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Match Reports

City denied three points by late Coventry equaliser

28 November 2020

A late equaliser denied an injury-depleted Norwich City all three points at home to Coventry City on Saturday afternoon.

Mario Vrancic's first-half penalty looked to have set City on their way to a fourth victory in succession, but Maxime Biamou's late strike from close range helped Coventry to a point on their travels.

Daniel Farke was forced to name a youthful squad, with five of the six players on his substitute’s bench being members of the current Under-23s setup. Andrew Omobamidele and Tyrese Omotoye joined Daniel Barden, Reece McAlear and Tom Dickson-Peters who made up the bench for the win over Stoke on Tuesday night.

As for the starting eleven, Michael McGovern replaced the injured Tim Krul in goal,Marco Stiepermann moved into the central forward position in place of Teemu Pukki, leaving room for Mario Vrancic to deputise in the attacking midfield position. Out wide, Przemyslaw Placheta returned to replace the suspended Emi Buendia.

It was Coventry who made the brighter start at Carrow Road, with defender Leo Ositgard slicing over the crossbar from a knocked down free kick early on.

As it customary for matches involving at Carrow Road, the home side enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages as they tried to work their opponents out, however it was Coventry who continued to threaten more.

That being said, two Callum O'Hare headers missed the target and didn't come close to altering the scoreline.

From 22 minutes onwards though, City began to look more comfortable and start probing the Coventry backline. Josh Martin clipped a delicious ball through to Stiepermann to start the wave of pressure off, but Ben Wilson in the Coventry goal stood tall to block his attempted lob.

Two minutes later, City worked it down the left and Oliver Skipp put a precise low cross into the danger area for Martin to send towards goal, but once again, Wilson was there to block. Placheta was there with the rebound but Wilson palmed away once more.

City's pressure paid off on 28 minutes when Alex Tettey clipped a deft pass into the path of Placheta who was bundled over in the area. Referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot with no hesitation allowing Vrancic to step up and fire down the middle to open the scoring.

Although Coventry enjoyed their moments following the opener, they did little to threaten McGovern in the Canaries goal for the remainder of the half. Instead, it was City who went closest to adding to the scoreline - Stiepermann firing an effort just wide of goal from distance on 42 minutes.

Shortly after the restart, Coventry displayed their threat once again from wide areas with Amadou Bakayoko nodding over from a dangerous cross.

With Coventry making a triple change and committing more men forward, that brought further oppotunies for Placheta to use his pace in behind their defence. The Polish winger used that to great effect early in the second-half but the final pass lacked slightly.

Coventry started to step up their search for an equaliser just after the hour mark and the menacing O'Hare aimed for the near post with a close range strike but McGovern was equal to it.

The Coventry threat was stifled by City, forcing Mark Robins into some more changes with 15 minutes left. City to this point were comfortable in possession and patient in waiting for their opportunities.

Coventry chucked everything at it in the last ten minutes and went close on 83 minutes when Kyle McFadzean flicked a Gustavo Hamer free kick onto the post.

The eventually broke City's resistance with just a few minutes left on the clock. A low cross was diverted towards goal by O'Hare, with Gibson defending superbly to block but subsitute Biamou managed to convert from a tight angle.

It was a disappointing end for the Canaries, compounded by the withdrawal of Max Aarons who hobbled off with an ankle injury.

Norwich: McGovern (GK), Aarons (McAlear, 90), Hanley (c), Gibson, Sorensen, Skipp, Tettey, Martin (Zimmermann, 85), Vrancic, Placheta, Stiepermann
Subs not used: Barden (GK), Omobamidele, Omotoye, Dickson-Peters
Goals: Vrancic (pen 27)
Bookings: Sorensen (56)

Coventry: Wilson (GK), Ositgard, McFadzean, Kelly (c) (Biamou, 76), Allen (Shipley, 62), O’Hare, Sheaf (Hamer, 62), Hyam, Giles, Bakayoko (Walker, 62), Dabo (Jobello, 77)
Subs not used: Camp (GK), Biamou, Thompson, Bapaga, Rowe
Goals: Biamou (89)
Bookings: None

KO: 3pm
HT: 1-0
Venue: Carrow Road
Referee: Keith Stroud

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