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Match Reports

Norwich City v Leeds United

29 April 2017


NORWICH City surrendered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Leeds United in their final away game of the season at Elland Road.

The play-off chasing hosts will have wanted a fast start but City's calmness in possession quickly quietened the home supporters.

On 28 minutes the Canaries took the lead in emphatic fashion as Steven Naismith found himself in space 30 yards from goal before rifling a shot beyond Robert Green.

City were in complete control and after Nelson Oliveira bent an effort narrowly wide the Portuguese frontman added his team's second by converting Josh Murphy's cross into the open goal.

Minutes after spurning a one-on-one, Oliveira looked to have wrapped the game up when he finished expertly after Jonny Howson's commanding run and pass for the assist.

Yet there was time remaining for Leeds to give themselves faint hope of salvaging a result as leading scorer Chris Wood added his 26th league goal of the campaign to pull one back in stoppage time.

The atmosphere turned around completely four minutes into the second period when captain Kyle Bartley benefited to scramble the ball home from a corner after City had collectively failed to clear their lines.

John Ruddy made a fine near-post stop to Kemar Roofe as Leeds pushed for a leveller - but City regained some control and Oliveira was denied a hat-trick after point-blank Green save.

A clumsy tackle by the otherwise excellent Graham Dorrans cost the Canaries, however, when Pablo Hernandez stepped up and curled home the free-kick from 20 yards to complete the comeback.

With the game evenly poised, Leeds were handed a man advantage for the final few minutes when Naismith was dismissed for a high tackle - but a compelling encounter drew to an end with the points shared.

Alan Irvine retained the same starting eleven that saw off promoted Brighton & Hove Albion at Carrow Road eight days ago.

Russell Martin and Ryan Bennett continued in central defence with the returning Timm Klose having to settle for a place among the substitutes, while Howson started at his boyhood club.

Injuries to Wes Hoolahan and Alex Tettey kept them out of the matchday squad, making space on the bench for winger Yanic Wildschut.

The game looked all but done when Oliveira guided home City's third in the final minute of the first half - but his teammates switched off from the restart.

This allowed the prolific Wood to get the ball over the line, sending a surge of belief through Garry Monk's men and his teammates heading into the changing room for half-time.

It set the tone for the rest of the match and Leeds capitalised soon after the restart through Bartley, completing the turnaround with Hernandez's set-piece.

City stayed in eighth place in the division but Derby drew to within one point of them following their 3-1 victory over Wolves.

For Leeds, their play-off hopes are all but over, with Monk's men requiring a highly unlikely goal difference swing on the final day of the campaign next Sunday.

GOALS: Whites: Chris Wood (45), Kyle Bartley (49), Pablo Hernandez (78) - Canaries: Steven Naismith (28), Nelson Oliveira (34, 45)

LEEDS UNITED: Green; Ayling (Pedraza 72), Bartley (c), Jansson, Berardi; Vieira, O'Kane (Phillips 82); Roofe, Hernandez, Dallas (Doukara 62); Wood. Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell (GK), Taylor, Coyle, Sacko.

: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin (c), Bennett, Dijks; Dorrans, Howson; Naismith, Pritchard, Jo. Murphy (Klose 90); Oliveira (Jerome 83). Subs not used: Jones (GK), Whittaker, Wildschut, Ja. Murphy, Maddison.

REFEREE: Tony Harrington


City host Queens Park Rangers in their final Sky Bet Championship game on Sunday May 7, with tickets on general sale HERE.

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