Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Norwich City - Canaries away day woes continue in Sussex
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s woes on the road in the Premier League continued, as they were beaten 2-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Goals from second-half substitute Leandro Trossard and Shane Duffy condemned the Canaries to their fifth away defeat of the season.
It was a disjointed performance from City, with Marco Stiepermann's effort in the first half the closest they came to scoring. This fixture saw their run without a goal on their travels extend to over 500 minutes.
City boss Daniel Farke made three changes to the side that were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United last Sunday with Stiepermann, Tom Trybull and new father Onel Hernandez starting at the Amex Stadium.
City's Cuban winger became a parent last night, but did manage to start for the Canaries despite not arriving at the team hotel until 2am on Saturday morning.
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Those changes meant Todd Cantwell and Moritz Leitner dropped to the bench following under par performances last week with Ibrahim Amadou only fit enough to be named amongst the substitutes.
Amadou's omission meant City captain Alex Tettey dropped to centre-back after performing well in that position in the second half of City's draw to Bournemouth a fortnight ago.
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Graham Potter named an unchanged side from the team who conquered Everton a week previous in that dramatic 3-2 victory.
A rarity in contemporary Premier League football, the Albion chief deployed both Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly as an offensive partnership at the top end of the pitch.
Jamal Lewis gifted Albion their first sight of goal, with a careless pass finding young Connolly but his deflected effort went just past the post.
City's downfall was of their own making once more as Trybull conceded possession with a sloppy pass. Connolly picked up the loose ball but saw his effort blocked.
Hernandez was a supportive figure for Teemu Pukki, who was isolated for long periods last weekend. The Finnish forward had City's first opportunity of the game but his volley was deflected over.
The Canaries nearly saw their effectiveness on the counter-attack bear fruit after Pukki's clever turn saw him race away from the Albion back line before teeing up Stiepermann whose curling effort hit the bar on 10 minutes.
City's willingness to press the Seagulls appeared more evident in the opening exchanges with the home side enjoying the majority of possession.
After 17 minutes, Albion profited from more questionable distribution from Lewis which Connolly latched onto again. The ball eventually fell to Steven Alzate but his effort was denied by the legs of Tim Krul.
Albion's physicality at set-pieces was marshalled well by City in the initial phase only to see the hosts pick up the second balls with ease. That was displayed again on the 22nd minute, as Alzate's half-volley from outside the area dropped just shy of the post.
Defensively, City were conceding possession at an alarming rate, with Albion profiting by creating numerous chances.
On the counter, City were making inroads, with Stiepermann and Buendia carrying the ball through the thirds with success. When push came to shove however, their passages of play were breaking down in the attacking third.
The aforementioned offensive operators were the culprits of why City's attacking phases weren't being converted into chances, with both retaining the ball for a fraction too long.
Evidence of Tettey's lack of experience as a centre-back was exposed after 38 minutes, when the Norwegian lost the flight of a long ball from Ryan. Maupay was unleashed in behind but slashed his angled shot well wide.
Prior to half-time, there was pinball in City's penalty area after Hernandez switched off, allowing Pascal Gross to waltz in the City area unopposed but Maupay and Connolly saw their efforts denied after some heroic last ditch defending from the Canaries.
Merely seconds later and Maupay missed again, smashing over on the half-volley from Krul's clearance.
Albion continued to pepper City's goal, with Connolly's in-swinging cross nearly turned into his own goal by Tettey. His diving header landed on the roof of Krul's net.
Just after the interval, City attacked with purpose down the right-hand side, with a neat interchange between Buendia and Stipermann leaving the Argentinean to run into the area but once again, he overplayed and lost possession.
The home punters were becoming increasingly frustrated with their sides lack of urgency in forward areas as City continued to defend with resilience.
More pressure from Albion resulted in another effort from outside the area, this time by Stephens who failed to find the target with his low drive. The hosts were beginning to toy with the Canaries as Pukki cut an isolated figure for City.
Connolly was the source of Albion's liveliest attacks but the Irish international failed to hit the target again on the 67th minute. City were leaking oil at this point, with waves of attacks ending in poor finishes rather than being thwarted.
After extensive periods of probing possession, the hosts did take the lead. Martin Montoya's teasing cross from the right was converted by substitute Leandro Trossard after a fine piece of movement saw the Albion midfielder get to the ball ahead of a yellow and green shirt.
Buendia was dispossessed as the Seagulls looked to spring an attack, a cut back from Trossard led to a toe-poked effort from Maupay which Krul saved superbly.
Shane Duffy ensured Albion took all three points, lunging in at the far post to divert a long Trossard free-kick into the back of the net.
City huffed but failed to create any clear cut chances in the second half, with the home side deserved winners as the Canaries failed to land a blow on the road again.
- Brighton & Hove Albion (4-4-2): Ryan; Montoya; Dunk, Webster (Duffy, 36), Burn; Propper, Stephens, Alzate, Gross (Trossard, 59); Connolly (Schelotto, 86), Maupay. Subs not used: Button, Schelotto, Mooy, March, Murray
- Bookings: None
- Goals: Trossard 69, Duffy 84
- Norwich City (4-1-4-1): Krul; Aarons, Tettey (c) (Srbeny, 84), Godfrey, Lewis; Trybull (Cantwell, 84); Buendia, McLean, Stiepermann (Drmic, 75), Hernandez; Pukki. Subs not used: Fahrmann, Byram, Leitner, Amadou
- Bookings: Stiepermann 63,
- Goals: None
- Added on time: 3 mins/ 3mins
- Attendance: 30,539
- Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics)
- VAR: Tim Robinson (Notts)