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Match Reports

Norwich City v Watford

16 August 2014


NORWICH City took full advantage of an early Watford red card to ease to a 3-0 win at Carrow Road and notch their first points of the Sky Bet Championship season in style.

The Canaries took control of the contest after Joel Ekstrand was sent off for an apparent elbow on Nathan Redmond after just two minutes, with Bradley Johnson giving them a first half lead.

Two goals in two minutes from Lewis Grabban and Alex Tettey secured the points and a victory that sets the week that ends in the East Anglian derby against Ipswich up perfectly.

Kyle Lafferty impressed enough against Wolves to earn a place in Neil Adams' starting eleven, replacing Elliott Bennett, while the only two changes saw Javi Garrido step in for the suspended Martin Olsson and Alex Tettey return to the team at the expense of Andrew Surman. Gary O'Neil and Leroy Fer were named among the substitutes.

Beppe Sannino lined his Watford side up in a 3-5-2 formation, with the highly-rated strike pairing of Troy Deeney, who was heavily linked with a move to Leicester City prior to kick off, and Matej Vydra leading the line.

Their pre-match plans were thrown out of the window after just two minutes, however, when defender Ekstrand was dismissed.

Referee Paul Tierney adjudged the Sweden international to have elbowed Nathan Redmond after a conversation with his assistant.

City grasped the initiative almost immediately, seeing Michael Turner flick a header just over the bar from the consequent free-kick, taken by Wes Hoolahan.

The Canaries' front four of Lafferty, Hoolahan, Redmond and Lewis Grabban were relishing the extra space but they could only manage half chances until one of their teammates broke the deadlock.

The active Hoolahan fed Johnson, who spotted enough space between Heurelho Gomes and his crossbar to curl a delightful shot from outside the box and net City's first goal of the season.

Deeney and Vydra were ineffectual for the Hornets, with Hoolahan and Lafferty creating chances up the other end at the climax of the half, but their lead remained one at the break.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Watford

Three minutes into the second half, Redmond and Steven Whittaker combined to feed Lafferty at the back post, but the summer recruit could only poke his shot wide at full stretch.

Watford had their best chance of the game up to then on 54 minutes when Deeney did superbly to control a long ball into the path of Vydra.

The Czech striker played in substitute Lloyd Dyer on the left, and Ruddy had to make his first meaningful save of the afternoon.

City were always a danger though, and they doubled their advantage on 60 minutes through Grabban.

The former Bournemouth man made space for himself on the edge of the box and chipped Gomes in a similar fashion to Johnson earlier, only this time with the aid of a deflection.

Two became three just a minute later when, once more from outside the area, Tettey tried his luck with a low drive that left Gomes with no chance and the home crowd on their feet.

Gary O'Neil came on for his full City debut as Adams' team took full control of the game on a three-goal cushion, while Leroy Fer also made his return from a hamstring injury.

Johnson almost got his second towards the end of the game as he met a Redmond corner, but his header was deflected wide - but City will certainly have settled for three.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-0 Watford

GOALS: Canaries: Bradley Johnson (32), Lewis Grabban (60), Alex Tettey (61)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Turner, Garrido; Tettey (O'Neil 65), Johnson; Redmond, Hoolahan (Fer 73), Lafferty (E Bennett 67); Grabban. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Loza, Josh Murphy, R Bennett.

WATFORD: Gomes; Tamas, Ekstrand, Angella; Paredes, Abdi (Andrews 63), Tozser, McGugan (Dyer 45), Pudil; Deeney (c), Vydra (Forestieri 63). Subs not used: Bond (GK), Munari, Ighalo, Hoban.

REFEREE: Mr P Tierney


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