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Quintilla the live wire and 6 other things we noticed from home draw with Preston

22 September 2020

Norwich City’s end to end 2-2 draw at home to Preston North End on Saturday gave the 1,000 spectators much to mull over.

Here’s our list of seven things we noticed throughout the game.

Quintilla’s quintessential crossing

Xavi Quintilla is really looking like a creator in this team. He put a total of 15 crosses into the 18-yard box against Preston, eleven more than any other Norwich City player.

Importantly, our first goal of the game can be traced back to a Quintilla cross that Darnell Fisher put behind for a corner. Xavi took the corner, which was cleared, before receiving the ball for another cross to plant on Teemu Pukki’s head - three deliveries in the build up to the goal.

This desire to bomb forward perhaps pinned Fisher back, nullifying Preston’s attacking threat on the right wing, as 43 percent of their attacks came on the left wing versus 31 percent on the right.

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Aarons cutting inside

Max Aarons, on the other end, showed a very different kind of attacking full-back performance. He may have only swung in two crosses in the match, but his threat was clear to see.

Twice we saw the number two cut inside from the right onto his weaker left foot and unleash a shot from distance, with both efforts only just heading over the bar.

The fact that our full-backs can be afforded the luxury of getting forward is in part thanks to the cover provided by our next player of note...

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Skipp getting stuck in

He may feel he could have done more to prevent the goal that put Preston 2-1 up, with Scott Sinclair ghosting into the 18-yard box, but Skipp again showed the kind of quality that won him last week’s Man of the Match award against Huddersfield.

One might blame the Tottenham loanee for conceding the penalty from which Preston took the lead, but replays suggest the foul was on the soft side. 

Otherwise, Skipp once again did the business from a defensive point of view, blocking more shots than any other Norwich player and bringing the ball through the midfield to pull the strings for the attackers.

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Placheta’s eye for goal

One of those attackers benefitting from Skipp’s distribution was Przemyslaw Placheta, who came on as a first-half substitute to replace the injured Kieran Dowell.

Despite not playing for the first 23 minutes, no Norwich player had more shots than Placheta, who had five efforts.

Only one of them went on target, and only one of them needed to, his volley in the 85th minute rescuing a point for the Canaries. With the pace and strength that the Polish forward has in his locker, we can’t wait to see more from Placheta this season.

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Pukki’s clinical threat

Teemu Pukki may only have had two shots throughout the 90 minutes, but one was game-changing and the other wasn’t far away.

His header was scrambled in at the near post by Declan Rudd to give City their first equaliser, before he almost won the game with a cushioned effort that the Preston ‘keeper tipped over the bar in stoppage time.

If we can create more chances for Teemu in the upcoming games, we’ve no doubt he’ll be putting more of them in the back of the net.

pukki MOTM Cropped.jpg

Idah making things happen

Adam Idah coming off the bench and being a handful defenders became a theme of City’s less-than-glamorous Project Restart run.

Off the back of getting his first league goal for the club in the opening weekend’s 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town, Idah again looked like making an impact.

His first major involvement came from the right, when Idah showed good ball control to dart inside and get a driven, outward-curling shot away with his left foot. Whether he starts or not, the squad looks to be stronger with Idah in it.

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Vocal City support

We can’t ignore the elephant in the room, and that’s the 1,000 Norwich City fans who made the noise throughout the game in the South Stand.

It was a pleasure to have the yellow shirts at Carrow Road for the EFL’s test event, and heartwarming to see the reception they gave the players when they came out for the warm-up.

Imagine what it will look like when the ground is at full capacity once again!

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