Ex-Canaries striker returns to action with vital assist

Nelson Oliveira scored 20 goals in 70 games for Norwich Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Nelson Oliveira scored 20 goals in 70 games for Norwich Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

There was a positive return to action in Greece for former Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira at the weekend, setting up a vital equaliser to keep hopes of Champions League qualification alive.

The Portugal international came on in the 67th minute for AEK Athens, shortly after former Manchester United forward Federico Macheda had given reigning champions Panathanikos the lead.

Just eight minutes later the 28-year-old turned sharply into space on the edge of the box and played in Croatian forward Marko Livaja, who lashed a shot into the bottom-right corner to equalise for the hosts.

The Greek top flight has resumed after a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic with the top six having 10 play-off games to decide the final standings, with Athens third but tied on points with Panathanikos.

It takes Oliveira’s tally for the season to eight assists and 11 goals in 24 games this season, having been allowed to leave Norwich last summer after a spell on loan at Reading, due to the final year of his contract being worth in excess of £1million. He scored 20 goals in 70 games for the Canaries.

The former Benfica, Nottingham Forest and Swansea striker opened up on falling out of favour at City at the end of last year, saying he was ‘punished’ for his angry celebration of a goal in the direction of head coach Daniel Farke after initially starting a game at Fulham on the bench.

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