Leitner returned in key role for Canaries as Farkeball hit new heights during win over Newcastle
Our latest Norwich City player watch kept a close eye on midfielder MORITZ LEITNER, who played a crucial role in an excellent 3-1 win over Newcastle as the Canaries picked up their first win of the Premier League season.
1 - Grant Hanley is closed down but Leitner robs Ki Sung-Yueng and is clipped by Matt Ritchie to relieve the defensive pressure.
2 - Combines nicely with Todd Cantwell and wins a corner, which Emi Buendia takes but it's headed clear.
6 - Left-footed looping cross to Teemu Pukki but the striker offside on the edge of the box - after a spell of the German sitting deep and dictating play.
10 - Under pressure from Ki but finds Ben Godfrey in space, attack builds and links well with Cantwell again, then spreads to Jamal Lewis but the left-back's cross is cleared.
19 - Lovely link-up with Buendia on the edge of the box but Cantwell can't quite slip Pukki into the box.
25 - Supports central midfield partner Tom Trybull after good defensive work and Cantwell switches to the left, Lewis passes to Leitner and crosses under little pressure, loops beyond Marco Stiepermann.
29 - Godfrey nods down and Leitner can push forward, tries to spread to Buendia on the right and Ritchie just makes the vital interception.
32 - Crucially wins the ball back from a cleared Buendia corner, snapping into a tackle on Miguel Almiron to get the ball back to Stiepermann in the box, who spreads back to Buendia on the right and cleared cross is volleyed in spectacularly by Pukki for 1-0.
38 - Ritchie cuts a free-kick on the left wing back to Jonjo Shelvey, who floats the ball to the left of the box, Fabian Schar is challenged in the air by a stretching Leitner but gets his header on target, Tim Krul great reaction to parry the ball up and then claim.
41 - Joelinton controls in the area, Hanley holds him up but doesn't dare to make a challenge, Trybull comes in to nip away and Leitner clears.
48 - Crucial block in his own area to clear a Ritchie cross from the left, caught by team-mate Hanley as he also dives in, but is fine to continue.
52 - Free-kick is poor from Ritchie and Leitner intercepts, frees Buendia but Argentine is pulled back by Paul Dummett as hosts counter, who escapes a yellow.
54 - Lovely from Leitner, under pressure from Joelinton on the left, back-heels to Lewis and City counter. Stiepermann builds attack but Pukki hesitates with the run, wary of offside.
58 - Lovely turn away from Almiron as City try to keep an attack alive.
59 - Shelvey finds a bit of space and attacks, Leitner tracks but can't prevent cross from the left, Krul clears with his feet.
62 - Leitner intercepts a cross and pushes forward, superbly sets Pukki free on the right, who eventually has to turn back, Buendia threads Aarons and corner won. Buendia corner cleared but Leitner keeps alive, eventually ball is worked to Lewis on the left, Cantwell turns and finds Pukki, who lashes in for 2-0.
70 - A poor corner from Buendia and Cantwell swings and misses as he tries to shoot but then Max Aarons out-muscles Almiron and Leitner helps complete the tackle.
72 - Tries to arrow a pass to Buendia but Buendia slips.
76 - In the thick of the passing, plays to Aarons on the right, who finds Buendia and then Stiepermann's fine pass to Cantwell concludes with Pukki sealing the points and his hat-trick.
90+1 - Longstaff booked for a poor tackle on Leitner, catching him late.
VERDICT: Picked up where he had left off as a substitute at Liverpool, looking fit, hungry, motivated and classy. This was a Premier League standard performance from a player with the intelligence to make Daniel Farke's style really work, having a part in the build-up to all three goals.
Dove-tailed with Trybull superbly and will be sure of his starting role if he continues to produce this level of quality. Was only his second start since injuring his ankle last December, having played a key role during the first half of last season.
Will be the next player to get a new contract if he continues in this style.
RATING: 8 out of 10