Norwich City 2-1 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship) 09.12.20
Norwich City catapulted themselves to top of the league, as they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1, in a Carrow Road hosting 2,000 Canaries fans.
A low hard driven volley, from Jacob Sorensen, and a cruel deflected effort courtesy of Emiliano Buendia was enough to hand Norwich City all three points, as they continue their rise up the Championship – hunting an immediate return to the Premier League.
Despite preventing going six games without a goal, thanks to Anthony Knockaert’s cross come shot, the Reds fell to a fifth defeat in six and fell dangerously closer to the Championship relegation zone.
Norwich started the game showing why they sat second heading into the encounter. For the opening quarter of an hour they had their opponents chasing their ‘Canary yellow’ shadows.
With the first real opportunity of the game Norwich’s Mario Vrancic was in the right place at the right time as Forest headed clear a Norwich corner. The Bosnian midfielder struck a 20-yard effort towards goal but it was well matched by the Red’s ‘keeper Brice Samba.
The Canaries continued to press and look the most likely to go in front. As the ball was worked to Norwich’s talisman, Emiliano Buendia, the diminutive Argentinian originally mis-hit his attempted first time effort, before hitting a venomous right foot curler. Buendia’s effort looked destined for the top corner but Forest’s busy goalkeeper was equal to it, diving away and parrying the effort away from goal.
With Forest soaking up plenty of Norwich pressure they did manage to show brief sparks of creativity that they’ve not been able to produce for much of this season. Both Sammy Ameobi and Lyle Taylor looked to bounce on a loose ball inside the host’s box but neither could apply the finishing touches.
Nottingham Forest’s Joe Lolley did then try his luck, as the Reds enjoyed their best spell in the game, as the game reached the half hour mark. The Forest winger cut inside Norwich’s left back and Lolley hit a left foot effort hard and low, leaving the Canaries ‘keeper Michael McGovern helpless. The post did, however, come to McGovern’s and Norwich’s rescue, as Lolley’s shot bounced off the base of the post and away to safety.
The home side looked to restore the natural order of the game, with them dominating both possession and clear cut chances. Josh Martin looked to release the dangerous Teemu Pukki with a clever chipped ball, that totally bypassed the stranded centre half duo, of Tobias Figueiredo and Joe Worrall. Yet Forest’s defence resolve stood firm, as left back Yuri Ribeiro tracked Pukki’s run all the way and headed clear , preventing the Finnish striker finding himself one on one with Brice Samba.
As Norwich continued to dominate, their male shift left back, Jacob Sorensen, attacked down the Forest right. He linked up brilliantly with attacking midfielder Marco Stiepermann – who’s cross was headed partially clear by Ribeiro. Ribeiro’s clearance could only find the advanced Norwich left back, Sorensen, who volleyed first time underneath the body of Samba and in the second minute of two added on, Norwich took the lead into half time.
Forest started the second half brightly and after beat link up play between Ameobi and Ribeiro, the Portuguese left back jinked his way past a Norwich man before he was tripped inches outside the home side’s penalty area. The away side showed their lack of a goal scoring touch from the resulting free kick. Joe Lolley played a ball to the edge of the box looking for the run of Cafu but Teemu Pukki beat him to the punch and led a Norwich counter, which led to a Canaries corner.
Chris Hughton made two changes just after the hour mark. Lyle Taylor left the field, being replaced by Miguel Angel Guerrero. Then minutes later, Anthony Knockaert was introduced into the action, in place of Harry Arter.
And the Frenchman made an immediate impact. Knockaert cut inside from the right hand side, seeing the run of Guerrero, his left footed cross was missed by the Spaniard but also by everyone else, as the ball sailed inside the far post. As the game entered the final 20, the Reds ended their goal drought and got themselves on level terms.
They often say when you’re down at the bottom nothing ever goes your way. And that seems to be the case for Nottingham Forest. No sooner had they worked so hard to get the leveller, the hosts restored their lead. Good work by newly introduced substitute, Todd Cantwell, saw the ball worked to Emiliano Buendia. His shot cruelly deflected off the attempted block of Joe Worrall, wrong-footing the stranded Brice Samba.
Forest had to ride heavy Norwich pressure, with the home side playing with the confidence their lead allowed them to.
But it was the Reds who ended the game most brightly. A flurry of corners and deliveries into the area asked questions and was dangerous enough to cause concern for the Canaries defence.
For all of their second half effort, Forest couldn’t find a second equaliser and it was another defeat for the Reds as their hosts took all three points. Leaving Chris Hughton’s side looking nervously over their shoulders at the likes of Derby County, Wycombe Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday who keep them outside the relegation zone, only just though.
Norwich City: McGovern, Aarons, Hanley, Zimmerman, Sorensen, Skipp, Vrancic, Buendia (McLean 83), Stiepermann (Tettey 76), Martin (Cantwell 76), Pukki (Omotoye 90).
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie (Jenkinson 86), Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro, Sow (Mighten 86), Cafu, Lolley, Arter (Knockaert 71), Ameobi, Taylor (Guerrero 63).
Venue: Carrow Road (2,000)
*Article provided by Joe Freeman (Nottingham Forest Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFC Lyle Taylor in action as Forest lose again.