Norwich City moved into the second promotion place, three points clear of Swansea City, but this was nearly a chance missed by the Canaries, who took until almost stoppage time to finish off well organised and determined opponents.
Not that their supporters gave up hope. Goals scored in the last 10 minutes have now secured 20 points for Norwich, a record which goes a long way towards explaining their achievement in rising to the top of the pack of clubs who are chasing Queens Park Rangers. It has been a remarkable effort. After promotion from League One last season, signing the likes of the midfielders Andrew Crofts (from Brighton) and David Fox (from Colchester) did not suggest that their ambition stretched to much more than consolidation, but while the other so-called big clubs in the Championship wait for the Canaries' form to tail off, Norwich have kept on picking up results.
Or not so quietly. Just over 30 seconds had elapsed here when Simeon Jackson chested the ball to Wes Hoolahan. The midfielder dribbled into the Bristol City box and Liam Fontaine's challenge left him on the floor. Grant Holt drove the penalty powerfully past David James.
The visitors refused to panic, however, and in the rest of the half chances were at a premium. Jackson missed his kick at Russell Martin's low cross when it looked easier to score and Bristol City's Albert Adomah brought a decent save from the Norwich goalkeeper, John Ruddy.
Jackson went close soon after the break but City retained their occasional threat. Norwich could not say they had not been warned when a counter attack saw Jamal Campbell-Ryce slip the ball through for Adomah to knock it past Ruddy.
It took until a minute from time for Norwich to produce their usual barnstorming finish. Played in by Hoolahan, the substitute Henri Lansbury beat James with an acrobatic close-range volley before Andrew Surman made the points safe by slipping the ball under the goalkeeper as he came out to narrow the angle.
"This is a monumental result but it doesn't tell me anything about my players I didn't know before," said Norwich's manager, Paul Lambert. "We have footballers who can create, which means we always have a chance. But nine games left means there is a long, long way to go."
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