Norwich City 2-2 Arminia Bielefeld: Injury scares for Godfrey and Thompson in feisty opening German tour friendly
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City drew 2-2 against 10-man Arminia Bielefeld in a full-blooded opening friendly to their German tour - but both Louis Thompson and Ben Godfrey hobbled off in the first half in Gutersloh.
It was anything but a gentle opener for Daniel Farke's squad against the Bundesliga Two outfit playing their fourth pre-season tune-up.
Thompson started at right back but was replaced by Max Aarons 20 minutes in, after appearing to land awkwardly chasing Andreas Voglsammer, before Godfrey departed with a similar looking problem just four minutes later.
It got worse for Norwich when Reinhold Yabo cashed in on the confusion across the injury-disrupted City backline to fire past Ralf Fährmann from close range.
But a second yellow card for Joan Simun Edmundsson - following another robust lunge on Emi Buendia - tilted the game back in City's favour.
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Dennis Srbeny curled a shot past Stefan Ortega in the 38th minute before Josip Drmic notched from the penalty spot, after Brian Behrendt was adjudged to have handled Kenny McLean's flick from Patrick Robert's corner.
Norwich were easing to the victory until Jomaine Consbruch whipped a strike beyond second half substitute Tim Krul four minutes from the end.
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City quartet Mario Vrancic, Timm Klose, Todd Cantwell and Alex Tettey were missing from the matchday squad for the first tour friendly. Christoph Zimmermann was on hand in Gutersloh to lend his support as he recovers from knee surgery.
All three of Norwich's summer signings were on show from the kick off, with Drmic showing his intent to turn and test Ortega three minutes in.
Buendia then picked out the overlapping Roberts but his cross was too high for the Swiss international. Godfrey bailed out Thompson at the other end with a timely near post block after the right back was exposed by Voglsammer.
Edmundsson and Godfrey were booked inside two minutes - with the official deeming Godfrey's boot was dangerously high on Fabian Klos.
Fährmann parried from Volgsammer in the 17th minute as Thompson again struggled to contain the direct wide player. But before the restart the Welshman signalled to the bench he had to come off after an assessment by the club's medical staff.
Aarons was introduced after a consoling pat for the disappointed Thompson and Philip Heise was the next to make an appearance for Godfrey with Jamal Lewis slotting in alongside Grant Hanley.
Ortega made a superb stop to tip over Roberts' goalbound hit and then Heise went close with a 25-yard free kick.
But City's makeshift backline was exposed on the half hour when Klos dispossessed Lewis and Voglsammer picked out the unmarked Yabo to slot from close range.
Edmundsson's rush of blood reduced Bielefeld to ten men, a rash lunge on Buendia earning him a second booking.
Norwich made their numerical advantage count before the interval. Srbeny punished Jonathan Clauss' wayward throw to finish into the far corner.
Then Drmic opened his account, sending Ortega the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Farke made five changes at the break and Krul was thrust into action in the 49th minute with a point blank reaction to keep out Klos' header from an Arminia corner.
The Dutchman also parried from Yabo as the Germans tried to make light of their numerical disadvantage.
Onel Hernandez's pace was a major weapon on the counter but from one such break Teemu Pukki was not on the same wavelength as the Cuban who drifted his cross along the six yard line.
City established a greater degree of control as the game entered the final quarter and Farke gave Adam Idah his bow in the 75th minute for Buendia.
Bielefeld continued to push and were rewarded in the 86th minute when Consbruch stepped inside Aarons to guide a right-footed shot beyond Krul.
But City still had chances in the final seconds. Hernandez slapped a half-volley wide before Marco Stiepermann was denied twice and Pukki clipped a rebound against the outside of a post.
- Arminia Bielefeld (starting XI): Ortega, Clauss, Behrendt, Salger, Hartherz, Prietl, Edmundsson, Yabo, Staude, Klos, Voglsammer.
- Booking: Edmundsson (foul on Buendia, 10)
- Sending off: Edmundsson (foul on Buendia, 35)
- Goals: Yabo (30), Consbruch (86)
- Norwich City: Fährmann (Krul 45), Thompson (Aarons 20), Godfrey (Heise 24), Hanley, Lewis, Leitner (Trybull 45), McLean, Buendia (Idah 75), Roberts (Hernandez 45), Srbeny (Stiepermann 45), Drmic (Pukki 45). Subs all used.
- Bookings: Godfrey (foul on Klos, 12); Hanley (foul on Klos, 36)
- Goals: Srbeny (38), Drmic (43)
- Attendance: 2,354