CLINT Dempsey added another footnote to his prolific season with an early goal that helped nurse Fulham back to health after a run of three successive defeats.
The Whites led 2-0 for most of the game – Dempsey having set up the second for Damien Duff soon after – but Norwich made life uncomfortable in the final quarter after sub Aaron Wilbraham's shot beat Mark Schwarzer with the aid of a deflection off Aaron Hughes on 77 minutes.
It did not take too long for the fans to begin the chants of 'We want six' – a reference to the Canaries' last visit to the Cottage in 2005, when Fulham put them down with a 6-0 mauling.
The Whites were 2-0 up after less than 15 minutes and already in something approaching cruise control. But there was to be no repeat of that winning margin this time.
The orange-booted Dempsey (pictured) knocked his 19 th goal of the season – and 13 th in the Premier league, with the game two minutes old.
City keeper John Ruddy got down to his right to keep out a low strike from Bryan Ruiz, but only succeeded in leaving an inviting rebound for the USA striker to bundle home.
On 13 minutes, Moussa Dembele combined with Dempsey to set up Duff for an unimpeded run on goal and although Ruddy again got a glove on it, there was enough power in the Irishman's shot for it to find the net. It was only his second league goal of the campaign.
That was the start Martin Jol's team badly needed after three straight defeats and no goals – leaving them a game away from an unwanted first of four successive games without a goal in the Premier League.
Norwich tried to pass their way back into contention, but there was no obvious end product, with leading man Grant Holt suspended for the occasion.
Fulham's attacks always looked like packing a greater punch – with City troubled by pace out wide and Dembele's quick feet when the Whites attacked down the middle.
Dembele's astute pass in fact should have yielded a third goal before the break. Dempsey darted into space on the edge of the area and his low shot rebounded off the base of the far post. Dembele's follow-up was blocked by defender Ryan Bennett, who flung himself in the way – the visitors' defence all at sea.
Johnny Howson missed a glorious chance to get Norwich back in the game on 38 minutes when he screwed a left foot strike well wide from close range, and with Fulham forced to reshuffle moments before after Pavel Pogrebnyak was forced off after taking a knock, there was a hint it might not all be plain sailing.
The Russian's departure at least gave Fulham fans a rare glimpse of Alex Kacaniklic, and four minutes into the second half, the young Swede, once on the books at Liverpool, almost marked his first Whites appearance with a goal.
The 20-year-old – back from a loan spell at Watford – made a perfect turn and chip from outside the area which was deflected onto the crossbar by Ruddy's outstretched fingertips.
That put a spring in the youngster's step and he was soon confidently taking on defenders down the left flank, with Dempsey now pushed into a central striking role.
Not that too much was seen of Fulham in attack for long spells in the second half as Norwich pinned an increasingly anxious home side back in their own half. It was not the end game anyone would have anticipated after the first 15 minutes.
Line-up: Schwarzer; Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Murphy (Diarra 71), Dembele, Dempsey; Ruiz (Etuhu 82), Pogrebnyak (Kacaniklic 35). Subs not used: Stockdale, Senderos, Frei, Trotta. Attendance: 25,700