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Match Reports

Back-to-back wins for City as they beat Reading

18 September 2018

Substitute Mario Vrancic hit the winner on just his second Norwich City appearance following a long injury lay-off as the Canaries beat Reading 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium

After Teemu Pukki's sublime finish put City in-front at half-time, Reading responded midway through the second-half through Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

However within a matter of seconds, City took the lead once again thanks to another brilliant strike, this time from Vrancic, and Daniel Farke's team held on for the three points.

The City Head Coach made just the one change from the side which beat Middlesbrough at Carrow Road on Saturday with Todd Cantwell deputising for his first league start for the Canaries in place of the injured Onel Hernandez. On the bench, there were spots for Aston Oxborough, Felix Passlack and Dennis Srbeny. 

Both sides enjoyed possession in the opening ten minutes but chances were at a premium. However, it was the visitors who settled the better of the two with Christoph Zimmermann heading a Moritz Leitner free-kick inches wide on seven minutes, shortly before Emi Buendia struck straight at Royals goalkeeper Sam Walker from distance.

City’s positive start was rewarded on 14 minutes. Marco Stiepermann took the ball past Leandro Bacuna who fouled the City number 18 but Cantwell profited from some good advantage from referee Tim Robinson to slide the ball into Pukki and he curled the ball exquisitely into the far corner.

Shortly after going behind, Reading started to stifle City’s possession play and were managing to retrieve the ball in dangerous, albeit without really threatening Tim Krul’s goal. The best of their efforts came when Sone Aluko cut in from the right and shot harmlessly wide.

Both sides then traded long-range efforts. Leitner curled a ball towards the top corner on 28 minutes but Walker was comfortably equal to it before Yakou Meite forced Krul into action with a fierce strike from 25 yards.

Within minutes of emerging from the tunnel for the second-half, City almost went further in-front. A sublime backheel from Leitner found Pukki in the box and he cut the ball back to Buendia whose strike was deflected behind for a corner.

With the deficit just at one goal, the home faithful knew a goal could swing the complexion of the game and they almost got it on 57 minutes when Andy Yiadom fired just wide of Krul’s near post following a mistake in the City defence.

A superb challenge from Timm Klose denied Sam Baldock getting a shot on goal from inside the box moments later, before Alex Tettey headed over from a Leitner.

Reading managed to equalise on 72 minutes. A corner from the left was put back into danger and substitute Bodvarsson managed to bundle the ball home at the far post.

However, City regained the lead within a matter of seconds. Stiepermann again orchestrated the move, this time surging down the left and cutting the ball back into the area. Reading failed to clear and the ball fell to Vrancic who calmly dispatched into the bottom corner.

City went close to putting the result beyond doubt in the final five minutes but Vrancic’s strike aimed for the near post was smartly saved by Walker. Nonetheless, City held on to make it six points from six in just four days.

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