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Match Reports

Hoolahan steals the show as City beat Leeds

28 April 2018

Wes Hoolahan scored and provided an assist on his final match for Norwich City as the Canaries beat Leeds United 2-1 in their last home game of the season.

Kalvin Phillips' curling strike briefly spoiled the party but Hoolahan's deflected effort got City back into the match just before half-time.

And Josh Murphy's second-half winner helped it become the perfect send off for Hoolahan as Carrow Road waved farewell to one of its greatest ever players.

Daniel Farke made two changes from the side which drew 0-0 at Preston North End last weekend, bringing in Hoolahan for his 352nd and final appearance in a yellow and green shirt in place of the injured Alex Tettey. The other change saw Nelson Oliveira return up-front for Dennis Srbeny.

Chances were at a premium in the opening exchanges with both sides cancelling each other out and it took until the 23rd minute for either side to create a decent opportunity.

It came from James Maddison – voted City’s Player of the Season prior to match – who latched onto a cutback from Harrison Reed on the right but his powerful strike fizzed over the crossbar.

Leeds had been relatively quiet in the first-half but managed to take the lead out of virtually nothing on 39 minutes. Pablo Hernandez’s free-kick was punched away by Angus Gunn and after Ronaldo Vieira mishit his own effort, Phillips did well to curl the ball into the corner from the edge of the area.

It could have been two just moments later but Kemar Roofe shot into the side netting when sent clear.

However, Hoolahan was always going to have a say on his Carrow Road swansong. The City legend took aim from distance on the stroke of half-time and despite his shot taking a deflection and hitting both posts, the ball managed to roll over the line and draw the hosts level.

The game began to open up in the second-half with more and more chances being created. Ezgjan Alioski fired just over on 54 minutes before a flowing City move at the other end resulted in Maddison’s crisp strike being palmed over by Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Midway through the second-half, it was City who looked the more likely to score next. Oliveira lashed over from a delicate Hoolahan through ball on the hour mark, before Maddison was again thwarted by Peacock-Farrell after sending Matthew Pennington to the floor with a trademark turn.

And the hosts took full advantage of their superiority on 69 minutes. Hoolahan turned provider this time to cut the ball back to Murphy who slammed the ball under Peacock-Farrell and into the net.

City could have added to their lead in the closing minutes when Mario Vrancic's drive just missed the top right corner but the day was all about Hoolahan as City's legendary midfielder signed off with a goal, assist and three points on his final game for the club.

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