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1 August 2014

Grabban nets brace but Canaries held at Carrow Road

LEWIS Grabban scored twice but Norwich City had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo in their final warm-up game for the 2014-15 season.

The summer signing from Bournemouth put the Canaries' two goals up within 11 minutes, but the match was all square at half time after Manuel Agudo Nolito and Michael Krohn-Dehli responded for the visitors.

Celta edged the second half but a draw was a fair result in front of a crowd of 9,829 at Carrow Road.

Neil Adams now has nine days to prepare the squad for their opening Sky Bet Championship fixture away to Wolves on August 10.

Kyle Lafferty made his return to full fitness after three games out with a leg injury and Martin Olsson replaced Javier Garrido in the Canaries' starting eleven.

Lafferty showed early signs of promise as the lone forward in a 4-5-1, but it was the Canaries' other summer signing who broke the deadlock on six minutes.

It was Olsson who provided the assist, sliding a through ball that the former Bournemouth man latched onto in a central position before picking his spot past Ruben Blanco.

He showed the same composure to double his and the Canaries' tally five minutes later, too.

Wes Hoolahan tricked his way past two Celta Vigo defenders and into the box, before calmly picking out Grabban, with the striker nudging his shot across goal and into the corner from six yards.

The visitors were restricted to mid-range efforts from Alex Lopez and Santi Mina before they got one goal back on 29 minutes.

Michael Krohn-Dehli did well to feed Nolito on the right side of the box, and Celta Vigo's number 10 finished expertly past John Ruddy.

Joaquin Larrivey then struck the bottom of the post as their presence grew in the contest, but as a counter-attacking force City were always a threat, with Nathan Redmond shooting across goal from Russell Martin's long ball.

The La Liga side deservedly levelled proceedings two minutes before the break however, and it was the impressive Krohn-Dehli who bagged the goal.

The Dane picked up the ball from a short corner and tried his luck from distance, and it nestled into the far corner to complete their comeback.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 2-2 Celta Vigo

The visitors' purpose in attack continued after the break, and substitute Charles Dias went close as he found the sidenetting from an acute angle.

Redmond had a shot blocked for the Canaries as the half progressed with fewer clearcut chances than the opening 45 minutes,

Fabian Orellana forced a save out of Ruddy on 74 minutes but Yelko Pino hit a sweet volley that flew over the bar as Celta Vigo continued as the primary aggressor of the two teams.

Bradley Johnson stung the gloves of the visiting 'keeper up the other end, and Hooper, who turned out to be in an offside position, could only find the post from the rebound.

City were gaining momentum and Redmond looped a shot close just before he made way for young striker Jamar Loza, who netted in the Under-21s 4-0 win over Bishop's Stortford on Thursday.

Celta Vigo finished the game on top however, and in the end a draw was deserved for both teams with City's focus now switching to competitive action.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 2-2 Celta Vigo

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c) (R Bennett 84), Turner, Olsson (Garrido 75); Johnson, Surman; Grabban (Hooper 75), Hoolahan (Pilkington 81), Redmond (Loza 84); Lafferty (E Bennett 56). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Josh Murphy.

CELTA VIGO XI: Rubén, Jonny, S.Gómez, Fontàs, Planas, Borja Fdez., Krohn-Dehli, Á.López, S.Mina, Nolito, Larrivey.


REFEREE: Mr G Horwood

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