Full-time: Norwich City 2 Leeds United 1 - Murphy strike inflicts Whites' 20th league defeat
Wes Hoolahan struck on his final home appearance for Norwich City as Leeds United's last away game ended in a 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road.
Hoolahan took the acclaim from the crowd with a deflected effort on 45 minutes, finding the net six minutes after a fine opening goal from United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
Phillips’ volley fired up a dire game as a dead rubber came to life shortly before the interval.
A battle for 12th place in the Championship had been living up to its lack of pre-match hype with a near chanceless exchange until Phillips struck.
Hoolahan’s equaliser, however, prevented his day from falling flat and both sides saw chances in a more open second half before Josh Murphy settled the clash with a 69th-minute effort, condemning United to a 20th league loss.
Norwich were in celebratory mode despite their low league position, honouring the long-serving Hoolahan who will leave Carrow Road after 10 years this summer, but the early exchanges failed to promise any sort of send-off for the Republic of Ireland international.
Leeds tested City’s goalkeeper, Angus Gunn, within 60 seconds when Ronaldo Vieira’s snapshot from the edge of the box drew a low save but it was the game’s only effort until the 23rd minute.
Paul Heckingbottom kept faith with most of the players who claimed a 2-1 win over Barnsley a week earlier, making one change with captain Liam Cooper replacing Paudie O’Connor in the centre of defence, but his side were unable to find much spark.
Norwich showed the occasional turn of pace going forward and James Maddison, their highly-rated midfielder, whipped their first meaningful chance high over the crossbar but with half-time approaching, Phillips made the most of a mis-hit from Vieira, angling a 20-yard finish into the bottom corner of Gunn’s net.
Kemar Roofe could have extended United’s lead moments later when his effort flew into the side-netting but Hoolahan levelled with an effort which bounced off Pontus Jansson, looped over Bailey Peacock-Farrell and struck the inside both posts before crossing the line.
Samuel Saiz almost put Leeds back in front 10 minutes into the second half with a rising shot on the turn but it took an impressive diving save from Peacock-Farrell to deny Maddison at the end of Norwich’s next attack.
Roofe was inches away again with a toe-poke from Pablo Hernandez’s 60th-minute delivery and Phillips should have done better with a curling effort which Gunn held as Leeds broke from a Norwich attack but a spell of pressure from the hosts told 21 minutes from time.
Murphy took up position inside United’s box and collected Hoolahan’s pass from the right before finishing with a strike which bounced in off Peacock-Farrell’s body.
Substitute Adam Forshaw came closest to snatching a point but his shot from 20 yards was parried by Gunn.
Norwich City: Gunn, Reed, Hanley, Klose, Lewis, Leitner, Vrancic, Maddison (Hernandez 87), Hoolahan (Trybull 85), Murphy, Oliveira (Srbeny 82). Subs: McGovern, Pinto, Husband, Zimmermann.
Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Pennington, Jansson, Cooper, Pearce (Lasogga 83), Vieira (Forshaw 74), Phillips, Saiz, Hernandez, Alioski (Grot 70), Roofe. Subs: Lonergan, Anita, O'Connor, Ekuban.
Referee: John Brooks (Melton Mowbray)