City skipper’s heroic moment proved crucial to victory at Boro

Norwich City skipper Christoph Zimmermann gets a big hug from head coach Daniel Farke, following the Championship leaders' victory at Middlesbrough. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City skipper Christoph Zimmermann gets a big hug from head coach Daniel Farke, following the Championship leaders' victory at Middlesbrough. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Our latest Norwich City player watch kept a close eye on skipper CHRISTOPH ZIMMERMANN as the defender played a crucial role in last night’s victory at Middlesbrough.

Stewart Downing looked like he'd equalised for Boro in the 77th minute with a header Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesStewart Downing looked like he'd equalised for Boro in the 77th minute with a header Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

9 – Gets a pass to Max Aarons all wrong, straight out of play, to the delight of the home crowd, thumps his chest in frustration.

10 – Cool touch from a Dael Fry clearance, opts not to pass back to Tim Krul and chips to Emi Buendia down the line, who wins a throw.

16 – Puts a bit much on pass-back to Krul, who has to control a bouncing ball but deals with it with Ben Godfrey.

18 – Chased back by Britt Assombalonga but calmly finds Krul and drops wide to receive the ball in space.

25 – Aarons is cleaned out by George Friend and Zimmermann has to play back to Krul under pressure with play still going on.

32 – Steps up at the right time to prevent Jonny Howson from shooting as Boro push forward and City scramble the danger clear.

Christoph Zimmermann made a heroic goal-line clearance to deny Stewart Downing's header in the 77th minute Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesChristoph Zimmermann made a heroic goal-line clearance to deny Stewart Downing's header in the 77th minute Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

38 – Hurried pass from Krul plays him under pressure, puts ball down the right wing out of play with Howson chasing him, trying to find Buendia.

40 – Calmly heads down to Tom Trybull under pressure from Assombalonga as Boro clear a corner.

45 – Poor pass from Trybull in his box misses the big German but Aarons is there to clear.

48 – BOOKED – Trybull desperately tries to halt Assombalonga on the stretch as Boro counter, Zimmermann cleans him out as the striker proves too quick.

57 – All over the back of Assombalonga trying not to foul, caught the wrong side, and Trybull scythes the striker down and is booked. Kenny McLean heads Howson free-kick behind for a corner, Howson swings corner over from the right and Zimmermann with a powerful header clear to start a counter, which ends with Teemu Pukki being brought down.

66 – Played into trouble by Trybull but stays calm and finds Aarons on the right with a fine pass.

Sky Sports named Norwich City defender Christoph Zimmermann their man of the match at the Riverside Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesSky Sports named Norwich City defender Christoph Zimmermann their man of the match at the Riverside Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

67 – Tries to let the ball run out of play for a throw and has to stay strong under pressure from Jon Obi Mikel, with the ball eventually going out.

73 – Loose touch is seized on by Howson on the edge of the City box, but hooks clear on the slide to survive a nervy moment.

77 – OFF THE LINE – A heroic, goal-saving clearance off the line as substitute Stewart Downing heads a Friend cross from the left beyond Krul but Zimmermann is there to hook clear and deny the hosts an equaliser.

80 – Takes the opportunity to gee up his team-mates as Stiepermann gets some treatment.

90+4 – Hooks a cross from the right clear.

Verdict: A really busy match, against a good team really pushing for a goal. Good use of the ball, determined in all his battles and a memorable goal-line clearance which once again told Boro that City would not crumble.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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