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Match Reports

City held to draw by Blackburn Rovers

20 March 2021

Norwich City were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon in the Sky Bet Championship.

In a closely-fought encounter, City took the lead on 53 minutes when Kenny McLean diverted from close-range after a neat one-two with Dowell.

Blackburn managed to take a point from the match when substitute Sam Gallagher nodded home from a free-kick.

The game was slightly marred by injuries sustained to Dimitris Giannoulis (head) and Ben Gibson (ankle).

Daniel Farke made just one change to his starting eleven from Wednesday’s victory over Nottingham Forest with Emi Buendia returning to replace the injured Lukas Rupp. Kieran Dowell kept his place in the eleven after an impressive showing in the midweek win.

Blackburn arrived at Carrow Road off the back of just one win in eleven games but they didn't look like a side low on confidence in the first-half. Inside the first minute, John Buckley found space on the edge of the area but his low strike was safe in the arms of Tim Krul.

Buckley again had a sight at goal on five minutes but shot tamely, before City threatened for the first time when Todd Cantwell struck the post with a deflected strike from the edge of the box.

Blackburn continued to have the better of play and had City pinned into their own box around the ten-minute mark, but the Canaries managed to repel their vibrant visitors.

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On the half hour mark, City were forced into an substitution. Dimitris Giannoulis, feeling the effects of an earlier challenge from Joe Rankin-Costello, was withdrawn with a head injury and replaced by Jacob Sorensen.

The best chance of the first-half fell to the returning Buendia on 36 minutes. Dowell pickpocketed Corry Evans and weaved his way into penalty area before laying the ball back to Buendia who, despite off-balance, forced Thomas Kaminski to tip the ball onto the crossbar.

Despite that, Blackburn maintained their early intensity to enjoy their fair share of possession and territory in the first-half – unfortunately for them, the final ball was often lacking.

The early second-half exchanges saw City's leading marksman Teemu Pukki have his first effort at goal. Ben Gibson punted the ball long and Pukki broke the offside trap before having a low strike saved by the feet of Kaminski.

City continue to have more joy in the second-half and they took the lead on 53 minutes following a flowing move. Buendia fizzed the ball into McLean who played a one-two with Dowell before low into the bottom corner.

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It was almost two moments later when Max Aarons slid the ball behind the Blackburn defence but Buendia couldn't connect, allowing Kaminski to gather.

City welcomed back Marco Stiepermann with 20 minutes to play and he was straight into the thick of the action, sending a testing, low drive straight at Kaminski.

In a rare second-half effort, Blackburn equalised on 78 minutes when substitute Sam Gallagher rose highest at the back post to nod home a free-kick from fellow substitute Harvey Elliott.

Farke was forced into another change just minutes after the Blackburn equaliser when Gibson landed awkwardly on his ankle in the opposition penalty area. He was subsequently stretchered off, with Christoph Zimmermann there to replace him.

City had the best chance for a winner late on but Buendia's low effort was saved superbly by Kaminski.

Norwich XI: Krul (GK), Aarons, Hanley (c), Dowell (Stiepermann, 67), Cantwell, Buendia, Skipp, Pukki, McLean, Giannoulis (Sorensen, 30), Gibson (Zimmermann, 83)
Subs not used: Nyland (GK), Vrancic, Hugill, Placheta, Hernandez, Tettey
Goals: McLean (53)
Bookings: None

Blackburn XI: Kaminski (GK), Rothwell, Holtby (Johnson, 85), Douglas, Brereton (Gallagher, 64), Buckley (Elliott, 64), Harwood-Bellis, Rankin-Costello (Bennett, 70), Lenihan (c), Evans (Downing, 70), Dolan
Subs not used: Pears (GK), Nyambe, Johnson, Downing, Bell, Branthwaite
Goals: Gallagher (78)
Bookings: None

HT: 0-0
Venue: Carrow Road
Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: None


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