Match Reports

Norwich City earn first point with strong defensive display at Burnley

Norwich City picked up their first point of the Premier League season with a resolute defensive display at Burnley.

Norwich City picked up their first point of the Premier League season with a resolute defensive display at Burnley.

Sean Dyche's Clarets put plenty of balls into the Norwich area but a back three of Grant Hanley, Ben Gibson and Ozan Kabak defended them well, with Dimitris Giannoulis and Max Aarons offering good cover as wing backs.

Head coach Daniel Farke made just one change from the side that had lost to Everton last time out as Greek international Giannoulis replaced Brandon Williams.

In what was a very physical first half, Norwich stood up to Burnley’s pressure well. Defending six corners from the hosts without incident and putting in superb blocks when needed.

Aarons was first to strike towards the Burnley goal but his third minute effort was wide of the mark before Matej Vydra tested Tim Krul with a header on 15 minutes.

There were plenty of late challenges from the hosts in the opening 45 minutes with James Tarkowski, Chris Wood and Josh Brownhill all going into the book for poor challenges and Chris Lowton seeing yellow for dissent.

However, after Pierre-Lees Melou played a superb through ball for Teemu Pukki, that the Finnish striker was not able to get on the end of, the hosts started to build up a head of steam towards half time.

Grant Hanley had to block a close-range header from Jay Rodriguez, who had replaced the injured Vydra, and then Giannoulis bravely got in the way of a fierce effort from Lowton.

At the other end, Lees-Melou tested Nick Pope with an effort from just outside the box, but in truth neither keeper was too stretched in the first half.

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Burnley had the first chance of the second half as McNeil hit an effort from distance forcing a good save from Krul, but moments later Ozan Kabak went on mazy run and took the ball all the way from his own box to the opposition’s penalty area before being brought down by Rodriguez.

That earned the Burnley striker a booking but, fortunately for the hosts, Normann’s free kick was well saved by Pope who dived to his right to stop the Norwegian’s effort.

That lifted Norwich and moments later Lees-Melou found Sargent who then played in Pukki who was well tackled by Tarkowski just as he went to shoot.

Then Normann, who won the club’s player-of-the-month award for September, almost opened the scoring just after the hour as he drove into the opposition’s box and spun before firing a shot that took Pope by surprise and crashed off the crossbar.

On 65 minutes Burnley had a great chance to take the lead when Dwight McNeil tried to control a good cross to the back post from substitute Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson when he should have hit the effort first time.

However, just as in the first half, Burnley then began to build up some pressure as the game approached the final 15 minutes.

That forced Daniel Farke into two changes with 10 minutes to go as Milot Rashica and Lukas Rupp replaced Pukki and Lees-Melou. Moments later Aarons broke down the right and found Sargent who fired just wide but, in what was end to end finish, Rodriguez then glanced a Gudmundsson cross off target before Brownhill sent a ball to the back post that Lowton headed over.

Burnley: Pope; Taylor, Collins, Tarkowski (C), Lowton; McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Lennon (Gudmundsson, 60); Vydra (Rodriguez, 35), Wood (Barnes, 80). Subs not used: Hennessy, Cork, Pieters, Norris, Bardsley, Long. Bookings: Tarkowksi (11), Wood (24), Lowton (24), Brownhill (32), Rodriguez (49).

Norwich City: Krul; Kabak, Hanley (C), Gibson; Aarons, Lees-Melou (Rupp, 79), Norman, McLean, Giannoulis; Sargent (Idah, 89), Pukki (Rashica, 79). Subs not used: Gunn, Gilmour, Dowell,, Tzolis, Williams, Omobamidele. Goals: Bookings: Normann (27), Aarons (74)

HT: 0-0 Venue: Turf Moor

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