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Match Reports

Josh Murphy strike earns a point for the Canaries

13 March 2018

Josh Murphy rescued a point for City as they came from behind to earn a fully deserved draw at Oakwell.

In an even opening 45 minutes Barnsley opened the scoring courtesy of a fine finish from Oli McBurnie, but Norwich were much improved in the second half and will be disappointed not to have collected all three points. 

Daniel Farke made five changes to the side that uncharacteristically shipped four goals at Hull, with a return to three at the back. Christoph Zimmermann came into the side after his illness, Mario Vrancic returned for the injured Moritz Leitner, Ivo Pinto and James Husband took up the wingback positions in place of Harrison Reed and Jamal Lewis, while Murphy replaced Onel Hernandez.

A scrappy opening 10 minutes saw no chances for either side as both teams looked to hit the channels early, with Ivo Pinto looking particularly full of energy and determination on his return to the starting line-up.

The first half chance fell to Vrancic. Good link-up play between Husband and Murphy forced a corner on the left, and James Maddison’s deep delivery was headed over by Vrancic under pressure from Adam Jackson.

Shortly after, Liam Lindsay went into the book for pulling back Josh Murphy, who looked to be breaking clean through 45 yards out. Maddison’s delivery from the set-piece was well cleared, however.

Five minutes later and Barnsley put together a slick one-touch move, with Gary Gardner volleying McBurnie’s lay-off wide from 20 yards.

City started to dominate from the 25-minute mark, with Maddison and Vrancic linking up well centrally. But it was Barnsley who came closest to opening the scoring, Joe Williams reacting quickest to a knockdown in the box but driving too close to Angus Gunn, who got down well to his right to make the save.

That woke Barnsley up, and they grew back into the game before half-time. Zimmermann did brilliantly to slide in and block a pass from Andy Yiadom, with Kieffer Moore unmarked in the six-yard box.

Barnsley opened the scoring just before half-time. Yiadom, who had looked lively all half, sent in a cross from the right and the in-form McBurnie got his right foot to it just inside the area and directed his effort in off the post.

Gunn came to City’s rescue seven minutes into the second half. First, he saved brilliantly after Moore dribbled into the box and got a shot off from close range, and then he got himself back up in time to save Williams’ rebound effort.

Farke changed things straight after, with Onel Hernandez coming on for Zimmermann as City changed to a 4-2-3-1. That created more space down the wings for City, and Murphy and Hernandez both started to get plenty of joy, but their crosses into the box were repelled by an obdurate backline.

It was Murphy who nearly got City level, meeting a Maddison corner with a curling effort from 25 yards that went an inch wide of the post with Adam Davies beaten.

It came as no surprise when Murphy got City back into it on 71 minutes. Husband drove down the left and did really well to play it in to Murphy in the box, who took it in his stride and slammed the ball past Davies from close range.

There was bad news for City in the 80th minute as Alex Tettey had to be stretchered off after suffering a nasty looking foot injury. He was replaced by Wes Hoolahan.

On 84 minutes Grant Hanley did brilliantly to dive in and block a powerful goal-bound shot from Moore. City attacked from the corner, with Hoolahan picking out Murphy in the box but his half-volley was saved by Davies.

With six minutes of injury time signalled, both sides flooded forward in search of a winner, with Hoolahan pulling City's strings. 

Murphy had a golden chance to win it in the 95th minute, but he blasted over from eight yards after a deflection fell kindly to him. 

That was the last chance of an entertaining second half, and City headed home to Norwich with a point. 

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