Sky Bet Championship
1/12/2018 3:00 pm
Referee: Steve Martin
|Cantwell 55’, Aarons 71’, Pukki 84’||Towell 11’|
|Tettey (c)||Vaulks (c)|
Norwich had to come from behind to beat a plucky Rotherham side whose Canary supporting manager, Paul Warne had his tactics almost perfect until City turned on the style in the second half.
Both teams were on seven-game unbeaten runs prior to kick off, so something had to give and it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes after City failed to deal with a short corner.
Millers’ Skipper, Will Vaulks hit a low, strong shot through a crowd of players that Tim Krul did well to keep out but the rebound was poked him by an offside Richie Towell – the flag stayed down though.
City then huffed and puffed through the rest of the half, not really testing Marek Rodak in the Rotherham goal. The referee, Mr Steve Martin wasn’t great and was surely joking when he waved away a clear foul on Max Aarons in the Millers’ penalty area.
City could easily have been two down at the break though, with Vaulks striking the inside of Tim Krul’s right-hand post. The ball ricocheted across goal, narrowly missing the other post before going out for a goal kick.
That was heart in my mouth time, I can tell you.
After the crowd had had enough of Mr Martin’s jokes and he’d been booed off at halftime and then enduring easily the worst Tampa Bay Challenge at half-time, the Canaries came out for the second half meaning business.
Todd Cantwell equalised On 55 minutes with his first senior league goal for the club on 55 minutes. It was a great finish after good work from Vrancic and Pukki.
A fantastic moment for Todd and it clearly meant a lot to him, judging by his celebrations.
That goal rocked Rotherham and when Cantwell’s glorious chipped pass was nodded past Rodak by Max Aarons on 71 minutes, they folded.
The Millers looked out on their feet and visibly wilted. Teemu Pukki could’ve scored a hat trick in the minutes after that but due to some uncharacteristic poor finishing, he had to make do with just the one on 84 minutes.
Semi Ajayi was caught in possession by Marco Stiepermann on the edge of his own box and when the ball was rolled across to Pukki, he simply stroked the ball home to seal the points.
I almost felt a little sorry for Paul Warne, as he had set his side up excellently to frustrate and press City high up the field. The tactics were good but having got their noses in front, the Millers just didn’t have an answer to City’s superior class.
I’m not being snooty about that, it’s just the facts. Well played though, Warniola. You got your plan spot on.