Date: 17th August 2017 at 7:57am
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The Daniel Farke era finally lifted off last night as Norwich recorded their first League win under their new Head Coach.

After the disappointment of Sunday, a reaction and preferably a win were crucial to the momentum of the team.

Before, kick off, I was hoping to see a number of changes and Farke pleased but also surprised me by making every change I would’ve, including a change of system.

Oliveira, Hoolahan, Murphy, Vrancic and Pinto all came into the side and he changed the formation to a 4-1-4-1. Against Sunderland Farke said that he felt Ivo Pinto wasn’t quite fit enough, so he played three at the back as that’s the personnel that he had available.

The first half was a tight fairly dull affair with both sides looking evenly matched. A scrappy first ten minutes gradually then saw Norwich come into the game and they looked like they were controlling things, despite having less possession than Rangers.

Angus Gunn pulled off a decent save from a Jamie Mackie snap shot and at the other end, Marcel Franke headed straight at Alex Smithies from a delightful Mario Vrancic free kick.

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Most of QPR’s attacks came down the Norwich left as they seemed to be wanting to get Mackie up against James Husband or Marcel Franke. Things got a little testy mid way through the half when Franke and Mackie tangled and Mackie patted the big German’s cheek with an open palm – fortunately, Franke didn’t react.

HT 0-0

The second half didn’t take long to catch light and Nelson Oliveira stroked the ball past an exposed Smithies on 47 minutes, after an exquisite defence splitting pass from Vrancic.

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No shirt off celebration today.

Norwich then almost conceded straight away when Mackie fired straight at Gunn, when if he’d gone either side, he would’ve surely scored.

With QPR trying to force a way back into the game, things opened up and City were able to control the game through the midfield passing of Maddison, Vrancic and Reed, who was tireless and on target with his passing after winning back the ball.

Mario Vrancic also had an excellent game and showed that we really do have a player on our hands. His set piece delivery and eye for a pass are going to be a real asset.

Wes Hoolahan played an unfamiliar role on the right of midfield here and was as influential as ever. He was even tackling back and harassing the left winger as he also played some superb balls into and with Vrancic, Reed and Maddison.

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QPR still looked a threat though and LuaLua’s 35 yard barn stormer wasn’t held by Gunn, although he grabbed the follow up.

Just as we were all thinking that City needed another goal, it came in the 81st minute from an unlikely source.

Harrison Reed found himself with the ball in the centre of the park and drove forward unchallenged as the pitch opened up for him.

From fully 25 yards he then unleashed a screamer past Smithies and into the top corner to seal the points, scoring his first senior, competitive goal into the bargain.

What a way to open your account.

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We got a late cameo from new signing Marco Stiepermann as Farke looked to see it out and I have to say he looks a real unit. Big and athletic and a useful utility player, by all accounts.

FT 2-0

This was a completely different performance to the defeat against Sunderland on Sunday. Norwich didn’t have 70 odd percent possession and the game was much more open. In fact, they ended up with less than 50% possession but the performance was much more incisive and the squad clearly remembered their shooting boots tonight.

Franke and Zimmermann were rarely tested by Washington and Mackie but stood up to all that was thrown at them, including Mackie’s little games. Angus Gunn again played very well for his first clean sheet of the season and looked good with his feet too.

Vrancic and Reed were the standout performers for me and after scoring a thunderbolt like that, Reed sealed the Sponsors’ Man of the match award.

We go again on Saturday at Villa Park against a struggling Villa side. Not usually a happy hunting ground for City, let’s hope we can take the shot in the arm received against QPR and run with it.

Whether Wes Hoolahan can play again so quickly remains to be seen after an excellent 90 minutes. Ivo Pinto went down in the second half but then sat on the bench, so hopefully he’ll be okay.

One final word goes to the lads at Along Come Norwich and all those in the Barclay, who kept the noise up throughout the game and contributed to an excellent atmosphere.

Best atmosphere at an evening game for a long time.

Top work and thank you.


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2 Replies to “Norwich 2 – 0 QPR”

  • For the first time in tons of millions of years that the starting lineup is free of deadwood (Martin, Naismith, and Jerome) and the game was won. Sadly, their excellent professionalism cannot make up for their lack of ability, imo. Squad rotational players at best.

  • For the first time in tons of millions of years that the starting lineup is free of deadwood (Martin, Naismith, and Jerome) and the game was won. Sadly, their excellent professionalism cannot make up for their lack of ability, imo. Squad rotational players at best.

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