It was by common consent a must-win game for Cardiff and win it they did, climbing off the bottom of the table with a decisive goal from one new signing and a man-of-the-match performance from another.
After four successive defeats in the Premier League, and taking six points from a possible 36, the Welsh team were trailing again until they were galvanised by Wilfried Zaha's introduction from the bench. Sent on after 38 minutes, the loan signing from Manchester United gave Cardiff an immediate lift, setting up the equaliser for Craig Bellamy and turning the tide for Kenwyne Jones to celebrate his own debut with a close range winner.
On a day for those of a statistical bent, Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer had his first win as a Premier League manager, Bellamy became the first player to score for seven different Premier clubs and Zaha, Jones and Fábio all made their first appearances for Cardiff.
Solskjaer admitted the pressure was on, and that it had increased with wins by West Ham and Sunderland earlier in the day. The three points would have been a relief, even without the strong finish by Norwich that would have brought them a point, at least, but for David Marshall's heroics in the Cardiff goal. The Scotland goalkeeper made outstanding late saves from Nathan Redmond and Leroy Fer to leave both managers praising his contribution. Solskjaer said: "Luckily we've got one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He kept us in the game and the lads owe him at least one drink tonight." Chris Hughton agreed, saying: "Just as he did at Carrow Road, their 'keeper made some super saves."
Inevitably, however, the focus will be on Zaha, who lifted both his teammates and the crowd when he got on. Norwich were leading through Robert Snodgrass, their best player, and looking comfortable at the time but the young winger shifted Cardiff up a gear with his incisive pace and skill on the ball. The initiative changed hands and Zaha's pass enabled Bellamy to score for the first time since December 2012, shooting under John Ruddy's body. Then from Craig Noone's cross, Jones saw his initial header blocked but forced the ball over the line at the second attempt.