Pace of fit-again Hernandez proved crucial in City turning the tide at Forest
PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:30 21 October 2018
Our latest Norwich City player watch kept a close eye on the return to the staring line-up of Cuban winger Onel Hernandez during Saturday’s superb victory at Nottingham Forest.
4 – Tracks Joe Lolley infield but is turned too easily midway in his own half and relieved to see the ball bounce as far as Tim Krul with Lewis Grabban in pursuit.
11 – Harries Ben Osborn into a mistake out wide to win a throw.
15 – First chance to turn and run, prods a ball through towards Marco Stiepermann but Michael Hefele deals with it.
17 – Fine switch to the right from Mo Leitner, runs forward but forgets the ball and is robbed, causing City to charge back in panic to tidy up.
19 – Beats Osborn for pace on the right, takes him to the bye-line and pulls back to Leitner, whose shot is deflected over by Lolley.
20 – Again attacks Osborn, cross rebounds off him into the box but no City player can get near it.
23 – POST – Cantwell with a wonderful stepover to find Stieperman, Jordan Rhodes finds Todd Cantwell on the run and he threads a fine ball through to Hernandez in the left channel, who strikes against the base of the far post.
24 – Cuts in from the left, dummies and then low shot deflected behind by Hefele.
31 – Christoph Zimmermann to Rhodes on the right, finds the Cuban in the box, who feigns to shoot then shifts the ball on to his left and is bundled over only for a foul to be bizarrely given against him.
41 – Works hard to keep Leitner’s intercepted pass in play, Max Aarons pushes forward and Stiepermann can’t get a shot away.
48 – Manages to keep possession alive after an Aarons’ pass is too short, holds up and finds Leitner to start a counter on the left but Tendayi Darikwa tackles Jamal Lewis.
52 – Picks up loose ball in his half, weaves his way across the pitch and a perfectly weighted pass through to Lewis, who runs into trouble.
59 – Cleared corner is recycled, Hernandez beats one man on the left and then is brought down by Lolley on the edge of the box. Leitner swings in near post and Timm Klose nods in the equaliser.
66 – Chance to run at Osborn but runs the ball out of play as he starts to tire.
75 – Goes on a weaving run across to the right, Aarons’ cross is cleared, then drops to his haunches and looks in pain, eventually going down for treatment to be replaced by Emi Buendia.
Verdict: Pace won the free-kick from which City equalised and generally kept Forest busy in defence throughout. A good afternoon’s work considering it was his first start in a month, since undergoing hernia surgery, with blow to the stomach finishing his match early but not expected to be a problem.
Rating: 7 out of 10