An early Josh Murphy strike was cancelled out by Harvey Barnes in the second half as Norwich City were held to a 1-1 draw by Barnsley at Carrow Road.
Murphy’s deflected strike on 12 minutes gave City the initiative early on but Barnes’s cool finish shortly after the interval ensured the points would be shared in a tight Sky Bet Championship contest.
Daniel Farke made five changes to his starting eleven which started the defeat at Bolton Wanderers two weeks ago. James Husband, Mario Vrancic, Nelson Oliveira, Grant Hanley and Murphy replaced Harrison Reed, Christoph Zimmermann, Cameron Jerome, Wes Hoolahan and Yanic Wildschut, with City lining up in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
The midweek rhetoric, particularly from Farke and Angus Gunn in Friday’s press-conference, had mainly been about City wanting to take an early chance and, much to the delight of the Carrow Road faithful, Murphy made sure they did just that. The loose ball fell kindly for the City winger on 12 minutes and his strike took a deflection before flying past Barnsley keeper Adam Davies to put the Canaries ahead.
City looked to add to their advantage the following exchanges. Oliveira twice volleyed well over before curling a long-range effort just wide on 25 minutes after a lovely team move involving Husband, Murphy and James Maddison.
Moments later, Barnsley had their first real chance as Adam Hammill forced Gunn into a fingertip stop from long range and then on 32 minutes, he went close again after cutting in from the right-hand side but, again, Gunn was equal to his low strike.
The visitors certainly finished the first half the stronger of the two sides but couldn’t find a good enough chance to test Gunn. Barnes had their best opening but he bended his strike wide of goal on 39 minutes.
Farke reshuffled his pack at the interval bring on Zimmermann for Husband and changing to a back three but Barnsley cut City open on 47 minutes and managed to equalise. George Moncur cut in from the right, found Barnes in space on the left and the in-form winger showed composure to side-foot past Gunn.
The visitors had their tails up but couldn’t build on their advantage. The best of their chances came when Yiadom caught the ball flush on the volley on the hour mark but his effort flew straight into the arms of Gunn.
Then City had a brief spell of superiority. Liam Lindsay did brilliantly to head away a Stiepermann cross on 65 minutes, with Oliveira waiting in the wings, before neat footwork from Maddison allowed him to force a fingertip stop from Davies from the edge of the box.
Both sides had a fair share of the ball in the final 20 minutes but neither could really create something which warranted the three points. The point ends City’s three-game losing streak and their attention turns to a visit to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.