David Freezer: Player ratings after Norwich City's narrow loss at Watford

Mario Vrancic of Norwich is denied by Ben Foster of Watford during the Sky Bet Championship match at

Mario Vrancic of Norwich is denied by Ben Foster of Watford during the Sky Bet Championship match at Vicarage Road - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Our chief Norwich City reporter David Freezer has posted his marks following the Canaries' 1-0 defeat to Championship promotions rivals Watford on Boxing Day.

- Michael McGovern

Seemed to be deceived by slight deflection on cross ahead of the goal. Fortunate to see Christoph Zimmermann deflect one parry away from Troy Deeney and distribution wobbled under pressure in the second half. No heroics on this occasion. 6

- Max Aarons

Lost the ball ahead of the goal and was too passive after recovering his position to get goal-side of Ken Sema. Plenty of encouraging work going forward to link with Buendia though and did test Ben Foster with an early shot. 6

- Christoph Zimmermann

Busy shift, angered by a few decisions from the referee, played his part in surviving second-half bombardment. Very nearly presented substitute striker Stipe Perice with an easy chance but recovered. 7

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- Grant Hanley

Was enjoying his aerial battles with Troy Deeney and did enough to stop Andre Gray finding the target with good chance in the first half. Appeared to have thwarted the danger ahead of the goal but Hornets kept going. Got through a lot of good work. 7

- Jacob Sorensen

A 13th game covering at left-back and after having to deal with Ismaila Sarr, will be hoping for a chance to return to midfield now that Xavi Quintilla is fit. Experience will stand him in good stead in the long run but too slow to react to Sarr's run for the goal and was caught out on a few occasions. 5

- Oliver Skipp

Driving force in the middle, with one particularly impressive lung-busting run to find Teemu Pukki going unrewarded. Buzzed around and looked just as steady when moved to left wing-back as City changed shape in the 67th minute. 7

- Kenny McLean

Quality control, good energy and decent passing range but seemed to run out of steam in the second half. Didn't hit the heights of his display against Cardiff. 6

- Emi Buendia

Was at the heart of all of City's best play, roaming as usual, testing Ben Foster with a powerful low effort but despite plenty of effort he couldn't force a breakthrough. 7

- Kieran Dowell

First start since September will hopefully have helped to shake off some rust. A couple of frustrated attempts on goal and one awkward free-kick which Foster held but wasn't able to dictate the attacking tempo or link with Pukki. 6

- Todd Cantwell

Bright during the early stages but was increasingly pulled into his defensive duties with Watford targeting Sorensen at left-back. Shanked a poor shot well wide and struggled to find his rhythm. 6

- Teemu Pukki

Wanted too much time after finally being picked out in the box by Mario Vrancic in the 82nd minute, allowing Adam Masina to make a heroic tackle. Watford ensured there were few chances for the Finn to get a run on goal. 6

Substitutes

- Ben Gibson (for Sorensen, 67)

Played on the left of a three-man defence and supported attacks. 6

- Mario Vrancic (for Dowell, 67)

Created big chance for Pukki late on with a lovely pass, a couple of powerful shots blocked, added impetus and creativity. 7

- Jordan Hugill (for Cantwell, 67)

Still making his way back to full fitness, made a nuisance of himself and won a couple of headers but minimal goal threat. 6

- Lukas Rupp (for McLean, 87) n/a

- Josh Martin (for Zimmermann, 87) n/a

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