Flashes of class as City midfielder Leitner shook off the rust in unfamiliar position against Owls
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Our latest Norwich City player watch followed the fortunes of Moritz Leitner as the midfielder played all of Friday’s 2-2 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
1 – Starts on the right of the attacking midfield three, with Todd Cantwell dropping to the bench. Teemu Pukki robs Sam Hutchinson in midfield then tries to back-heel to Leitner but doesn’t find him.
3 – Drifting central from early – like Emi Buendia so often does – comes across to the left and tries to exchange a one-two with Onel Hernandez but possession is lost and the winger concedes a free-kick.
5 – Runs in support of Marco Stiepermann on a counter but his fellow German passes behind him on halfway.
7 – Superb by Hernandez on the left to cut in-field, slightly under-hits pass to Leitner but the midfielder pushes to the edge of the box then finds Pukki to his right, who beats two men and fires a shot over.
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11 – Drops back to help Kenny McLean sweep up but over-hits pass to Hernandez out of play.
12 – Intercepts Josh Onomah’s pass and finds Lewis to start an attack.
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14 – Drops back but can’t halt Marco Matias, Liam Palmer crosses from the left and Steven Fletcher heads wide for the visitors.
16 – Lovely chip in to Pukki in the box but striker is crowded out.
17 – Swings in corner from the left, which is headed clear – his first of a remarkable 13 corners, few of which were particularly dangerous.
22 – In the thick of the possession play on the right and tees up Hernandez, who plays Max Aarons into the box, Pukki’s shot can’t squeeze through the legs behind him as the Finn flicks goalwards from six yards.
25 – Hernandez is fouled by Dominic Iorfa but Leitner is alert on the left to claim the loose ball and then play a perfectly weighted pass to get Hernandez on the attack, but cut-back doesn’t reach Stiepermann.
28 – Beauty of a cross to Pukki in the box from the left but the striker can’t control to turn and shoot. Influence growing by the minute.
38 – Stiepermann bundles his way through midfield and Leitner flicks in Pukki with the help of a deflection, who wins a corner.
39 – Swings in a corner from the left, nodded away and Zimmermann wins another. Goes across to the right and Zimmermann nods on at the near post but City can’t force a chance.
44 – Really sharp to nick the ball after Stiepermann was robbed, nice one-two with McLean to flick to Pukki but Hernandez can’t control in the box.
45+1 – Combines with Lewis to keep chance alive on the left and then wins a corner off Iorfa, Short corner with Hernandez doesn’t work and can’t stop Matias breaking away.
45+4 – Swings in another corner from the right but headed clear.
46 – Hernandez is fouled and then Iorfa bundles Leitner over, free-kick short to Hernandez and they exchange a one-two on the left but the winger’s cross is cut out.
49 – Takes corner on the left short and then cross is deflected behind again. Swings this one in, McLean can’t reach and Fletcher just heads away from Godfrey.
55 – Soon after Trybull wins a crunching tackle in midfield and Leitner arrows a fine pass to Hernandez on the left, the ball drops to Stiepermann and the midfielder lashes a low half-volley beyond the far post.
61 – Swings in corner from the left and Godfrey just can’t connect near the penalty spot.
63 – In the thick of the action as City build an attack and puts his foot in to stop Wednesday clearing but Stiepermann bends a poor shot wide.
72 – Keeps a City chance alive after a Stiepermann free-kick is headed clear, spreads the ball to the right and Stiepermann weaves into the box but doesn’t pull the trigger.
80 – Drops deeper as Mario Vrancic replaces Trybull and immediately plays Pukki into right channel and Michael Hector has to put out for a throw.
82 – Swings in free-kick from the right which is headed away, keeps alive under pressure but loses boot as he’s clipped, keeps going and slips trying to cross left footed.
83 – Aarons with a lovely weighted pass down the right, Pukki does well and tees up Leitner, who curls a poor shot over.
87 – Loops a cross from the left to the back post but to Hernandez, who offer no aerial threat.
89 – Groans as loops a poor ball into the box from a central position and Dawson can claim easily.
Verdict: A first start in almost four months and there was plenty of rust to shake off, but also flashes of the class the German was showing before his injury issues.
Looked out of place on the right but put in a solid shift. A second 90 minutes in four days might be a big ask so may have to settle for a place on the bench at Stoke, with Emi Buendia available again and free-kick hero Mario Vrancic pushing hard for a start.
Rating: 6 out of 10