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Match Reports

City's unbeaten run ended by Luton

2 December 2020

Norwich City's ten-game unbeaten run was ended by Luton Town on Wednesday night, as the Hatters triumphed 3-1 at Kenilworth Road.

In an action-packed first-half, Luton led by one at half-time. George Moncur's precise effort gave them the lead on 16 minutes before Emi Buendia levelled things from the penalty spot minutes later for the Canaries, only for Matthew Pearson to nod home on 23 minutes and make it 2-1.

Luton extended their lead shortly after the restart when Danny Collins smashed home a penalty and the injury-hit City squad were unable to find a route back into the match. 3-1 was the final score.

The defeat ended City's impressive unbeaten run, but it didn't affect their position in the Sky Bet Championship, with other results meaning the Canaries ended the night still at the summit.

Daniel Farke made just the one change to his starting eleven from the weekend's draw with Coventry City, with Buendia returning from suspension to replace Mario Vrancic. There was still a youthful feel on the bench for the Canaries, with Daniel Barden, Reece McAlear, Andrew Omobamidele, Tyrese Omotoye and Tom Dickson-Peters all featuring once again.

City settled the better of the two sides and Przemyslaw Placheta beat the offside trap on three minutes before firing a low effort across goal, however Luton goalkeeper James Shea palmed the ball away from danger

Luton then showed their threat at the other end, with Jordan Clark beat Jacob Sorensen on the right and producing a low cross for Luke Berry, however his tame effort was smothered with ease by Michael McGovern.

A quick free-kick by the hosts saw them take the lead on 16 minutes. The ball was worked wide and with City taken by surprise and unable to get into their shape, Moncur was allowed to ghost in from the left and curl an unstoppable strike in off the post with his right foot.

Their lead didn't last long though when, minutes later, Max Aarons clipped a pass behind the Luton defence and Placheta used his pace to latch onto it. Shea came running out and bundled the Polish winger over and Buendia, on his return, stepped up to coolly roll the penalty home and level the scores.

Luton regained the lead on 23 minutes, once again benefitting from a needless free-kick being given away by the Canaries. Rhys Norrington-Davies swung the delivery in from the right and Pearson rose unmarked to divert a header beyond McGovern to make it 2-1.

The remainder of the first-half was mainly played out in the Luton half, but with City unable to break the resistance of their resolute hosts. The best they could muster was on 39 minutes when Buendia smashed a cleared corner inches wide of goal on the half volley.

City's task of getting back in the game was made even trickier shortly after the restart, as Grant Hanley was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area by referee Darren England. Collins smashed home the penalty to make it 3-1 to Luton.

Things almost got even worse for the Canaries minutes later when Kieran Dewsbury-Hall cut back to Berry in the area, but the Luton midfielder was wayward with his shot.

The hour mark arrived and City switched to a three at the back with Aarons moving over to the left-hand side. However, they still found it difficult to break Luton down. Oliver Skipp found himself on the right on 68 minutes but a decent cross was headed way over by Stiepermann.

City had the ball in the net on 83 minutes as substitute Christoph Zimmermann sent a long-range strike towards goal, however the ball deflected off Sorensen on its way into the net and unfortunately, the Dane was in an offside position.

Ultimately, it was a difficult night for City, but there was a debut for young Tyrese Omotoye late on.

Luton Town: Shea (GK), Cranie (45), Pearson, Berry, Moncur (Morrell, 70), Lockyer, Rea (c), Clark, Collins, Dewsbury-Hall (Potts, 90+3), Norrington-Davies
Subs not used: Tunnicliffe, Cornick, Isted, Galloway, LuaLua, Nombe
Goals: Moncur (16), Pearson (23), Collins (pen 47)
Bookings: Shea (18)

Norwich City: McGovern (GK), Aarons, Hanley (c), Gibson, Sorensen, Skipp, Tettey (Vrancic, 72), Martin (Omotoye 86), Buendia (Zimmermann, 81), Placheta, Stiepermann
Subs not used: Barden (GK), McAlear, Omobamidele, Dickson-Peters
Goals: Buendia (pen 18)
Bookings: Placheta (33), Zimmermann (85)

HT: 2-1
Kenilworth Road
Referee: Darren England

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