Norwich City 3-2 Bristol City: McLean strikes as Canaries produce superb Robins comeback
PUBLISHED: 17:07 23 February 2019 | UPDATED: 21:05 23 February 2019
Kenny McLean's first Norwich City goals earned the Championship leaders a superb win at Carrow Road against a relentless Bristol City.
Canaries head coach Daniel Farke stuck with the same starting XI that destroyed Bolton last weekend, while adding Mario Vrancic to an already strong substitutes’ bench – the Serbian recovering ahead of schedule from the ankle injury he sustained in the victory over Ipswich.
While City went into the game as Championship leaders, their visitors were in even better form – arriving as the only side in England’s top four divisions with a 100pc league record since the turn of the year.
And it was Lee Johnson’s Robins who drew first blood, as Jamie Paterson fired a lovely finish across Tim Krul and into the top corner after a breathless first 12 minutes.
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The game then caught light in 60 first-half seconds. First, Norwich’s pressure finally told as McLean curling a little beauty of a shot inside Frank Fielding’s far post on 36 minutes – only for Callum O’Dowda to run City all over the place from the restart, riding a series of challenges before firing low beyond Krul to restore the Robins’ lead.
City found a higher gear after the break and were back level inside 55 minutes, Ben Godfrey firing home from close range after an uncustomary goalmouth scramble and good work from Max Aarons.
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And the hosts were ahead for the first time in the game 11 minutes later – McLean bagging his second of the match with a fierce low drive that gave Fielding little chance.
Both sides had their chances to make life very different come the final whistle, but Norwich did what they needed to earn another three points and preserve their place at the top of the Championship.
• City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann (c), Godfrey, Lewis; McLean, Trybull; Buendia (Vrancic 88), Stiepermann, Hernandez (Klose 90+4); Pukki (Rhodes 85). Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Leitner, Cantwell. Booked: Trybull; Goals: McLean 36, 66; Godfrey 55.
• Robins (4-1-4-1): Fielding; Wright (c), Kalas, Webster, Dasilva; Pack; Weimann, Brownhill, Paterson, O’Dowda; Diedhiou. Unused subs: O’Leary (GK), Pisano, Kelly, Palmer, Taylor, Watkins, Eliasson. Booked: Kalas, Watkins, Palmer; Goals: Paterson 12; O’Dowda 37.
Referee: Gavin WARD; Attendance: 26,338.
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