City’s slide back to the Championship continues after Brighton defeat
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s slow slide back to the Championship continued this afternoon with a 1-0 defeat to relegation rivals Brighton and Hove Albion.
Individual errors proved decisive in the Canaries midweek defeat to Arsenal, and Timm Klose’s cheap turnover saw Brighton score the only goal of the game.
Unopposed, the Swiss international gifted the ball to the visitors as they executed an effective counter-attack before the ball was turned into the net by Leandro Trossard.
City failed to record a single shot on target in the opening period – as their Premier League goal drought was pushed into its fifth game. Josip Drmic’s tame effort from the outside of the area ensured the Canaries did eventually register an effort on target in the second half.
Daniel Farke made four changes to the side from the 4-0 surrender to Arsenal in midweek, with Ondrej Duda and Drmic recalled to the starting XI. Todd Cantwell, the scorer of City’s only goal since the restart, dropped to the bench along with midfielder Lukas Rupp.
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Onel Hernandez has looked lively in bursts since the resumption, and he started on the left of an attacking three behind Drmic as Farke reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation. Klose returned from his suspension to give City a defensive boast, allowing Alex Tettey to return to his favoured central midfield position.
Graham Potter also opted to shuffle his pack after the Seagulls 3-0 loss to Manchester United in midweek. Adam Webster, Trossard, Neal Maupay and Aaron Mooy returned in place of Shane Duffy, Dale Stephens, Martin Montoya and Alexis MacAllister.
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Trossard was influential in the reverse fixture as Brighton beat City 2-0 – the Belgian netted the opening goal and curled in a free-kick that was stabbed in by Duffy.
It was the visitors who had the first major opportunity of the game after Hernandez was penalised for a push on Tariq Lamptey. Aaron Mooy’s whipped free-kick was flicked away by Klose, only for Aaron Connolly to pick up the loose ball on the left of the penalty area but the Irish international hit his shot over the bar.
Trossard wanted a penalty prior to the first-half drinks break when he got the wrong side of Max Aarons in the penalty area. The Belgian threw himself over despite a lack of contact and referee Stuart Attwell waved away the Seagulls protests - a verdict that VAR agreed with.
Individual errors from City were a key factor in their midweek thrashing at the Emirates, and the Canaries were punished again for a mistake. Klose’s wayward pass was seized upon by Mooy, who picked out Trossard with a driven cross that the Belgian directed into the net.
Farke would have expected an immediate reaction to a ponderous and flat first-half performance, but the first chance of the half fell to Brighton. Mooy’s free-kick was delivered with pace and purpose. It was met by the towering Dan Burn but he flicked his header wide.
Pukki, Cantwell and Adam Idah were introduced with 20 minutes to play as City sought to improve their offensive output.
City had a chance to snatch an equaliser in added time when Kenny McLean’s cross was diverted goalwards by Idah but his flicked header rebounded off the post.
It was a game branded by many as a must win, but with the Canaries once again failing to record a victory, relegation now appears to be an inevitability for Farke’s men.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Klose, Godfrey, Lewis; Tettey, (Vrancic, 78), McLean; Buendia, Duda (Idah, 67), Hernandez (Cantwell, 67); Drmic (Pukki, 67). Subs not used: McGovern (GK), Rupp, Stiepermann, Trybull, Martin
- Bookings: Lewis (foul on Lamptey, 39), Cantwell (foul on Lamptey, 90)
- Goals: None
- Brighton & Hove Albion (4-2-2-2): Ryan; Lamptey (Duffy, 90+4), Dunk (C), Webster, Burn; Propper, Bissouma (Stephens, 79); Mooy (Bernando, 72), Trossard (Mac Allister, 79); Connolly (Gross, 72), Maupay. Subs not used: Button (GK), Murray, March, Montoya.
- Bookings: Gross (dissent 88)
- Goals: Trossard 26
- Added on time: 2 mins/ 6 mins
- Referee: Stuart Attwell
- VAR: David Coote