Report: Norwich City 0-0 Bristol City
Saturday, September 23rd 2017
City extended their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions with a goalless draw at Norwich City.
Norwich came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when Mario Vrancic clipped a shot against the outside of the post, while Marco Stiepermann also passed up a glorious opportunity from close range.
However, City were the better side after the interval and were unlucky not to secure another win on the road as Jamie Paterson and Josh Brownhill were both denied by Canaries stopper Angus Gunn.
It means City have still only tasted defeat once all season and builds on their impressive recent results on the road at Reading and Wolves.
Seven days after City thrashed much-fancied Derby County 4-1 at Ashton Gate, Lee Johnson opted to make two changes to the starting XI he selected against the Rams.
One was enforced; Cauley Woodrow’s thigh injury ruling him out of the trip to Norfolk, with Famara Diédhiou restored to the attack alongside Bobby Reid.
The other change came in midfield as Josh Brownhill was recalled, with Marlon Pack dropping to the bench.
The Canaries almost went in front after three minutes as Vrancic fed the ball into Cameron Jerome, who in turn curled a shot narrowly wide of Frank Fielding’s left-hand upright.
The rapid Josh Murphy took a tumble in the box soon after under pressure from Aden Flint, but the referee adjudged the City defender had used his strength legally to halt the young forward’s charge.
After Joe Bryan had sent a 35-yard effort rising over the top, Brownhill went closer still when he collected a half-cleared corner on the edge of the box. Neat chest control allowed the midfielder to send a driven left-footed attempt flashing across goal and narrowly wide.
Jonathan Leko, who was so lively against Derby, had a glorious chance to put the visitors in front on 23 minutes after a game of head tennis in the Norwich box. Skipper Bailey Wright nodded the ball into the box and Baker guided it back across goal, where Leko took a swing and miss at the back stick.
As the half wore on the Canaries found themselves frustrated by the woodwork and offside flag in equal measure.
The ever-dangerous Jerome dashed into the box and cut the ball back for Vrancic to turn goalwards, clipping the outside of the far post.
Seconds later defender Harrison Reed helped the ball into the area, where Jerome was on hand to fire the ball into the net. Home celebrations were quickly silenced though, as the assistant referee on the far side had his flag up for offside.
Norwich were edging closer and closer to a breakthrough and should have scored through Stiepermann ten minutes before the interval. Jerome was again the provider, squeezing a cross under Flint’s body and the German midfielder somehow skewed his effort wide from just a couple of yards out.
Callum O’Dowda was introduced at the break in place of Leko, who had swapped wings with Paterson midway through the first half without any joy.
Teed up by Korey Smith, Brownhill drilled a low 25-yard shot straight at Angus Gunn in the home goal, while Flint stood tall in the defensive wall to head away Vrancic’s free kick at the other end.
Good work from O’Dowda provided Paterson with an opportunity to finally break the deadlock, but the latter’s deft curling attempt was brilliantly tipped over by Gunn.
Bryan was next to take aim at the home goal following a neat one-two with Reid, but as he entered the box he opted for power rather than placement and lashed high into the stand.
THERE FOR THE TAKING
The longer the stalemate ensued, the more open and frantic the game became. Both teams were attacking and counter-attacking in equal measure.
Matty Taylor, on for Diédhiou, started one such break and cushioned the ball to Reid down the channel. The top scorer sent the ball along the edge of the box into the path on the onrushing Smith but the former Norwich man sliced his shot over the top.
Gunn held on to O’Dowda’s grasscutter late on and Timm Klose shot wide with the last kick of the game, as both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.