McLean made bright return for Canaries before blotting his copybook with poor penalty
PUBLISHED: 10:03 17 February 2019
Our latest Norwich City player watch followed Kenny McLean as the Scotland midfielder made his second league start of the season during City’s stylish 4-0 triumph at Bolton.
McLean was brought into the Canaries’ starting XI after Alex Tettey had suffered an ankle injury in midweek, here’s how his afternoon unfolded at the University of Bolton Stadium...
3 – Ben Godfrey just about wins an aerial battle with Josh Magennis in the box and McLean controls then thumps clear as Bolton make a quick start.
4 – First corner, from the right, initially cleared back to him and then second attempt is headed clear by David Wheater.
5 – Emi Buendia chips a clever free-kick into the box but McLean can only head upwards and Bolton clear.
10 – Poor touch lets him down in the final third and has to hurry a pass to Marcio Stiepermann, who can’t keep possession.
15 – Plays Onel Hernandez into the left channel, so he’s able to turn, but is dragged down.
16 – Tries a diagonal ball from deep to get Buendia in behind but the attacker is crowded out and the ball is too long anyway.
18 – Hernandez hooks over a cross from the left but the Scot can’t leap high enough to make contact at the back post.
19 – Buendia again chips a free-kick short and McLean goes up for the ball but handball is given against him.
21 – Josh Vela drags the Scotland international down on halfway as looks to lead a break, defender is told off by the referee. Seconds after Craig Noone clatters McLean, then after free-kick referee gets in his way as tries to push into space.
25 – Wonderful team goal, Buendia eventually sets Max Aarons away, after good inter-play involving McLean and Tom Trybull, right-back finds Teemu Pukki in the right channel, striker pulls it back to Stiepermann on the edge of the box and midfielder drills low into bottom-right corner for 2-0.
30 – Nice control of a Bolton goal-kick, combines with Trybull and then back-heels into space but is taken out by Luke Murphy.
34 – ASSIST – Aarons finds space on the right, cuts back to McLean, who fires a cross over to play Buendia clean through and attacker flicks past Matthews for 3-0.
37 – Takes a corner short to Stiepermann, who loses possession, and McLean brings down Vela trying to stop Wanderers breaking.
43 – Buendia drives forward and squares to McLean on the left, he tries to play Jamal Lewis down the left but probably takes wrong option as full-back scuffs cross behind on the stretch.
44 – Fouled in the centre circle by Magennis.
47 – Collects a Matthews goal-kick with good control but pass doesn’t reach Hernandez on the left.
54 – Buendia corner from the right headed down by Magennis and sits up nicely for McLean, but on his weaker right foot, and blasts well over.
55 – Buendia pass is just behind the 27-year-old on the edge of the box and slips over trying to retrieve.
57 – Buendia slips the former Aberdeen man into the left channel and wins a corner trying to put a cross in.
63 – PEN MISS – Hernandez does well to keep the ball in and squeezes a cross towards Pukki, who is taken out by Mark Beevers. McLean steps up and blasts a low spot-kick, slightly to the right, and Remi Matthews saves with his feet. Sixth miss of the season for City, from seven attempts, with McLean the fifth player to try his luck.
75 – Holds up Sammy Ameobi on the edge of the box but can’t prevent Pawel Olkowski crossing.
78 – Soon after smashing clear out of defence, drives forward and exchanges a one-two with Hernandez but doesn’t get the ball back in the box as Bolton crowd City out.
VERDICT: Shaky start gave way to an influential display full of determined running, sharp passing and attacking intent. A wonderful assist, his third of the season, but a poor penalty attempt which gave the keeper a chance to save. Should have given the spot-kick to Pukki but a positive day overall, on his first league start since August after injury.
RATING: 7 out of 10