Luton Town celebrated the return of some of their fans by consigning leaders Norwich City to a first defeat in 11 Championship games.
In front of a limited home following of 1,000 balloted supporters, Nathan Jones’ Hatters won at Kenilworth Road for the first time in two months.
Three of the goals came inside seven first-half minutes as George Moncur and Matty Pearson scored either side of Emiliano Buendia’s fortuitously awarded penalty for injury-hit Norwich.
But Luton then wrapped up the three points early in the second half with an equally soft penalty of their own, converted by James Collins, for handball against a luckless Grant Hanley.
It takes Jones’ side within four points of the play-off places, while Norwich remain top, as Watford and Reading wasted the chance to go above the Canaries, both being held away from home.
The Hatters, clubbed 4-0 at Cardiff on Saturday, had scored just three times in their previous five home games. But it took them just 47 minutes to match that level of productivity.
Scoring three times in a league match for the first time since the final game of last season, they equalled their 3-1 League Cup win over Norwich back in their first game of this season on 5 September.
Luton went ahead on 15 minutes when Moncur cut in from the right to plant a low right-foot curler in off the post. Yet, within four minutes, Norwich were controversially level from the spot.
James Shea was judged to have brought down Przemyslaw Placheta, the Luton keeper being booked for the foray from his line that caused the Norwich man to spreadeagle himself in the box.
Buendia then exacted greater punishment, sending Shea the wrong way as his right-foot effort found the bottom left corner.
But, just three minutes later, Luton were in front again when defender Pearson headed home Rhys Norrington-Davies’s cross.
Within a minute of the start of the second half, Norwich defender Hanley then went down clumsily under the close attention of Collins, but was harshly judged to have handled the ball while lying on the deck and referee Darren England awarded his second penalty of the night.
Collins duly despatched the resulting spot-kick for his fourth home goal this season at Kenilworth Road – all of which have been against Norwich, having hit a hat-trick in that League Cup tie in September, when his three strikes that day all came in the final 11 minutes.
Luton Town manager Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties:
“They had a lot of possession as they’re the best side in the league but we deserved it. We looked aggressive and we might have nicked one or two more.
“The fans are a massive help. We were miles off where we needed to be at Cardiff on Saturday but what a great way to bounce back. The workrate was phenomenal.
“Saturday was the worst performance I’ve had as Luton manager, but this was probably the best. I’m so happy with that performance.”
Norwich City boss Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Norfolk:
“There were key decisions against us but I don’t want to think about this. Maybe the referee was influenced by their supporters.
“Grant Hanley was fouled. He had his hand on the ball but he had been fouled before he went down.
“We did not have many offensive players so it was hard to create chances. Our three proper strikers are injured. But to concede three goals was the problem.”
- 1SheaBooked at 18mins
- 2CranieSubstituted forBreeat 45′minutes
- 22Dewsbury-HallSubstituted forPottsat 90+4′minutes
- 14MoncurSubstituted forMorrellat 70′minutes
- 19Lungi Sørensen
- 27TetteySubstituted forVrancicat 72′minutes
- 17BuendíaSubstituted forZimmermannat 81′minutesBooked at 85mins
- 24MartinSubstituted forOmotoyeat 85′minutes
- 11PlachetaBooked at 33mins
- Darren England
Match ends, Luton Town 3, Norwich City 1.
Second Half ends, Luton Town 3, Norwich City 1.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Jordan Clark.
Substitution, Luton Town. Dan Potts replaces Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Rhys Norrington-Davies.
Attempt blocked. Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Matty Pearson.
Attempt saved. James Collins (Luton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Bree.
Christoph Zimmermann (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan Clark (Luton Town).
Michael McGovern (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by James Collins (Luton Town).
Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Marco Stiepermann.
Substitution, Norwich City. Tyrese Omotoye replaces Josh Martin.
Christoph Zimmermann (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Christoph Zimmermann (Norwich City).
Rhys Norrington-Davies (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Offside, Norwich City. Christoph Zimmermann tries a through ball, but Jacob Lungi Sørensen is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Christoph Zimmermann (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Gibson.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by James Bree.