Norwich City 1-3 Brentford: Canaries’ second best against Bees in behind-closed-doors friendly defeat
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City slipped to a first pre-season defeat of the summer with a 3-1 loss to Championship club Brentford in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Colney on Wednesday afternoon.
The Bees looked far sharper in the attacking third as Thomas Frank's squad put the finishing touches to their preparations for the Football League kick off on the weekend of August 3.
Emi Buendia did fire Daniel Farke's squad in front early on but Emi Marcondes equalised two minutes later and then the lively Ollie Watkins cashed in on sluggish defensive work to put the visitors in front after the break, before teeing up Ethan Pinnock to seal the win in sweltering temperatures.
Timm Klose made his first appearance of the pre-season captaining a side which also featured the likes of Kenny McLean, Buendia and Josip Drmic who all sat out the final tour friendly against Schalke 04 last week with knocks.
Sam Byram got another chance to impress following his move from West Ham, with Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts starting on the bench.
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Brentford's starting line up featured City old boy Sergi Canos, who played his part in Norwich's Championship title win towards the end of last season with a crucial goal in a win against Leeds. But there was no sign of the prolific Neal Maupay, who has been widely touted with a move away from the Bees this summer.
Buendia wasted little time slipping back into the old routine with a clinical opening goal, taking the ball and shifting onto his right in one flowing motion before guiding a right-footed beyond David Raya from 20 yards.
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The Bees levelled two minutes when Marcondes timed his run to perfection to collect and round Ralf Fahrmann before slotting into an empty net.
After a frenetic early start the sweltering temperatures ensured the tempo dropped, which suited the likes of Moritz Leitner and Buendia.
Philip Heise was getting plenty of opportunity to provide width down the left with Onel Hernandez drifting inside.
The referee called a halt for a mid-half drinks break which allowed Farke to get instructions on to Byram.
Canos sprung a Brentford counter on the restart for Luca Racic to pick out Watkins who scuffed his attempted effort.
Fahrmann then held on to Canos' deflected strike in a positive burst from the Championship visitors. City were finding it difficult to play through the press in the heat, prompting Brentford to raid again on the counter only for Watkins to drag a near post strike at Fahrmann.
Kenny McLean showcased his defensive instincts to rob Josh DaSilva on the edge of the Norwich area to trigger a move than ended with Hernandez's shot deflecting wide.
Hernandez was again prominent in first half stoppage time when he squared for Leitner who rifled at Raya.
Farke made two changes at the interval with Tim Krul and Marco Stiepermann replacing Fahrmann and Drmic.
Brentford also made two alterations, with Luke Daniels on for Raya and Canos making way for Fredrik Hammar.
Krul was pressed into service just before the hour mark to thwart the dangerous Watkins after McLean's attempt to nick the ball served to set Brentford away down the right.
Klose departed after a 66-minute run out as Grant Hanley renewed acquaintances with Ben Godfrey. But it was one of Brentford's second half subs, Marcus Forss, who made a swift impact when he powered down the right and held off Godfrey to square for Watkins to lash the cross past Krul.
Daniels looked far from convincing shovelling Philip Heise's free kick behind but completed the job with a punched clearance from the corner.
Farke opted to make six substitutions in one hit and barely four minutes later Pinnock cashed in on a distinct lack of defensive organisation to slot Watkins' whipped free kick from close range.
Stipermann was convinced he should have had a penalty when he tumbled inside the box before Patrick Roberts dragged an effort wide in the aftermath.
Farke clearly felt his side were hard done by and there was a further appeal from the Canaries' head coach when Max Aarons' rode a poor challenge before clipping a shot against the post from a tight angle.
- Norwich City: Fahrmann (Krul 45), Byram (Aarons 76), Klose (Hanley 66), Godfrey, Heise (Lewis 76), McLean (Roberts 76), Leitner (Trybull 76), Buendia (Cantwell 76), Srbeny, Hernandez (Idah 76), Drmic (Stiepermann 45). Subs (all used).
- Booking: Godfrey (foul on Watkins, 86)
- Goal: Buendia (9)
- Brentford: Raya (Daniels 45), Racic, Jansson (Pinnock 60), Jeanvier, Clarke, Jensen (Oksanen 77), Dasilva (Forss 60), Henry, Canos (Hammar 45), Watkins, Marcondes (Norgaard 60).
- Goals: Marcondes (11), Watkins (69), Pinnock (80)