Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 1-1 Preston draw

Emi Buendia is congratulated after his opener for Norwich City

Emi Buendia is congratulated after his opener for Norwich City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Here is Paddy’s verdict on Daniel Farke’s side, who were seconds from a win against stiff odds before a cruel concession. 

• Tim Krul   

No chance with the deflection that veered through Andrew Omobamidele’s legs and sneaked inside his near post for Preston’s 95th minute equaliser.

His first real work of the second half only came seconds earlier, when he gathered Ben Whiteman’s dipping 20 yard effort. Fine stop in the 15th minute to foil Emil Riis with his left boot.           7  

• Bali Mumba   

Big day for the youngster. A full league debut for the club. Tested Daniel Iversen at the back post in the opening quarter. Constant attacking outlet in that first half.

But an error in allowing Brad Potts to first bring down Ryan Ledson’s hopeful punt in stoppage time and then afford him the time to swivel and hit the shot that denied Norwich all three points. As Daniel Farke said afterwards, a learning curve.         7 

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• Andrew Omobamidele   

Like Bali Mumba, another enjoying a red letter day in his fledgling career. Huge vote of confidence to be preferred alongside the captain, in favour of perhaps the more experienced Alex Tettey or Jacob Sorensen.

Desperately unlucky to be involved in the Potts’ equaliser which went through his legs. Krul bailed him out when Riis exposed him positionally inside the opening 15 minutes.

But thereafter a superbly composed debut. Won key defensive headers to foil Riis and Sepp van den Berg. Relished the aerial duels. 8 

• Grant Hanley (C)  

Time for bed over these coming days. A fifth full game in 13 days was some effort from the captain, and currently only fit senior centre back on the books. 

Concentration levels were still superb deep in stoppage time with a timely near post block to thwart Potts, and then an important header to clear Sean Maguire’s centre. He more than anyone deserved to be part of another league shut out.        8 

• Xavi Quintilla   

A first league appearance since October 24. Front foot series of attacking forays in the opening quarter. Got away with a risky late pass for Todd Cantwell intercepted by van den Berg but Mumba came to the rescue. 

Couple of outswinging late corners led to half chances for Emi Buendia.          7 

 • Kenny McLean   

An assist for Buendia’s goal and his all round effort, endeavour and nous in reading the game had Norwich in cruise control for long spells. Such a vital cog in this machine now.

• Jacob Sorensen    

Certainly did not look out of place in his favoured central midfield berth. Broke up play in front of his back four on numerous occasions. 

Was calm in possession and cleverly brought his full backs into the game to beat the home press in the first half.            7 

•  Emi Buendia 

Worrying his head coach had to substitute him with an ankle problem. Did come in for some bruising treatment but still punished Preston with his 11th goal of the campaign.

A sweet, curling left footed finish past the sprawling Iversen. Conducted the orchestra before the interval. Majestic pass threaded for Teemu Pukki in the 31st minute.

Linked with Marco Stiepermann to carve out another ball for Pukki in the 77th minute.          8 

• Kieran Dowell   

Quiet first half but cushioned a teasing ball over the top for Pukki to race clear and smash a strike against the woodwork. Then harried Jordan Storey into a turnover but the late-arriving Buendia was unable to apply a finish.

Lovely pivot and ball around the corner underlined his quality for the overlapping Mumba.           7 

 • Todd Cantwell  

Improved after looking a touch leggy. Some sloppy losses of possession when it was played into his feet prior to the interval.

Tested Iversen with a swinging shot after dragging a right footed effort from 25 yards wide. Cute ‘Cruyff’ drag back teed up Stiepermann, who saw a low shot parried.         7 

• Teemu Pukki   

One of those days. Could easily have ended up with a hat-trick. Biggest chance saw his rising shot from Kieran Dowell’s pass cannon off the woodwork.

Rolled another big Buendia-created chance wide in the 77th minute before a deflected shot spiralled over.

Just generally lacking the composure we have come to expect, but another who had gruelling international commitments and plenty of travelling.       

City substitutes          

• Marco Stiepermann (for Dowell, 72)           

Lively late cameo. Showed awareness to attract two defenders and roll in Buendia to set up Pukki. Crowded out inside the six yard box when he later attempted to swivel onto Pukki’s cut back. Best effort was a swinging shot from 22 yards.          

• Olly Skipp (for Buendia, 82)          n/a 

Perfect chip for Pukki to race clear in the 85th minute but his shot was blocked. 

• Jordan Hugill (for Pukki, 89)          n/a 

• Onel Hernandez (for Cantwell, 89)          n/a 


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