- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, February 23rd 2019
- Carrow Road
James Crawley reports from Carrow Road
Report: Norwich City 3-2 Bristol City
Saturday, February 23rd 2019
City’s unbeaten league run came to an end at Carrow Road as Norwich battled to another win at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table.
Jamie Paterson’s strike gave the Robins hope before the host’s pressure finally told with Kenny McLean grabbing his first of two goals.
However City raced back in front with Callum O’Dowda’s wonder goal before half-time but as the second-half progressed, Daniel Farke’s side grew in confidence.
Ben Godfrey swept home from close range as the home team drew level once more, before McLean’s accurate thunderbolt proved the difference.
Norwich wold hit the crossbar in their search for more goals but City couldn’t force a threat to equalise, as they suffered a first defeat in the Championship since November.
There were early mistakes from the league leaders who overhit forward passes which rolled gratefully through to Frank Fielding, and it was another error which led to the breakthrough with Bailey Wright intercepting the play to get City moving.
Andreas Weimann darted forward to find Famara Diédhiou to his left and the Senegal striker opted for the advancing Paterson wide to his right. The attacking midfielder made no mistake with his shot across Tim Krul and into the far corner.
There were appeals for a penalty when Josh Brownhill took a tumble but the referee was far from interested in any appeals, while City would quickly have to race back to clear Norwich danger.
But the home side were growing into this fixture and came within an inch of equalising when Brownhill this time lost possession inside the Norwich half. The Canaries looked for the tricky Onel Hernandez who cut inside but scuffed his shot, as did Norwich’s in-form striker Teemu Pukki who could only swipe and kick the ball just wide of Fielding’s far post.
Their pressure was building and finally told ten minutes from half-time when McLean equalised. Hernandez was again involved, firing a low cross towards Pukki. The striker laid the ball into the path of McLean whose first-time shot sailed beyond Fielding.
Their lead would last only a matter though as City fought back immediately. They burst forward from kick-off and O’Dowda buried the ball low beyond Krul to finish off a mazy run and stun the Norfolk crowd.
At 2-1 City came out looking for more goals instantly after the break but once Diédhiou and Paterson saw efforts blocked, Norwich were soon forcing another equaliser when Max Aarons kept the ball in play and saw his cross converted by Godfrey’s tap-in.
Now it was City’s turn to get forward as they looked to get back on the ball and Marlon Pack went inches wide to putting Lee Johnson's side back in front but for a Krul save.
And at the other end, Fielding’s cat-like reflexes kept the hosts at bay as he flung his arms to deny Hernandez’s back-post volley, before getting his body behind another Hernandez effort in the aftermath.
It was one-way traffic by now and there was little the shotstopper could do to keep out McLean’s low drive as he battled to keep possession on the edge of the box, before firing the ball into the far corner.
City Head Coach Johnson responded with a triple substitution, with Marley Watkins, Kasey Palmer and Matty Taylor all introduced to replace Paterson, Diédhiou and Dasilva with 20 minutes remaining.
But the momentum remained with the home team and the crossbar denied Christoph Steipermann as he looked for Norwich’s fourth goal of the afternoon.
City weren’t giving up without a fight and as the half progressed, Watkins got himself on to the end of a curling cross from Taylor, but the former Canary was always stretching as he put the ball over the bar. Minutes later, Weimann tried his luck with a looping header from an O’Dowda cross but it caused little trouble for the back-pedalling Krul.
The referee was again unconvinced as Taylor this time appealed for a penalty, suggesting a nudge from behind in the Norwich penalty area. Play continued as the Canaries surged forward, Jordan Rhodes was wasteful with the finish.
It would come to not matter in the end as Daniel Farke’s side held out for the win.
City return to Ashton Gate where the entertain Birmingham City on Tuesday night (February 26th, 7.45pm KO).
- Kenny McLean (36') , Godfrey (55') , Kenny McLean (66')
- Emiliano Buendía, Onel Hernández, Teemu Pukki
- Paterson (12') , O'Dowda (37')
- Jay Dasilva, Jamie Paterson, Famara Diedhiou