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Match Reports

City beat Cardiff to progress to Round Three

28 August 2018

Norwich City produced a brilliant display to beat Premier League Cardiff City 3-1 and progress through to Round Three of the Carabao Cup.

City were superb in the first-half and Dennis Srbeny's superb strike put them ahead at the break.

Srbeny added a second midway through the second-half and youngster Max Aarons scored his first senior goal to make it three.

Bruno Manga added a last consolation for Cardiff but it was the Canaries who made it through to the Round Three draw, taking place on Thursday.

Tom Trybull was the only man to keep his starting place from Saturday’s defeat at home to Leeds. Michael McGovern returned in goal with a back four of Felix Passlack, Ben Godfrey, Christoph Zimmermann and Max Aarons from right to left. Alex Tettey and Trybull played in the defensive midfield positions with an attacking three of Emi Buendia, making his first City start, Todd Cantwell and Marco Stiepermann behind Srbeny up-front.

City had the better of the opening stages, hitting Cardiff on the counter on a couple of occasions. The first chance came when Srbeny gambled on a loose ball and surged forward, before cutting inside and shooting straight at Alex Smithies. Moments later, the same man broke the offside trap but once again, Smithies was equal to his low strike.

The new-look City XI were playing some fluid attacking football but they had to be wary of Cardiff’s direct threat at the other end with the evidence there on 22 minutes. Gary Madine nodding down Lee Peltier’s cross for Bobby Reid to fire over from a central position inside the box.

However, City’s superiority in the opening half-an-hour was rewarded following a sweeping move. Trybull moved the ball forward to Srbeny who exchanged flicks with Buendia before planting an unstoppable strike into the top corner past Smithies.

The Canaries continued to look dangerous on the counter in the first-half with the attacking four of Buendia, Stiepermann, Cantwell and Srbeny causing Cardiff no end of problems.

However, the Bluebirds improved as the game approached the break but their only threat was coming from set-pieces. Jazz Richards wasted a strike from a good position following a Victor Camarasa free-kick on 35 minutes and Madine’s strike shortly after was saved well by McGovern.

City began where they left off in the first-half after the break and could have easily gone further ahead. Buendia curled the ball well over when he should have hit the target and Stiepermann’s shot was fumbled by Smithies.

However, Cardiff began to move through the gears and there was plenty of danger there for City to try and deal with, although they were repelling everything the hosts threw at them.

The Canaries continued to look a threat going forward and on midway through the second-half they added to their lead. First, Stiepermann clipped a ball to the back post for Srbeny to nod home his second before youngster Max Aarons scored his first senior goal to make it 3-0.

A Cardiff onslaught was expected and they did indeed reply on 77 minutes when Manga headed home a corner from Reid.

Reid went close to cutting a the deficit even more moments later when his deflected free-kick rooted McGovern and his the post but City had chances to extend their lead, particuarly through Cantwell who went inches away on two occasions.

But City defended stoutly to prevent any more Cardiff goals and secure their passage through to Round Three.

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