Norwich City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday: The Canaries stay top of the Championship after late fight back
(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
  • Story of the match

First Half:

Inside four minutes, Norwich City fashioned the first opening of the game. Jacob Sørensen found space on the left side of the 18-yard-box and let fly from close range. Joe Wildsmith could only parry into the path of Teemu Pukki, on his return from injury should have grabbed his eight goal of the campaign, but appeared to slide his effort across the face of goal and Joost Van Aken turned it behind for a corner.

On eight minutes, from a Barry Bannan corner, Julian Börner glanced goal wards at the near post and it would have been 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday if Marco Stiepermann had not been positioned perfectly on the goal-line to head clear. Shortly after, Kadeem Harris had two Norwich defenders in a spin, cut inside and set his sights and almost beat Michael McGovern at his near post. 

Bannan had a chance of his own just shy of 30 minutes, the ball broke to him on the half volley on the edge of the box from a throw in. The Wednesday skipper caught it well but could only shoot straight at McGovern. Van Aken also went close 10 minutes later with a fierce attempt from 30-yards which had McGovern scrambling to his right. 

Second half:

Six minutes after the break, Norwich captain Grant Hanley connected well with a Max Aarons corner and diverted his header inches wide of Wildsmith's far post.

On the hour mark Wednesday took a deserved lead. A sensational move, Adam Reach crossed from out wide on the left and whipped his delivery pinpoint onto the head of Josh Windass who planted his header firmly past a helpless McGovern. 

Minutes later, with Norwich camped in The Owls half, Wednesday hit on the break and had two big penalty appeals. Kadeem Harris was at the heart of both. The first he appeared to be dragged down by Hanley, the second Mario Vrancic seemed to get a faint touch on the ball. 

Despite pressure from the home side they were creating little and Wednesday broke once again with 15 minutes left. Harris wriggled between Hanley and Stiepermann and set up subsitute Joey Pelupessy but the defensive midfielder looked just that as his tame effort rolled straight into the grasp of the Northern Ireland stopper. 

The hosts did make their breakthrough though on 80 minutes. Vrancic threaded a through ball between the legs of Tom Lees and Josh Martin who had only been on the pitch a minute prodded the ball through the legs of the outspread Wildsmith.

Three minutes later and Max Aarons turned the game on its head, he played a great one two with Vrancic who back-heeled back into his path for the young right back to sweep home.

Right at the death, Callum Paterson flew in with a diving header to latch onto Liam Palmer's cross. For a moment it appeared the ball was going to nestle in the top corner but it wasn't to be. 

  • Takeaways from the game

Norwich patient to pick up all three points:

Up until the final 10 minutes of the game, Daniel Farke's side were struggling to find a way to break through. However, after Wednesday missed chances to double their lead, fatigue set and in gaps began to appear. Then, the quality and intricacies of The Canaries attacking force were able to thrive. Their movement and quicknesses of thought got them a much needed victory to stay top of the division. 

Tony Pulis still on the hunt for his first victory:

On 79 minutes the Wednesday chief would have been forgiven for thinking he may be just over 10 minutes away from picking up his first three points in charge. Two quick fire goals though snatched all the points away from his side who had chances to put the game to bed as well as having two penalty appeals, the first especially appeared to be a stonewall penalty, but Australian referee Jarred Gillet was unmoved. While of course he will be disappointed at the result, which leaves his team 4 points away from safety, the signs are once again positive. The next run of games are crucial if they are to survive. 

  • Man of the match: Kadeem Harris

Despite being on the losing side, Harris was a pain in Norwich's side from minute one. He looked dangerous when attacking from out wide and looked even more threatening when asked to play on his own down the middle after Windass' opener. He was unlucky not to have won a penalty and he could easily have had an assist to his name, had Pelupessy shown more composure in front of goal, after a mazy dribble from Harris. 

  • Team lineups

​​​​​​​Norwich City (4-2-3-1):

McGovern; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Sorensen; Skipp, Vrancic (Omotoye 90+3'); Buendia, Stiepermann (Martin 79'), Placheta (Tettey 88'); Pukki

Sheffield Wednesday (3-5-2):

Wildsmith; Lees, Börner, Van Aken; Odubajo (Kachunga 87'), Paterson, Bannan, Iorfa (Pelupessy 53'), Reach; Harris (Brown 87'), Windass (Palmer 66')

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