Super sub Idah earns champions City a draw at Barnsley

Norwich City's Emi Buendia (second right) scores their side's first goal of the game during the Sky

Emi Buendia headed Norwich City level in the first half at Barnsley - Credit: PA

Adam Idah came off the bench to equalise as champions Norwich City fought back twice to end the Championship season with a 2-2 draw at Barnsley.

Barnsley led at the break thanks to goals from Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin, either side of an Emi Buendia equaliser for the Canaries.

Idah levelled early in the second half for City though and, with Bournemouth losing elsewhere, a point was enough for the hosts to finish fifth and set up a play-off semi-final against Swansea.

The champions were welcomed to the pitch by a guard of honour, with the hosts making the effort to go to the far corner of the pitch to welcome the visitors from the temporary away dressing room.

Alex Tettey was handed just his fifth league start of the season, in place of the injured Oliver Skipp, and wore the captain's armband for his final Canaries appearance. 

The former Norway international, signed from Rennes for £3milllion in 2012, made his 263rd appearance for CIty to move level with John Polston in joint 32nd in the club's all-time list.

The 35-year-old is the only Norwich player to ever enjoy three promotions to the top flight, making his 22nd appearance of the season overall.

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Vrancic also started, in place of Kieran Dowell, to end his City career on 134 appearance and 17 goals, having joined from Darmstadt in 2017 for £650,000. 

The classy midfielder, who turns 32 later this month, had been on the bench for the last 11 matches, making two brief cameos, but made 34 appearances overall this season and late winners as a substitute against Birmingham and Wycombe at Carrow Road in October we're hugely important.

Dimitris Giannoulis also replaced Xavi Quintilla at left-back, who dropped to the bench ahead of his return to Villarreal, with Jordan Hugill coming in up front for the injured Teemu Pukki.

Barnsley made three changes ahead of the play-offs, with star midfielder Alex Mowatt left out with a minor injury and Player of the Month nominee Daryl Dike starting on the bench.

There was little riding on the result and it was a fairly tame opening 20 minutes which the hosts had the better of, with Tim Krul forced into one decent save low to his right by midfielder Jasper Moon.

Barnsley took a deserved lead in the 24th minute but City were not happy about it, feeling Carlton Morris had fouled Andrew Omobamidele after the young defender had hesitated in possession.

The Canaries youth product - who had scored seven Championship goals since joining from Norwich in January for a reported £250,000 - squared to Woodrow for a simple finish.

Within three minutes the champions has responded. Kenny McLean threaded Max Aarons clear on the right and the full-back's cross picked out Buendia, who glanced a header down and past the keeper for his 15th goal of the season.

Omobamidele did well to block a Morris shot and Krul had to deny Woodrow before the Tykes reclaimed the lead, with Chaplin nodding a Callum Style cross from the left past the City number one in the 43rd minute.

Cantwell had the chance to level before the break after Hugill had pounced on a loose ball to send his team-mate through on the right, only for the midfielder to smash over the top-right corner from an unlikely angle rather than cross.

There was an injury concern for McLean five minutes after half-time, limping off after a strong tackle in the Barnsley box from midfielder Michal Helik, which did win the ball cleanly.

Idah got the shout, after 10 games out following hernia surgery, and within two minutes he has his third goal of the season.

Buendia broke on the right and pulled his cross to the edge of the box, where Cantwell calmly teed up the Irishman to his left with his seventh assist of the campaign, allowing Idah to blast into the top-left corner from 10 yards.

Home boss Valerien Ismael responded with a triple change, replacing front three Morris, Woodrow and Chaplin with Dike, Victor Adeboyejo and Dominik Frieser.

The best they could muster was a low shot from Romal Palmer, which Krul held, and it was Norwich nearly claiming the lead in the 68th minute after Cantwell had been clipped on the left.

Vrancic swung in a beautiful free-kick which looked sure to be buried by Hugill but the forward hurt himself as he powered his header wide, needing treatment after seeming to take the ball flush in the face. 

Soon after the striker was replaced by Dowell, to allow Idah to move from the left wing to his preferred forward position.

Championship Player of the Season winner Buendia should have made it a third win on the spin for the champions with seven minutes remaining, exchanging a one-two with Dowell and having the time to let the ball bounce on the edge of the box - only to blast his shot wide.

Tettey was replaced by Jacob Sorensen in the 87th minute and was given a rousing reception by the City contingent as his nine seasons as a Canaries player came to an end, during the closing moments of a brilliant title-winning campaign.

- ANOTHER CLUB RECORD

City had already broken the club record of points for a season (97) and the nine-game winning streak of February and March was also a club record, as the first Norwich team to be victorious in nine straight games in all competitions.

The class of 2020-21 has also enjoyed the best campaign away from home (15 wins and 49 points) in the club's history and have now sealed the club's best defensive record ever in the second tier, with just 36 conceded in 46 games (0.78 per game).

The fewest previously conceded by a Norwich team in a second-tier season was 36, but in 42 games (0.86 per game), by the champions of 1971-72. The title winners of 2003-04 only conceded 39, in 46 matches (0.85 per game).

- START THE CELEBRATIONS

City's entire squad are in South Yorkshire, to be presented the Championship trophy they have so superbly won on the Oakwell pitch.

After one more party, the Canaries can turn their attentions to the Premier League, with next season's fixtures due to be revealed on Wednesday, June 16.

Most of Farke's players will be able to enjoy a proper summer of rest, after just three weeks between seasons last year, although some are set for European Championship duty next month.

Pukki is hoping to shake off an ankle injury in time for Finland action and goalkeeper Tim Krul (Holland), defender Grant Hanley and midfielder McLean (Scotland) are all expected to be called up, with winger Przemek Placheta also featuring during recent Poland squads.

- MATCH DETAILS

BARNSLEY (3-4-3): Collins; Sibbick (Kitching 82), Andersen, Helik; Brittain, Palmer, Moon (Williams 67), Styles; Woodrow (C- Dike 56), Morris (Adeboyejo 56), Chaplin (Frieser 56). Unused subs: Walton (GK), Oduor, Halme, Sollbauer

Booked: Chaplin (foul on Giannoulis, 17), Palmer (foul on Krul, 63), Helik (foul on Idah, 66)

NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Omobamidele, Hanley, Giannouluis; Tettey (C - Sorensen 87), McLean (Idah 52); Buendia, Vrancic, Cantwell (Hernandez 87); Hugill (Dowell 72). Unused subs: Nyland (GK), Mumba, Quintilla, Stiepermann, Placheta

Booked: Buendia (dissent 90)

REFEREE: Joshua Smith

- You can follow the photos and videos of City's trophy lift in our Matchday Live blog

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