Sky Bet Championship
15/12/2018 5:30 pm
Referee: Roger East
|Bristol City||Norwich City|
|Diedhiou 45’, O’Dowda 53’||Stiepermann 39’, Aarons 78’|
|Pack (c)||Tettey (c)||77’|
Norwich City produced another gutsy display to take a share of the points at Ashton Gate, despite a below-par performance when compared to recent showings.
Bristol City were quicker out of the traps and were the better side in the first half. Despite that though, a stunning goal from Marco Stiepermann on 39 minutes opened the scoring, although clearly against the run of play.
A long ball forward from Zimmermann was well taken by Teemu Pukki and his quick lay-off into the path of Stiepermann gave the City number ten the chance to open his body and curl the ball into the Bristol City net from the edge of the area.
The home side equalised on the stroke of half-time after poor defensive work by Tettey and Lewis, via the boot of Famara Diedhiou. As a watching Canary, I couldn’t argue too much, other than being disappointed with Tettey’s poor control that led to the goal. It’s worth mentioning the two excellent saves from Tim Krul in that first period as well.
Callum O’Dowda was a constant thorn in the Canaries’ side and scored a scorching second for the hosts off the underside of the bar on 53 minutes.
Alex Tettey was lucky to stay on the field after being booked in the first half and then committing a series of other fouls, including pulling a player back, which is usually a certain yellow card. Referee, Roger East did us a favour by not sending him off, much to the home fans’ anger. Lee Johnson and his staff raged at the fourth official too.
On 75 minutes, Daniel Farke made two changes and brought on Rhodes and Hernandez for Tettey (phew) and Cantwell. Grant Hanley had already had to replace Zimmermann, who was reported by Sky Sports as having a hamstring issue.
The change to a back three pushed Max Aarons up into a left wing-back role as Farke went for it and within three minutes, the visitors were level.
Hernandez beat Diedhiou with a “Ronaldo chop” in the left back position and literally put the Robins’ striker on his backside, before sending a pinpoint cross to the back post that Aarons headed home from close range.
Norwich pushed for a late winner and thought they had it but Jordan Rhodes’ was correctly called offside when he poked the ball into the net late on.
A draw was just about right as Norwich went ten games unbeaten for the first time since Chris Hughton’s reign at Carrow Road. Leeds United’s win over Bolton put Norwich into second place for the first time in several weeks, with the gap to third-placed West Brom being five points.