Two early goals from Josh Murphy and Ben Godfrey gave City a 2-0 win away at Cambridge United .
In a match effectively split into two matches of 60 minutes – with breaks after 30 minutes – Angus Gunn made his City debut, sitting behind a back three of Russell Martin – returning from injury – Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose with Godfrey and Mario Vrancic stationed in front. James Husband – making his first start for the Canaries – and Yanic Wildschut were tucked in as wing-backs and Josh Murphy, Steven Naismith and Cameron Jerome carried the attack.
In the 10th minute Luke Berry, who had already gone close with a free-kick, had the ball in the net but the linesman had his flag up. Norwich gradually began to exert their dominance, and Murphy made it count with a half volley past Dimitar Mitov from outside the area in the 16th minute.
Two minutes later Godfrey doubled City’s lead, reacting first to a Vrancic free-kick to bundle it past Mitov.
Murphy was particularly lively in the second quarter, consistently finding joy down the left and driving dangerous crosses across the six-yard box, but as much as City pressed it just wouldn’t fall for a Canary in the area.
Just before the end of the second quarter Klose was felled by a late challenge from Uche Ikpeazu and had to be withdrawn, paving the way for Marcel Franke to make his City debut in the back three.
City got the second period underway with several changes meaning the XI looked like this: Matthews; Godfrey, Zimmermann, Franke; Murphy, Tettey, Maddison, Lewis; Naismith, Oliveira, Pritchard.
Norwich went close twice shortly after the restart. Murphy showed great feet to get to the byline on the right but his cut-back was snatched over by Pritchard. A minute later, and on the opposite flank, Oliveira beat his man inside the area before laying it off to Naismith, whose shot was blocked on the line by Mark Roberts.
The final quarter saw Wildschut replace the excellent Murphy at right wing-back, while Vrancic stepped back in for Naismith.
Oliveira went close after the restart, flicking the ball up to volley powerfully on target but Roberts once again blocked the shot. Remi Matthews pulled off an outstanding save in the 87th minute, diving to his right to get a firm hand to a 10-yard piledriver from Jabo Ibehre, while Jevani Brown hit a powerful drive against City’s post from 25 yards.
There was bad news for Norwich as Pritchard was stretchered off in some pain in the 100th minute following a late challenge in the box – although no penalty was awarded.
The match ended in rather subdued fashion following that injury. Cambridge had the ball in the net again but it was once again disallowed for offside, and James Husband drove narrowly wide from 20 yards for City.