|Norwich City 1 v 0 Swansea City|
Saturday, 7th November 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Disappointing afternoon for Swansea
Saturday, 7th Nov 2020 17:45 by Steph Thomas at Carrow Road
Today’s top of the table clash between the swans and the canaries ended in a 1-0 victory for the east Anglian side in an exciting encounter at Carrow Road.
The start of the first half was dominated by Norwich, at least for the first ten minutes or so, slick passing and inter play from the canaries came to nothing. A very similar style to the swans this cleared the pathway for an intriguing encounter. The swans slowly came in to the game but found themselves on three yellow cards as a string of free kicks were awarded to the home side by referee Darren England. They were either charged down or off target as the swans defended admirably with Connor Roberts once again shining in his defensive role. And it was Roberts who drove forward in his now familiar wing back role as the swans pressed forwards. Bidwell on the opposite side mistimed his run when a cross from Roberts came in to the six yard box. However, pictures show he was clearly held. From there it was the swans with Ayew on top form who earned corner after corner - the third swung in by Roberts, headed by Ayew but his effort rocketed off the keepers right post. Goal mouth action at both ends of the pitch continued in what was an entertaining and keenly fought game. It was clear one chance well taken would win this game.
With the amount of yellow cards for the swans in the first half, all three centre backs were carded persuaded Steve Cooper to change formation at half time. Kyle Naughton with a slight hamstring strain being replaced by Matt Grimes. His addition in to a more standard 442 formation didn’t deter the swans as they went for the three points. Not dissimilar to the first half the swans pressed and Jamal Lowe has two clear chances to pit the swans ahead. The first a magnificent slide rule pass by Grimes sas Norwich keeper Tim Krull save. Then a clearer chance in the box was again saved by the Norwich keeper.
Connor Roberts produced a heroic block to deny Przemyslaw Placheta early on after Max Aarons managed to dash away to the byline, before dangerman Teemu Pukki snapped at a shot that was comfortably gathered by Freddie Woodman in the Swansea City goal.
Both sides were looking for a winner rather than settling for a point and a wonderful bit of interplay from the Swans completely exposed Norwich on 78 minutes, but Lowe's powerful shot was again too close to Krul who acrobatically tipped clear. It was a costly miss as Norwich found the winner six minutes from time when Bali Mumba and Emiliano Buendia combined to create a shooting chance for Stiepermann who gave Woodman no chance with his precise shot into the bottom corner of the net. It was that precise finish that was the difference and earned Norwich the points. It was heartbreaking for the swans as they deserved something from the game as much as they did on Tuesday at Brentford. The last eight minutes of play saw a frustrated Swansea pile on the pressure. Dhanda came on for Fulton and was quick and pacey, but his control let him down on the occasions he needed to remain composed. Shots from Ayew and Grimes went wide and Norwich wasted as much time as they could to earn the win.
On the balance of play and chances this should have been a swans victory, more shots, a total of 19 will please Cooper and Marsh, and the effort was unquestionably one hundred per cent.
Bidwell held in the area this afternoon at Carrow Road
The swans fly back to South Wales tonight wishing they could revisit the game and at least put one of the many chances created today away. If there is any criticism of the swans going in to the international break it’s a failure to take chances and win games, that was evident today. However take nothing away from Norwich they are a class side, and in fact both these sides are at the moment shining lights in the championship. Yes the swans will be disappointed but within a few weeks, after the international break thankfully finishes today will be seen as a learning exercise. If Swansea are to remain as competitive as they have been so far this season a more clinical finish is required in front of goal. That’s imperative. Viktor Gyökeres did come on for the final minutes, he looked calm and strong but was never in a central position to receive the ball. He was limited to a clever low shot which did little to bother Norwich keeper Krull.
The swans remain in the top six on 19 points, three behind leaders Reading who lost again today as the championship table begins to take shape. And just like last season the whole picture is close with just seven points between the swans and Nottingham Forest in 20th spot. The swans squad will definitely require a rest for a day or two, that is those who are not flying off for another ridiculous three game stint in pretty poorly planned international games.
Norwich City Krul; Aarons, Hanley (c), Zimmerman, Sorensen (Martin 69); Skipp, McLean; Placheta (Mumba 69), Stiepermann, Buendia (Tettey 90); Pukki
Subs: McGovern, Vrancic, Idah, Hugill
Swansea City Woodman: Bidwell, Naughton (Grimes 45), Bennett, Guehi, Roberts; Smith, Fulton (Dhanda 86); Palmer (Gyokeres 59), Lowe, Ayew (c)
Subs: Benda, Latibeaudiere, Manning, Routledge
Photo: Action Images
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