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Match Reports

City beaten in final game

6 May 2018

City were well beaten on the final day of the season, as an Atdhe Nuhiu hattrick gave Wednesday a 5-1 win.

Wednesday opened up a 2-0 half-time lead and City rarely looked like getting back into it, with Timm Klose providing Norwich's consolation late on. 

Daniel Farke made three changes to the win over Leeds United last Saturday. Christoph Zimmermann came in for the injured Grant Hanley, Onel Hernandez filled the space left by Wes Hoolahan’s departure and Tom Trybull made his first start since early February after recovering from a long-term injury. He replaced Mario Vrancic, who missed out with a groin strain.

Sheffield Wednesday’s gameplan was evident in the opening stages, moving the ball quickly to their big striker Nuhui. He created the first chance, flicking a pass on to Fernando Forestieri in the box, but his half-volley went wide.

City were dealt a blow in the eighth minute when James Maddison fell awkwardly, and City’s Barry Butler Memorial Trophy winner had to be taken off. He was replaced by Ivo Pinto, who went to right-back and Harrison Reed moved up into central midfield.

City went close shortly after, with Onel Hernandez dribbling into the area and picking out Josh Murphy, but his effort was deflected wide.

Wednesday made City pay in the 15th minute, Nuhiu rising highest at the back post to meet a deep cross from Adam Reach and he powered a header past Angus Gunn.

The goal meant Wednesday were happy to sit deeper and allow City to play in front of them, while looking to break quickly.

With City building momentum, Wednesday were gifted a second goal on the half-hour mark when Zimmermann attempted to roll the ball back to Gunn with a short backpass but hadn’t spotted Forestieri on his shoulder, who ran through to slot the ball in.

Nelson Oliveira, having a good half, almost got City back into in the 36th minute, curling just wide of the post from outside the area.

The last five minutes of the half were particularly flat from both teams, in front of a quiet Hillsborough.

Oliveira had a glorious chance to halve the deficit five minutes into the second half. Murphy did well to beat his man on the left and send in a terrific cross to the six-yard box where Oliveira rose unchallenged but could only head the ball up in the air.

Again City were made to pay. Gunn pulled off a terrific save from a Forestieri free-kick in the 59th minute, but City didn’t clear the danger and Frederico Venancio neatly volleyed home from 10 yards.

A minute later and Wednesday made it four. A cross from the right caused problems, with Zimmermann and Gunn crashing into each other and Nuhiu tucking in the loose ball.

Gunn and Zimmermann were both down for five minutes, but were OK to continue.

Wednesday retreated deeper after that, happy with their afternoon’s work, as City struggled to break them down.

Oliveira had another decent headed chance on 70 minutes, but he headed over from Hernandez’s cross, and then Moritz Leitner put a diving header wide.

With 14 minutes remaining Dennis Srbeny replaced Oliveira.

City had a consolation with six minutes remaining. Leitner dribbled into the area and shot from the left, and his effort was deflected into Klose’s path, who did well to sweep home.

Gunn pulled off two brilliant saves late on, first rushing out to deny Joao with his legs, and then producing a stunning reaction save to deny Nuhiu from five yards.

City missed a glorious chance for a second in injury time, with Hernandez through on the right. He elected to square it to Leitner instead of shooting, and Leitner couldn’t turn it home.

Wednesday then broke, and Klose’s late tackle gave away a penalty. Nuhiu stepped up to complete his hattrick and a poor final afternoon for City’s 2017-18 season.


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