Hernandez shook off slack start to keep driving City forward at West Brom – including a delightful nutmeg
Our latest Norwich City player watch kept a close eye on winger Onel Hernandez, as the Cuban winger helped the Canaries fight back to draw 1-1 at West Brom.
3 – Precise free-kick from Mario Vrancic well controlled on the left, tries to twist and turn past Mason Holgate but is well tackled.
4 – Teemu Pukki prevents Rekeem Harper clearing a loose ball in the Albion box, Alex Tettey spreads left and Hernandez can run, tries to poke low cross with his right foot but cleared and Emi Buendia can only hit a shot into the ground, easy for keeper Sam Johnstone to claim.
5 – Tenacious work to deny Chris Brunt the ball in central midfield and keep City in possession.
10 – Moves central to take the ball from Buendia but can’t keep possession.
12 – Kieran Gibbs switches to the right, Hernandez not alive to Holgate threat, low cross to the near post and Dwight Gayle slides across Godfrey to turn in at the near post and put Albion in front.
13 – Almost immediately it’s the same situation, Holgate has the run on Hernandez and deeper cross, Max Aarons just nudges away with Chris Brunt straining for a shot. Daniel Farke not happy and makes it clear to Hernandez and Jamal Lewis they need to improve.
15 – Lewis puts a pass down the left, Hernandez just nudges on to Pukki but Craig Dawson makes the tackle.
16 – Nervy few moments continue, turns into trouble and concedes a throw. Soon after loses Holgate again and tackles back but concedes a wide free-kick. Brunt whips in and Christoph Zimmermann saves him with a good header away.
23 – Drifts inside as Pukki keeps attack alive and Buendia tries to thread a ball through, but slips and can’t chase.
24 – Again slow to smell the danger as Holgate gets the ball wide, Alex Tettey heads the cross as far as Hal Robson-Kanu and low shot flies a few yards wide of right post.
25 – Pukki knocks wide and allows Hernandez a run at Dawson, gets a cross over but it’s way beyond Pukki, and the far top corner.
27 – Turns the ball inside to Mario Vrancic nicely to help Lewis complete a clearance.
31 – Comes to the right to support Aarons in attack, finds Pukki, who wins a corner.
32 – Retrieves a cleared corner, Tettey scoops a cross in from the left, Pukki nods down and Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone superbly turns around his post.
36 – Just about beats Dawson to a Tim Krul kick and City counter but Lewis is tackled on the left wing.
37 – Long chat with Farke on the sidelines during stoppage for clash of heads between Tettey and Harper, ends with an encouraging pat on the back.
44 – Buendia corner from the right comes through to Hernandez but low shot from edge of the box hoofed clear by Holgate. Todd Cantwell loses possession but the Cuban winger nips in to win the ball in midfield.
45+2 – Cantwell wins back possession and finds Hernandez, taken down on the turn by Dawson to the left of the box. Buendia free-kick is cleared.
47 – Lovely quick feet to skip away from Gareth Barry in the Albion half, spreads left to Lewis and low cross just doesn’t fall kindly for Pukki.
48 – Nice one-two with Cantwell and spreads right to Aarons, who eventually wins a corner.
52 – Somehow scrambles the ball away from Holgate and gets Cantwell moving forward.
54 – More tenacious play in midfield in a tight spot to get Cantwell away, eventually gets it back and can’t shoot, Cantwell spreads to Aarons who fires a poor shot way over after his attempted cross was blocked.
55 – Lewis wins the ball, Hernandez pushes clear into midfield but Barry crunches him with a fine tackle.
65 – Buendia spreads left, Hernandez stands up Holgate and bursts past him before again trying to poke a cross over on his right, with Johnstone claiming easily.
68 – Vrancic fine pass to Lewis, pokes to Hernandez and he just about keeps the ball but slips over in the box under pressure.
69 – Nutmegs Dawson to get into the box – right in front of the delighted 2,700 away fans – but cross is cleared.
78 – Tries to let a Lewis clearance run into his path instead of controlling, oddly, and is robbed easily by Holgate.
82 – Switched to the right in 3-5-2 shape, played down the wing by Vrancic and cleaned out stupidly by Gayle near the corner flag. McLean free-kick cleared back to the Scot, put back towards near post and Rhodes prods in for 1-1.
90 – Drops back to help keep possession in a tight spot, drives away from Gibbs and sets Srbeny away, eventually Vrancic’s cross to Pukki is weak and claimed by Johnstone.
90+4 – Almost a disastrous moment as he tries to flick past Gibbs on the edge of his own box, Baggies move the ball quickly and Holgate pulls a low shot beyond the far post. Farke is not impressed.
Verdict: Defensively circumspect as experienced Baggies team dominated the first half, with their 4-3-3 shape working against a young City team, but kept working and stretching the hosts as the Canaries grew into the battle. Decision making needs to be better.
Rating: 6 out of 10