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Match Reports

City beaten by two second-half goals at home to Fulham

30 March 2018

Quickfire second-half goals from Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney succumbed Norwich City to a 2-0 defeat at Carrow Road against Fulham.

City had a number of chances and openings to get on the scoresheet but were undone by two goals in the space of four second-half minutes as close-range strikes from Johansen and Cairney saw the Cottagers take the points.

Daniel Farke made just two changes from the side which beat Reading two weeks ago. Alex Tettey returned to the starting eleven after recovering from a foot injury in place of the injured Onel Hernandez and Christoph Zimmermann deputised for Grant Hanley.

Fulham had more of the ball in the opening stages but City were well organised and structured defensively. The first time the visitors managed to get in-behind the home defence was through Floyd Ayite on ten minutes, who subsequently went down in the box following a coming together with Ivo Pinto. Referee Keith Stroud wasn’t interesting in the muted appeals though.

City continued to allow Fulham to have possession and made sure they were a threat on the counter but their only chance in the first 20 minutes came when Josh Murphy’s deflected strike from distance was dealt with by Marcus Bettinelli.

Murphy was continuing to prove a real outlet for City and he outmuscled Johansen on 33 minutes before surging forward with James Maddison and Dennis Srbeny in support. Fulham were outnumbered but they did well to force Murphy in playing the wrong pass and the danger was averted.

City ended the first-half the stronger of the two sides with Srbeny’s long-range strike going wide the best representation of their efforts to break the deadlock.

Farke’s men carried their momentum into the second-half and Srbeny had a terrific chance to open the scoring. Mario Vrancic slid an accurate pass into the path of the City frontman but his firm effort from the edge of the area was acrobatically tipped over by Bettinelli.

Fulham threatened shortly after when Ryan Fredericks hung a cross up at the back post, although Aleksandar Mitrovic headed wide from close-range, despite climbing all over the back of Zimmermann.

Then it was City’s turn to go close. Maddison’s free-kick was half-cleared to Murphy and he hit the ball sweetly on the volley but his effort went inches wide.

Heroic last ditch defending from Zimmermann denied Fulham on 64 minutes. A long punt forward by Cairney was misjudged by Angus Gunn but sub Ryan Sessegnon’s strike was blocked on the line by the towering German centre-back. From the following corner, Cairney struck just wide on the volley.

The Cottagers had their tails up and took the lead midway through the second-half. Matt Targett’s deep cross found Mitrovic spare at the back-post and although his close-range header was superbly saved by Gunn, Johansen was on-hand to nestle home the rebound.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s men doubled their lead moments later when Lucas Piazon’s cross from the right was only half-cleared by Timm Klose and Cairney took full advantage from inside the area.

Farke introduced Wes Hoolahan, Nelson Oliveira and Marcus Edwards, for his City debut, following Fulham's second, but the changes failed to get City back into the match as the points headed to west London.

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