By SCOTT DAVIES our Fan at the ground…
City went to Carrow Road off the back of a thumping by Arsenal last weekend. They have only met Norwich twice before in a Premier League fixture back in the 1994/95 season which ended in relegation for both clubs. The stats finely balanced in this fixture with 20 wins apiece and 12 draws. Norwich, so far are cutting the mustard (pun intended!) and have only lost once in the last 6.
The Tinkerman lived up to his name, but it was no surprise after the first defeat of the season. Fuchs, who impressed in the cup fixture against West Ham, came in at left back and Simpson replaced the much criticised De Laet. Some eyebrows were raised when Mahrez appeared on the bench and Kramaric didn’t even make the squad. Mahrez in fairness has been average at best in the last two fixtures and who knows what the future holds for Kramaric, but it’s not looking good for him.
The match kicked off in an Indian Summer and was excellent conditions for a game of football. The blue army were out in force as usual, despite the rising cost of away tickets, with this fixture partially subsidised by City’s owners. The Norwich fans in the Barclay End gave out leaflets before the game for the #TwentyIsPlenty campaign to try to drive the prices down for fans and some city fans carried placards.
Norwich started well and troubled City for the first 10-15 minutes with Cameron Jerome firing over early on. City found their stride and played some nice counter attacking football. Okazaki was a pest against their back line and Vardy ran the channels well, who had a shot saved by Ruddy in the 19th minute. City continued to press high with Schlupp having an attempt blocked, Albrighton missing what seemed to be an easy chance and Ruddy saving superbly from Drinkwater all in a matter of 2 minutes.
City’s pressure paid off on 27 when the once again impressive Kante won the ball in the middle and played a through ball to Vardy in the box. Vardy knew any contact would result in a penalty and cleverly forced the defender to nudge him down. He stepped up and sent Ruddy the wrong way for his 6th goal in 5 consecutive games making it 7 for the season.
Norwich worked hard but only really threatened from set pieces which City dealt with relatively well and City went into the break 1-0 up.
As expected, The Canaries came at Leicester at the start of the second period but in doing so, City opened them up early on. Schlupp did brilliantly to win the ball in his own half and drove forward finding Kante on the left. Schlupp continued his run and Kante fed a beautiful ball into Schlupps feet, who took a little touch to steady himself and drilled a low left foot shot past Ruddy to make it 2-0.
Redmond and West Ham loanee Mbokani came on to put pressure on City, with the latter causing problems and soon found himself on the score sheet. Norwich realised they couldn’t break City down on the ground and reverted to lumping the ball forward over the top and it was working well for them. A dangerous cross drifted into City’s box and caught the defence napping. Mbokani got a deft touch on the ball to steer it past Schmeichel.
Ulloa came on for Okazaki and made an immediate impact, scoring from a corner with his first touch, only for it to be chalked off for a foul by Huth on Ruddy.
This spurred on Norwich, who had City rocking a little and Leicesters usually high line sat deep inviting Norwich to keep coming forward, however Leicester dealt with the attacks well. Benalouane came on for the injured Simpson and did well to cut out many ariel threats. Norwich came close to equalising, hitting the bar and later producing a superb save from Schmeichel.
Vardy went down injured after City had made all 3 subs and it didn’t look good for the England International who was down for a long period. Vardy, however insisted on playing on and went close again, forcing Ruddy into a save on 90 after Drinkwater had played him through.
Leicester held on after 6 minutes of added time for a fine away win. Despite no clean sheet again (and no pizza) the defence looked much more solid with Fuchs and Simpson drafted in. Norwich had 16 corners and only 2 shots of their 17 were on target and that’s testament to how City’s defence handled the pressure.
Man of the Match – N’golo Kante
100%LCFC Nominated for an Award… PLEASE VOTE FOR US, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW….