Norwich picked up their first Premier League win of the season at the 11th time of asking by beating Brentford, but it was not enough to prevent manager Daniel Farke being sacked hours later.
The Canaries made a dream start when Mathias Normann slotted in from the edge of the area after a good run.
It was the first time Norwich had been ahead in a league game this season, although only a superb save from Tim Krul to deny Christian Norgaard from point-blank range prevented Brentford from quickly drawing level.
It proved a crucial save because Norwich doubled their lead midway through the first half when Teemu Pukki was brought down inside the box by Charlie Goode. The Finland striker stepped up to score the penalty.
It prompted scenes of jubilation in the away end, with the travelling fans seeing their side score two goals for the first time in 29 Premier League games.
But they endured a nervous second half as Brentford put on the pressure. Bryan Mbeumo had a goal ruled out for offside before Rico Henry volleyed home to make it 2-1.
Krul superbly kept out Sergi Canos’ fierce drive as the home side pushed for an equaliser, but the visitors held out for a precious win.
Norwich remain bottom despite the win but are five points from safety, while Brentford are 14th.
Farke came out in defiant mood in the post-match interviews, warning others not to write Norwich off.
However, later on Saturday, Norwich released a statement to announce his departure, ending his four-year spell at the club.
Norwich’s season finally up and running
Celebrating a Premier League victory will have been something of a forgotten feeling for Norwich fans.
This was their first top-flight win since they beat Leicester 1-0 on 28 February 2020. And it ended a run 20 games without a victory, during which they lost 18 and drew just two.
Their first-half performance belied that of a team on such a torrid run. Farke’s side attacked with pace and confidence and fully deserved their two-goal lead at half-time.
But poor defending has blighted Norwich this season, and when Henry was left completely unmarked to halve the deficit, the away fans must have feared the worst.
Brentford did respond but to Norwich’s credit, they defended resolutely to protect their slender lead and secure a huge, confidence-boosting win.
Farke’s departure leaves an element of uncertainty, however, and whether they can build on this victory will depend on who replaces the German.
Brentford, meanwhile, have now lost four league games in a row for the first time in five years and for the first time under coach Thomas Frank.
They currently sit 14th in the table will be desperate to turn around their fortunes after a strong start to their maiden Premier League season.
“My body is burning, I hate losing,” Frank said. “I will be devastated tonight but then I will have 24 hours and then need to go again.
“Out of the last four games we lost – three top performances we should have won and we were bad against Burnley.”
Player of the match
Squad number14Player nameGhoddos
Squad number17Player nameToney
Squad number19Player nameMbeumo
Squad number3Player nameHenry
Squad number40Player nameFernandez
Squad number4Player nameGoode
Squad number22Player nameM Jorgensen
Squad number5Player namePinnock
Squad number6Player nameNørgaard
Squad number18Player nameJansson
Squad number8Player nameJensen
Squad number27Player nameJanelt
Squad number7Player nameCanoes
Squad number9Player nameForss
Squad number16Player nameNormann
Squad number35Player nameIdah
Squad number44Player nameFor omobams
Squad number22Player nameGoat
Squad number17Player nameRashica
Squad number2Player nameAarons
Squad number1Player nameKrul
Squad number21Player nameWilliams
Squad number20Player nameLees-Melou
Squad number24Player nameSargent
Squad number30Player nameGiannoulis
Squad number23Player nameMcLean
Squad number10Player nameDowell
Squad number4Player nameGibson
22M JorgensenSubstituted forGoodeat 12′minutesBooked at 28mins
27JaneltSubstituted forGhoddosat 45′minutes
3HenrySubstituted forForssat 69′minutes
17ToneyBooked at 4mins
2AaronsBooked at 90mins
44For omobamsBooked at 52mins
16NormannBooked at 32mins
10DowellSubstituted forGiannoulisat 74′minutes
17RashicaSubstituted forIdahat 90+5′minutes
22GoatSubstituted forSargentat 78′minutes
Match ends, Brentford 1, Norwich City 2.
Second Half ends, Brentford 1, Norwich City 2.
Saman Ghoddos (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dimitris Giannoulis (Norwich City).
Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Pierre Lees-Melou.
Substitution, Norwich City. Adam Idah replaces Milot Rashica.
Attempt missed. Charlie Goode (Brentford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.
Max Aarons (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Sergi Canós (Brentford) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Bryan Mbeumo.
Offside, Norwich City. Max Aarons tries a through ball, but Milot Rashica is caught offside.
Offside, Brentford. Charlie Goode tries a through ball, but Ivan Toney is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Milot Rashica (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pierre Lees-Melou.
Attempt blocked. Sergi Canós (Brentford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mathias Jensen.
Foul by Christian Nørgaard (Brentford).
Joshua Sargent (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Norwich City. Joshua Sargent replaces Teemu Pukki.
Attempt saved. Sergi Canós (Brentford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Mathias Jensen with a cross.
Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Dimitris Giannoulis.