Player watch: Frustrating competitive Norwich City home debut for Mario Vrancic during Carabao Cup win over Swindon
PUBLISHED: 22:39 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 00:02 09 August 2017
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Tonight’s player watch followed Mario Vrancic during Norwich City’s 3-2 win over League Two side Swindon Town in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Here is how his evening unfolded for the midfielder, during a frustrating competitive Carrow Road debut for the summer signing from Darmstadt.
4 – Takes first corner of the night, from the left, headed away and cleared but Vrancic recovers with nice control of a high ball before Wes Hoolahan is crowded out.
5 – Heavily involved in intricate passing on the edge of the box, little chip to Hoolahan, who spreads to Murphy and his cross is scrambled away from Cameron Jerome’s head by Swindon keeper Lawrence Vigoroux.
8 – Another corner from the left floats across to Josh Murphy at the back post but can’t get his head to the ball. Worrying moment as the former Darmstadt man is outmuscled in midfield but Reed helps clear up.
10 – Absolute howler of a back-pass from Vrancic allows Harry Smith clean through, the striker fires under Angus Gunn but James Maddison gets back to clear off the line for a corner.
13 – Dithers on the ball 25 yards out but then loops a lovely pass out wide to the right, where Ivo Pinto makes the odd decision to head the ball to Vigoroux from a wide position.
36 – Poor effort at a through-ball from the Bosnia & Herzegovina international on the edge of the box, to no-one, as his shaky night continues.
38 – Nice chipped pass to Maddison in the centre circle allows the playmaker to set Jerome away but Vigoroux just beats the striker to the low pass.
45+2 – Maddison forces a fine save from Vigoroux, Vrancic goes across to the right to take the corner and whips a lovely set-piece in which Christoph Zimmermann rises to meet but can’t flick on target.
52 – Played into the box by Murphy, turns and fires a snap shot but it’s deflected behind for a corner.
55 – Set free by Jerome midway in the Swindon half, scoops a pass forward which Murphy does his best to control in the box but is crowded out before he can shoot.
58 – Hoolahan loses possession and Vrancic makes sure James Brophy can’t launch a counter, foul given but no yellow card shown.
66 – Good run down the left from Vrancic wins a corner, Maddison swings in from the left but Vigoroux claims.
68 – First decent chance of the night, as Murphy dances his way past two tackles on the left and squares to Vrancic, who pulls his low shot across the face of goal and swipes a frustrated air-kick at the turf.
75 – Hoolahan wins back possession, nice flick from Vrancic midway in his own half as he looks to break clear but is hauled back by the shirt by Iandolo, who is booked.
86 - Massive error as poor pass-back goes straight to James Dunne but Angus Gunn makes a fine save, then makes himself big to deny Harry Smith from the loose ball.
90 – Found in space by Maddison 25 yards out, turns and hits a low shot which deflects behind for a corner. Takes himself on the right, short to Maddison, who plays it back and Vrancic hits an excellent dipping cross which Russell Martin can’t quite reach at the back post. His best moment.
90+4 – BOOKED – Hauls down Dunne as Swindon counter but free-kick is headed clear by Zimmermann and Canaries survive.
Verdict: Not the most impressive competitive Carrow Road debut for Vrancic but the 28-year-old is allowed some leeway as he settles into life in England. Clearly has ability on the ball but does not look strong enough for the battle, oddly, for a man who was playing in the Bundesliga last season. Must up his game – and quickly.
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