A fabulous Wayne Rooney free-kick was the difference as Derby County ran out 1-0 winners over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Chances were few and far between but Norwich had the chance to take the lead early in the second-half but Teemu Pukki’s penalty was missed.
Former England captain Rooney ended up being the difference as his goal on 87 minutes was enough to see the Rams take all three points at Carrow Road.
Story of the game
Norwich started the game the better of the two sides as they piled the pressure onto Derby with a few nice interchanges.
The Rams did grow into the game towards the end of the second half and had some moments themselves, their main threat coming down the right through Duane Holmes and Nathan Byrne with Holmes playing a delightful ball over to Rooney who’s effort was well wide.
Embed from Getty Images
The Canaries started the second half brightly and with under 10 minutes played in the second half they were awarded a penalty when Onel Hernandez’ effort struck George Evans on the arm giving them the chance from the spot.
Pukki stepped up to the plate but he struck his penalty over the bar as he slipped while striking the ball.
Norwich carried on piling the pressure on throughout the second half but the Rams stood firm.
The home side did nearly find a break through as Mario Vrancic’s cross found Max Aarons at the far post but David Marshall made a great save in the Derby net.
Derby held firm and it was a pulsating run for midfielder Jason Knight that made the difference for the Rams, his run from deep drew a free kick just outside the Norwich penalty area, Rooney stepped up and whipped the ball into the top corner to give them the lead.
Norwich still didn’t give in though as an Aarons cross was met by substitute Jordan Hugill but his downwards header was met by an unbelievable stop from Marshall in the Derby net.
Man of the match
Knight was fantastic throughout the game for Derby with his constant running and hustling in the middle of the park.
The 19-year-old also won the free-kick which won the game for Derby as he burst from the halfway line only to be hauled down on the edge of the Norwich box.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international also showed great composure and maturity in his game and he moved the ball around the park.
Derby stand firm
Derby showed their resilience and steel today unlike recent weeks where they had leaked goals. The change in formation from Phillip Cocu and introduction of Curtis Davies into the side proved the be crucial as they were difficult to break down
Norwich lack cutting edge
Norwich showed good signs going forward but lack the cutting edge in front of goal, this could be the difference between their promotion a couple seasons back to this season.
Their failure to create many chances until the last few minutes coupled with Pukki’s missed penalty rounded off a pretty average display from the Canaries.