Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries 0-0 Wolves

Milot Rashica was a major attacking weapon for Norwich City against Wolves

Milot Rashica was a major attacking weapon for Norwich City against Wolves - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Here is Paddy’s verdict on Dean Smith’s Norwich City, who had Wolves on the ropes but could not find the knockout punch in another robust Premier League outing under new management.

• Tim Krul 6 

Well-protected for the most part, and as Smith underlined in his post-match interviews, was rarely troubled. Bar perhaps when Grant Hanley put him in danger with a spicy back pass in the 43rd minute he choked straight to Joao Moutinho.

But Krul retrieved the situation with a stop using his legs from the midfielder's long range strike. Good concentration levels in the second half. Gathered Rayan Ait-Nouri's low cross at his near post. Another clear sheet for the collection.  

• Max Aarons 7 

Big chance in the closing stages of the first half, when he exchanged passes with Lukas Rupp but drilled an angled shot at Jose Sa. Smith has sought to curb his natural attacking instincts a touch, but still prominent in a vibrant second half.

Clipped a quality diagonal ball for Milot Rashica in the 50th minute, who dragged his effort wide. Still pushing in the closing stages, with a drop of the shoulder to veer around Romain Saiss and win a corner.   

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•  Grant Hanley (C)        6 

A minute or so to forget just before the interval. Horrid back pass put Tim Krul in trouble and then a needless corner conceded when a clearing header rolled over the byline. But did lead his side to a rare Premier League clean sheet. 

Prominent in the early skirmishes, with a raking ball to set Josh Sargent free to win the opening corner. Leapt unmarked at the back post but could not direct Billy Gilmour’s set piece on target.

Did just enough to track the run of Raul Jimenez in the 10th minute, who clipped over from Ait-Nouri's cross on the half-volley.   

• Ben Gibson 7 

Quietly assured display again. Gibson has grown into this season and in particular the current three match unbeaten run.

Excellent reading of the game, especially in the second half when he sensed the danger to clear a Jimenez knock down and Saiss cut back.

Good composure on the ball. Quality ping for Kenny McLean through the lines sparked a flowing counter that ended with a big chance for Rupp. Just beaten to Rashica’s inswinging free kick by Saiss early on. 

• Brandon Williams 7 

Manchester United loanee appears to be loving the aggressive, front foot instructions from Smith. Superbly halted Francisco Trincao in the 41st minute, after an earlier perfect sliding challenge to thwart Jimenez.

Grew as a counter-attacking presence in the second period, and the makings of a very decent pairing now with Rashica down the Norwich left.  

NCFC Extra: Dean Smith reaction after Norwich City 0-0 Wolves

•  Mathias Normann  4 

Unable to continue after an earlier first half stoppage, which sparked a physio consultation on what his head coach later confirmed was the on going torn ligament issue in his pelvis.

Passing radar was off in the 35 minutes he was on the park.  

• Kenny McLean  7 

Rocket-fuelled second half showing, where the Scot seemed to be everywhere. High intensity, high energy drive from midfield. Won high turnover ball for the likes of Rashica in particular to profit. Gradually got to grips with Ruben Neves.

Thumping challenge on Hwang Hee-Chan delighted the home fans, after initially losing out to Conor Coady. Lovely raking angled pass for Max Aarons to raid on the counter. Slipped Rashica in again for Rupp’s effort. 

• Billy Gilmour  7 

Growing influence on this Norwich side. Underlined by a higher share of possession than the previous week against Southampton. Showed his versatility as well, when he was deployed slightly deeper following Mathias Normann’s injury exit. 

Picked out Grant Hanley with a fourth minute corner. Slid a ball into the path of Josh Sargent, who veered wide and the chance was gone. Another driving first half run and perfect pass free Teemu Pukki, but the shot on his left foot lacked conviction.

Bailed out by Rupp after a sloppy intended pass for Aarons sparked a Wolves counter. Sargent again was the recipient of his vision on the ball, but the US international’s chest take and volleyed cross had no takers.  

• Milot Rashica  8 

Just needs that Premier League goal now. Could easily have had an assist to his name, with no end of bursts down the City left. Showed plenty of composure to square for Rupp, who side footed at Sa.

The high press under Smith and the positional switch to the left flank appear to be working for the Kosovan. Drifted a right footed free kick wide from 25 yards in the 32nd minute.

Collected Aarons’ diagonal after the interval and drove infield but dragged a low shot wide of the near post. Too clever for Nelson Semedo with an impudent flick that earned the Wolves’ man a booking, and ended with a Rupp blocked shot.

Tried his luck again from range but struck a Wolves’ defender, before that big late opening for Rupp. Exited to standing ovation from the home fans.   

• Teemu Pukki  6 

As Smith said, on another day he easily adds a brace to his growing Premier League goal tally. Poked a Rupp throughball at the advancing Sa, when he had more time after veering inside the last Wolves’ defender.

At full stretch but unable to divert Kieran Dowell’s whipped centre on target. But the energy and the endeavour in general play was the work of a man growing in confidence. Curled over in the fifth minute, after opening up his body to control Rashica’s low cross.

Then served up a decent chance for the unmarked Sargent, who sidefooted over. Weak effort when found by Gilmour but crudely clipped by Neves 25 yards out as he shaped to shot again.  

• Josh Sargent  6 

A key component of that high pressing approach Smith wants to instil in this side. But lacked composure in shooting positions.

Skied a Pukki cutback and then an air shot on his right in the 36th minute, as the ball came across his body from another Pukki range finder. 

Mobile target for City’s centre backs when they opted to go long. Quality take on his chest and volleyed delivery just before the break but Sa was out sharply to gather.   

City substitutes          

• Lukas Rupp (for Normann, 35)

Thrown in early following Normann’s departure. Certainly left a favourable impression and could have written his own headlines had he not sidefooted Rashica’s cross at Sa 10 minutes from the end.

Halted Moutinho on the edge of his own box within a few minutes of his emergency arrival from Jimenez’s knockdown.

Then popped up at the other end with the cushioned pass back into Aarons’ path to test Sa. Got himself into numerous shooting situations in and around the Wolves area after the break.

Rolled in Pukki with a first time pass begging to be finished in the 70th minute.  

• Christos Tzolis (for Sargent, 68)     

Did not neglect his defensive work to get back behind the ball when Wolves looked to use the full width of Carrow Road with switches of play. But bottled up going the other way. 

• Kieran Dowell (for Rashica, 82)       

Gorgeous left footed delivery that brushed the diving Pukki’s toes in the 87th minute.