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Match Reports

Stiepermann scores to take Norwich to within a point of league leaders

7 November 2020

Norwich City moved to within a point of league leaders Reading as Marco Stiepermann scored the only goal of the game in a win over Swansea City.

It is now seven games unbeaten for the Canaries, which five have beeb won, as Daniel Farke’s team go into the international break outside the top two automatic promotion places on goal scored only.

Head coach Farke made a double change from the side that drew with Millwall in midweek as Ben Gibson and Lukas Rupp missed out through injury and were replaced in the starting line-up by Christoph Zimmermann and Kenny McLean.

Swansea City head coach Cooper made one change from the side that drew with Brenftord on Tuesday as Kasey Palmer came in for Yan Dhanda.

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The Canaries started the game brightly with Emi Buendia having a shot blocked on the edge of the box after good work from Teemu Pukki.

Moments later Max Aarons drove at the Swansea City back three got to the byline and pulled a ball back for Przemyslaw Placheta who, six yards out, side footed towards goal but saw his effort well blocked by Jay Fulton.

The bright opening five minutes then continued as Aarons curled a shot wide. The following 10 minutes saw Norwich win three free-kicks in and around the D. However, Buendia put the first two into the wall and the Stierpermann did the same with the third.

Having weathered the early storm, Swansea then started to create chances as well and Andre Ayew was unfortunate not to opening the scoring when he peeled off his marker from a corner and sent a header onto the base of the post. The game then became a bit stop start with all three Swansea centre-backs getting cautioned.

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However, it was again the Welsh visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock before the interval as Jamal Lowe shot from an angle forcing Tim Krul into a smart save.

Norwich has the first chance of the second half as Pukki picked up the ball in the area and shot towards the corner only to be denied by a Connor Roberts.

Then a counter-attack, on 57 minutes, gave Pukki and Placheta sights at goal before Buendia curled a shot towards the top corner but it was comfortably saved.

However, Swansea then had the best chance of the match on 63 minutes as substitute Matt Grimes slid a ball into Jamal Lowe but Krul stayed tall and made a good save. Then on 65 minutes Grimes tried to find the net from a well-worked corner but he had his effort well blocked.

Farke then made a double change with just over 20 minutes to bring on Bali Mumba and Josh Martin for Placheta and Jacob Sorensen.

However, a couple of minute later and Swansea had another good chance to nudge themselves in front as a loose touch from Aarons in the box allowed Jake Bidwell to steal the ball from him before going down under challenge.

The referee turned down the Swans penalty appeal but Ayew followed up on the loose ball to bring another good save out of Krul.

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Freddie Woodman then made a superb save to deny Pukki after he picked up a deflected shot in the box, but the effort would have been ruled out by offside.

However, it was Krul who was impressing the most as he pulled off a one-handed stop to turn a Lowe effort over his crossbar. 

Those saved proved crucial as Norwich, who have a habit of scoring late on this season, netted in the final 10 minutes again. It was substitute Mumba who crossed from left to allow Buendia to lay the ball off for Stiepermann to fire in off the post.

Norwich City: Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Zimmermann, Sorensen (Mumba, 68); McLean, Skipp; Buendia (Tettey, 90+2), Stiepermann, Placheta (Martin, 68); Pukki.

Subs not used: McGovern, Vrancic, Idah, Hugill.

Goals: Stiepermann (84)

Yellows: Aarons (87)

Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton (Grimes, 45), Bennett, Guehi; Roberts, Fulton (Dhanda, 86), Smith, Bidwell; Palmer (Gyokeres, 58); Ayew, Lowe.  

Subs not used: Benda, Manning, Routledge, Latibeaudiere

Yellows: Guehi (17), Naughton (35), Bennett (38)

Referee: Darren England


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