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Norwich v Middlesbrough 15.09.18

Norwich have been unbeaten against Middlesbrough since the play off final at Wembley in May 2015 and they did the double over them last season. Their form at the start of this season has been good up until they played Norwich and they have drawn 1, Won 5 and Lost 0. Britt Assombalonga looks very sharp upfront and could have been a threat but Christophe Zimmermann should keep him quiet.

Tony Pulis has managed Stoke between 2006 -2013 and kept them up in the Premier League and then managed Crystal Palace between 2013-2014 and saved them from relegation. And his last club was West Bromwich Albion 2015-2017,who unceremoniously sacked him in November last year despite keeping them in the Premier league for 2 seasons. His managerial style is direct with a strong defence that can cause the opposition problems.

In the 1st half Middlesbrough set out to look for an early goal but this didn’t go to plan because Norwich had stopped them, putting them under even more pressure to get an early goal. Moritz Leitner nearly put Norwich 1-0 up on the 25th minute but this honour went to Teemu Pukki in the 29th minute. Unfortunately it was saved by Darren Randolph. Timm Klose almost scored on the 43rd minute but it wasn’t to be.

In the 2nd half Norwich controlled most of the game with Teemu Pukki scoring on the 57th minute assisted by Jamal Lewis. There was a controversial moment that the referee gave Timm Klose a red card by mistake but the linesman waved his flag and The Middlesbrough player was offside and Assombalonga who was trying to get a penalty as he went down in the box but the referee said no penalty. The full time whistle went and Norwich returned to the dressing room 1-0 winners against the tough opposition.

Ipswich v Norwich 2.9.18

Ipswich v Norwich 2018 away.

The electric derby was all set to be interesting as Norwich were unbeaten against the Tractor Boys over the last 10 years. In that time Norwich have Won 6,Drawn 4,Lost 0. During the build up over the week I felt nervous thinking about it and I did my best to not to go on Twitter and get involved in all the negativity surrounding the game.

It will be Paul Hurst’s first derby as an Ipswich manager and they will be looking for their first win since April 2009. He used to manage Grimsby between 2014 and 2016 and he got them out of the Conference League to the Football League. Then he went on to manage Shrewsbury between 2016 and 2018 getting them to the Paint Trophy final where they lost to Lincoln. Also he got them to the League 1 final where they lost to Rotherham at Wembley.

The 1st half was cagey and quiet. Both teams took a while to settle in to the game because of the high pressure atmosphere. Teemu Pukki ran up the wing and found Jordan Rhodes who wasn’t closed down and he should have put Norwich in front. Ipswich was still playing McCarthy’s style of football which was very direct and in your face. There were some moments there and Kayden Jackson should have had a red card for kicking out Grant Hanley in the face. The 1st half finished 0-0 at the break I still had confidence that there was more to come for Norwich in the 2nd half.

In the 2nd half both teams come out strong and on 57 minutes Gwiong Edwards gave Ipswich the lead which looked like it would put an end to 10 years of pain in derby for Ipswich. On 71 minutes Moritz Leitner found the bottom corner after he shot outside the box to gave Norwich an equaliser and Teemu Pukki came close to finding the winner. However Norwich remained unbeaten in this fixture for 10 years and never gave up. For Ipswich when is their win going to come? As an Norwich fan and I felt proud and it felt like a win.

Norwich v West Brom home match Jacob’s overview

There was an air of excitement in the first home match of the season at Carrow Road.

They welcomed visitors West Brom who were relegated from the Premier League last season. It was going to be interesting to see how West Brom bounce back after a disappointing start to a new season. It was going to be exciting to see new players such as Jordan Rhodes, Teemu  Pukki , Ben Marshall , Tim Krul , Kenny Mcclean and Felix Passlack. I was a bit wary of what the score would be as I predicted West Brom scoring lots of goals.

The First half was quite electric with good play from Norwich what impressed me in particular were the  tackles and passing accuracy between them. West Brom looked very disorganised in defence and lackadaisical in midfield and this made me feel hopeful for Norwich’s chances. The West Brom penalty was very soft from where I was standing it just looked like the West Brom player tripped over Krul not the worst crime ever.

Norwich were awarded a penalty for a West Brom player tripping Hernandez in the box and Jordan Rhodes almost put one past the keeper but it wasn’t to be second goal for Norwich this season. the teams went in to the dressing rooms at half time with the score line at 1-1.

I noticed that the atmosphere for some of the game was flat and there wasn’t much singing going on apart from “On the ball city!” at the start of the game and it was a shame that they couldn’t keep the singing going. I wonder if this is a reflection of the fans lack of confidence after 2 relegations in recent history.

When the whistle blew for the start of the Second half none of us could have guessed the dramatic events that were about to unfold.  West Brom scored from a shot by Jay Rodriguez in the 47th minute and it got the second half off to an interesting start. This was followed by a goal from Harvey Barnes in the 65th minute. Norwich took a while to respond up until the 70th minute when Teemu Pukki scored from a great shot on target that Sam Johnstone was unable to get power to stop. It was 3-2 to West Brom and I felt that Norwich would score again because they were energetic and didn’t look like giving up easily. Hal Robson-Kanu  scored from a Chris Brunt corner on the 79th minute to make it 4-2 and this wasn’t how I predicted this score line was going to be. At one point some Norwich fans left their seats early and didn’t stay to see the dramatic finish.

I don’t understand why people leave so early especially as Norwich have a habit of scoring late goals in the Second half ( we all remember fabulous late goal against Ipswich last season). Grant Hanley scored to make it 3-4 from a cross by Onel Hernandez and it felt like Norwich should have won the game 5-4.

There were lots of positives from the lads in this game that the home fans would do well to take note of. I thought Jordan Rhodes was a handful for the visiting teams defence and it will be interesting to see how his career develops at Norwich. Tim Krul made some strong saves despite the score line. Teemu Pukki was quite sharp on the ball and looked quite threatening. Ben Marshall was accomplished and he looked quick on the left wing and produced great corners and free kicks.

I feel Norwich play well together they will pick up some wins and do our fans proud.

 

Birmingham away

It was the first away game after being back from Germany on holiday where we watched the pre season matches. It was an exciting pulsating high tempo game.

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Birmingham came out looking more attacking and quite aggressive which Norwich coped with well. Onel Hernandez looked a real threat going forward on the left wing and worked well on  his own. Birmingham players looked like they were going to win. Second half built very slowly with Norwich having most of the possession. Jacques Maghoma opened the scoring from a corner which led to a fluky goal because it bounced off a Norwich player. Norwich responded instantly and Onel Hernandez walked through the Birmingham defence and found the equaliser in the bottom corner of the goal net. The Norwich fans were in good voice chanting for Hernandez to repeat his magic. In the 89th minute  Birmingham led 2-1 with a goal from Viv Solomon Otabor. The Norwich fans thought it would be a harsh score line if the whistle went before they had a chance to score again. the equaliser came from Onel Hernandez which made it 2-2 on the 94th minute. Perhaps he heard all the fans chanting his name after he scored!