Norwich hit the front in the Championship with a win over Burton

24 Sep

Norwich ground out a hard-fought 3-1 win over a battling Burton side to move to the top of the Championship table for the first time this season.

Burton: Norwich hit the front in the Championship with a win over BurtonBurton: Norwich hit the front in the Championship with a win over Burton

A well-taken first-half effort from left back Martin Olsson put the Canaries ahead at the break, only for the Brewers to hit back seconds after the restart through Lucas Akins.

But the hosts restored their advantage from the kick-off through Jacob Murphy’s deflected effort and could afford to miss a penalty before Ivo Pinto struck two minutes from time to confirm the win.

With four straight wins behind them, three in the league, Norwich were quickly into their stride and it needed a good early block from John Brayford to deny Murphy.

But Burton’s first visit to Carrow Road was by no means a one-sided affair in the opening stages, with Lloyd Dyer cutting inside and firing just over on 14 minutes.

The Canaries were struggling to create openings, with the visitors defending well, and Hamza Choudury was in quickly to snuff out the danger when Robbie Brady tried his luck from inside the box.

A Brady free-kick that slammed into the Burton wall summed up a frustrating first quarter for Alex Neil’s side but they finally got their noses in front on the half-hour mark with a typically well crafted goal.

Graham Dorrans was the architect, picking out an advanced Marcus Olsson In the area, and the Swedish defender showed admirable composure as he took a touch before firing high into the roof of the net.

As half-time approached Norwich were firmly in control and they should have doubled their advantage following a bad mistake from keeper John McLaughlin.

He let a harmless looking ball drift past him when he realised he was out of his area, leaving Cameron Jerome with an open goal, albeit from a tight angle, but the big striker could only find the side-netting.

The Brewers made a sensational start to the second period, equalising within 40 seconds of the restart. A poor defensive header from Russell Martin let in Akins and when his effort was blocked the ball fell kindly to Choudhury whose close-range header was tapped in by Akins.

Norwich needed a response and they got it almost immediately. They attacked from the kick-off and Murphy played a one-two with Jerome before sending it a shot that took a huge deflection off John Mousinho to deceive McLaughlin.

Burton had another glorious chance to peg Norwich back again on 56 minutes but after rounding Michael McGovern Jamie Ward chose to try and pick out a pass rather than trying to slide the ball home and ended up picking out a yellow shirt.

Ward then fired straight at McGovern as Burton continued to threaten in an entertaining, end to end game,

Norwich should have made the points safe on 77 minutes when substitute John Flanagan’s handball to keep out Dorrans’ goalbound effort was punished with a red card and a penalty. But McLaughlin produced a magnificent diving save to keep out Brady’s spot-kick.

Norwich had plenty of chances to stretch their lead after that and with Burton short handed at the back they finally took one on 88 minutes when Pinto fired high into the roof of the net from a tight angle to register his first goal for the club.


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