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Match Reports

City left frustrated by Burton

12 September 2017

City were denied by a battling Burton Albion on a frustrating evening at Carrow Road.

Norwich made all of the running but couldn’t find a way through a resolute Albion side who played for the draw and got it.

Daniel Farke made only one change to City’s starting XI from Saturday’s win over Birmingham City, with Wes Hoolahan coming in for James Maddison, who took his place among the substitutes. Hoolahan started on the right of the three behind Nelson Oliveira, with Mario Vrancic taking up the No.10 position.

A scratchy start saw Burton have the first chance, but Joe Mason couldn’t control a ball over the top after losing his marker. Angus Gunn also came out to collect strongly from two set-pieces as Norwich struggled to find an early rhythm.

A slick move between Marco Stiepermann, Tom Trybull and Mario Vrancic woke City up, and Josh Murphy crashed a 25-yard effort just over the bar with 20 minutes gone. Burton were happy to stay compact with five at the back, and looked to pass their way through City’s midfield when the opportunity arose.

Most of City’s attacking play was going through Hoolahan, but they were struggling to break down a resolute Burton backline despite bright movement from the likes of Oliveira and Murphy.

It was Oliveira who went closest to scoring just before the break when Hoolahan cut the ball back to him on the six-yard box but his left-foot effort flew over the bar. A minute later Hoolahan was again in the action as he found Mario Vrancic in the box but he couldn’t quite wrap his foot around his effort and Burton cleared.

Immediately after the break Ivo Pinto came to City’s rescue when he blocked a Jamie Allen effort from just five yards out. Ten minutes later a flowing move from City created space on the edge of the box for Hoolahan, and his piledriver was brilliantly pushed over the crossbar by Stephen Bywater. The goalkeeper pulled off another outstanding save a minute later when he stayed big to deny Murphy after he was played through by Hoolahan.

Nigel Clough’s men survived those scares and regrouped, soaking up City’s pressure well as the yellows probed away for the opener. It almost came courtesy of Oliveira with 15 minutes remaining, but his shot from outside the area flew into the side-netting with Bywater beaten.

Burton’s backline slowly began to creak, and Murphy almost turned in a tantalising Vrancic cross from the right, but his desperate lunge flicked it just wide of the post.

Farke made his first change with 13 remaining, Yanic Wildschut replacing Trybull. Wildschut took his place on the right, with Hoolahan moving in to No.10 and Vrancic dropping deeper centrally.

The substitution almost paid off immediately, as Oliveira’s ball across the six-yard box found its way through to the Dutchman but his goal-bound shot was blocked.

With six minutes remaining Farke made a double substitution, with Cameron Jerome and James Maddison coming on for Oliveira and Hoolahan.

Wildschut caused real problems on the right, first cutting in and firing a deflected shot just wide and then running on the outside and cutting it back to Maddison, whose shot was stabbed clear.

That was the final chance for City, as Burton were happy to run the clock down for a battling point.

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