Norwich City rounded off their preparations for the 2019-20 Premier League season with a 1-0 victory over Toulouse at Carrow Road.
Kenny McLean scored the only goal of the game on 39 minutes, a precise, low strike which found the bottom corner. It should have been much more with the chances City created, particularly in the second-half, but nonetheless it was a positive end to pre-season for Daniel Farke's team.
The opening quarter was a relatively quiet affair with the away side rarely threatening and City having to be patient in the final third. Early doors, Hanley fired a loose ball straight at Baptiste Reynet from a corner but they had to wait until 22 minutes for their next opportunity, Pukki being sent clear by Buendia but being denied by Reynet.
The game really kicked into life after the half hour mark. First, McLean clipped a pinpoint pass through to Cantwell who tried to lob Reynet with a header but the visiting stopper did well to recover and tip the ball over.
At the other end, Toulouse threatened for the first time when Aaron Iseka cut inside from the left a curled wide of the far post. Efthymios Koulouris then tested Tim Krul, with the City goalkeeper making a smart save low to his right from the Toulouse attacker’s volley.
Shortly after on 39 minutes, City took the lead. Buendia took three markers out of the game with his pass and that allowed McLean the time to fire the ball into the bottom corner with the goalkeeper rooted.
There were chances for both just before half-time – Toulouse captain Matthieu Dossevi struck straight at Krul from inside the area before Jamal Lewis had an effort from slightly longer range saved by Reynet.
Daniel Farke brought on Ralf Fährmann at the start of the second-half and he was straight in the thick of the action, saving low to his right from close-range.
A flowing City move almost brought a second on 53 minutes. Aarons played a low cross into the area and it was laid off by Pukki to Buendia but his low strike hit the base of the far post.
City were threatening a second and Cantwell had two bites at the cherry prior to the hour mark. First, he curled over from superb Buendia through ball and moments later, he dragged the ball inside from the left and curled millimetres wide of the far post.
Pukki was wondering how he hadn’t scored on 65 minutes when he once again raced clear, however Reynet was equal to his strike yet again. Shortly after, he was replaced by Josip Drmic.
City had been dominating the second half but Toulouse showed they weren’t going away, substitute Max Gradel fired straight at Fahrmann from a central position just moments after coming on.
However, the hosts continued to look superior but the wall that was Reynet continued to thwart them. On 72 minutes, Leitner slotted through to Hernandez whose cross was met by Vrancic, however Toulouse’s keeper once again kept the ball out.
Reynet was still peppered in the closing stages but, to his credit, his continued to stand firm. Roberts thundered a low strike towards him which he couldn’t hold but he did a better job in clutching Srbeny’s shot.
Fahrmann made a smart stop to keep Gradel out in stoppage time and City held on to end pre-season with a victory and a clean sheet.
Norwich: Krul (Fahrmann, 46); Aarons (Byram, 86), Godfrey, Hanley (c), Lewis (Heise, 86), Cantwell (Hernandez, 61), Buendia, Stiepermann, Trybull (Leitner, 61), Pukki (Drmic, 65), McLean (Vrancic, 61)
Goals: McLean (39)
Toulouse: Reynet, Amian, Shoji (Diakite, 67), Iseka (Sanogo, 76), Boisgard (Gradel, 67), Sylla, Dossevi (c) (Ngoumou, 86), Rogel, Koulouris, Sanna (Bostock, 87), Makengo
Subs not used: Goicoechea, Goncalves, Diarra, Adli
Referee: Kevin Friend
Kick-off time: 4pm
Venue: Carrow Road