Norwich City 3-1 Birmingham City: Canaries back on track after easy win
Norwich would have been looking to get back to winning ways after last week’s disappointing draw against a high-flying West Bromwich Albion side. They had the opportunity to go within one point of leaders Leeds United, with Bielsa’s men set to travel to Stoke City today.
Norwich granted starts to Tom Trybull and Mario Vrancic in the holding midfield roles while deploying Marco Stierpermann just off central-striker Teemu Pukki who spearheaded the attack on his own.
Birmingham City started with Jota and Jacques Maghoma on the flanks while the regular strikers Che Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz started up front, hoping to cause an upset against a strong looking Norwich side.
The game began with dominance from Norwich City as expected. Garry Monk’s men were unable to move the ball around comfortably.
Within the first 10 minutes, the sheer gulf in class between these two sides was very clear to see. The fluidity of the movement and passing that was portrayed by Norwich were quite commendable and it didn’t take them long to take the lead in this fixture.
In the 13th minute, all the Norwich movement led the ball to Jamal Lewis on the left flank, who was able to get past his opposition wing-back with ease. He then played a driven low cross into the 6-yard box, which was met at the near post by striker Pukki who tucked it in the net with ease.
Birmingham showed an immediate response by equalising in the very next minute. Jota picked up the ball in the midfield and then cut in before playing a defence-splitting through ball. His pass was collected by Che Adams who did brilliantly to turn the Norwich defender and score from a sharp angle.
Eight minutes later, Norwich had their lead back when Emiliano Buendia was able to run from the midfield and find Mario Vrancic in space. He used the approaching defender as a marker and curled a grounded shot towards the far post which completely outsmarted Lee Camp in goal.
Three minutes later, Norwich found the net again to open up the 2-goal lead. A corner was taken by midfielder Buendia, who played a perfect cross which was misjudged by the Birmingham defenders before eventually landing on Tom Trybull’s head. All he had to do was direct the ball away from the keeper, which he did with extreme ease.
As the half wore on, Norwich City’s dominance began to show as Birmingham started struggling to get on the ball for extended periods. Eventually, the half-time whistle saved Birmingham from what could’ve been a nasty first half for them.
The second half spelt more of the same for Birmingham, with Norwich dictating the pace and the intensity of the game. This meant that they did create chances in the second half too but were unable to capitalise on them.
While Adams did have a couple of decent opportunities, the second half was comfortably dealt with by Norwich as their defence stood strong against the weak efforts of the Birmingham side. Norwich were able to see it through and head into a tough run of fixtures with a massive win under their belt.
Here’s what some happy Norwich fans had to say about the result:
Best I’ve seen us play all season over 90 mins bring on Utd now 👏👏
— Jacko (@jacko120273) January 18, 2019
— Darren Gilfoyle ⚽️ (@darrengilfoyle) January 18, 2019
Three pts and improved the GD. Pity about their quick equalizer. Need to keep alert. But got the win. Good start to weekend. Come on you Yellows. OTBC.
— James Long (@J_Long86) January 18, 2019
What a start to the weekend
— Adam (@AJWard93) January 18, 2019
That was…almost comfortable! 😁
— (an)TonyM (@wowbaggerish) January 18, 2019