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Match Reports

Norwich suffer first defeat

13 August 2017

City went down to a 3-1 defeat at Carrow Road after a clinical display from visitors Sunderland.

Norwich controlled much of the game, but they were left to rue missed opportunities while Sunderland capitalised on the chances they created after soaking up pressure and hitting City on the break.

There was just one change to City's starting XI from the draw at Craven Cottage, with Steven Naismith returning to replace Mario Vrancic, who dropped to the bench.

It was a bright start for the Canaries, with Marley Watkins and Cameron Jerome in particular combining well. Sunderland were content to sit back, with former Canary Lewis Grabban having two sniffs – his first effort blocked by Husband before shooting into the side netting under pressure from Marcel Franke.

Fifteen minutes in, City had penalty appeals waved away as Yanic Wildschut appeared to have his shirt tugged in the area. Shortly afterwards Jerome had the ball in the net, but he was narrowly offside from Steven Naismith's through-ball.

With Norwich upping the pressure, Watkins and Russell Martin combined well but the captain’s drive was saved by Jason Steele.

Against the run of play, the ball somehow found its way through to Grabban, who finished calmly past Angus Gunn to put the visitors 1-0 up.

City didn’t panic after that, building patiently from midfield but Sunderland were content to keep 11 men behind the ball when out of possession.

Just after half-time Franke should have done better with a headed opportunity from a James Maddison free-kick but it drifted wide.

Norwich once against started to control the game, and their dominant possession was almost rewarded when Maddison’s corner was nodded past the post by Martin with Jerome better placed behind him.

With 30 minutes remaining, Sunderland punished City again with a fine finish from McGeady, who found the corner of the net from outside the area.

Farke immediately made his first change of the afternoon, with Josh Murphy replacing Wildschut on the right. Nelson Oliveira came on for Jerome shortly afterwards as City changed to four at the back as they tried to force their way back into the game.

City threatened from a corner, but Franke’s glancing header went just wide of Steele’s far post. Again Norwich were immediately punished, with a left-wing cross from Aiden McGeady headed home by Grabban for his second of the game.

Just after Wes Hoolahan’s introduction for Naismith, City had a sniff after Grabban bundled into his own net from a whipped in Maddison free-kick with 12 minutes remaining.

Once again Norwich upped the pressure, with James Husband’s curled effort brilliantly saved by Steele, and Martin’s drive from the rebound striking the post.

With City dominating again, Oliveira made room for himself to shoot but his tame effort from 20 yards was comfortable for Steele. A cross from the right from Hoolahan was volleyed goalwards by Watkins but it was blocked as it appeared to be flying in.

Despite the pressure, City couldn’t find another way through and Farke suffered his first defeat in charge of Norwich.

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