to life once again. Both Sargent and Sainz had chances to double the lead around the 70th minute, but they weren't able to capitalise.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich pushed hard for a stoppage-time equaliser, but it wasn't to be.Ipswich pushed hard for a stoppage-time equaliser, but it wasn't to be. (Image: Ross Halls)

A quick break allowed Leif Davis to set up Conor Chaplin with a trademark cutback in the 74th minute, but the midfielder fired his effort over the bar. Kieran McKenna responded by rolling the dice for the final time with a triple substitution.

Marcus Harness was presented was a brilliant opportunity to level the match in the dying stages, but he couldn't make a proper connection with the shot. Town continued to push for an equaliser in stoppage time, but it wasn't to be.

Norwich XI: 4-2-3-1: Gunn; Stacey, Duffy, Gibson, McCallum; Nunez, McLean; Sara, Barnes (Gibbs 75'), Sainz (Batth 90+2'); Sargent

Town XI: 4-2-3-1: Hladky; Tuanzebe (Clarke 62'), Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis; Morsy, Luongo (Taylor 74'); Hutchinson, Chaplin (Harness 74'), Broadhead (Sarmiento 62'); Moore (Al-Hamadi 74')

Attendance: 27,001 (2,001 away)