Friday, 18 January 2019

Norwich City 3 v Birmingham City 1 - EFL Championship

On The Ball City?
or, Oh! Those Bloody Canaries.
Friday 18th January 2019
SkyBet EFL Championship
at Carrow Road
Norwich City (3) 3
Teemu Pukki 13,
Mario Vrancic 22,
Tom Trybull 25
Birmingham City (1) 1
Che Adams 14
Attendance: 25,932
Speaking in a post match press interview, Blues manager Garry Monk said:
"No excuses, that was the right result. Norwich deserved to win that game. I haven't had to stand here too often and say that.
"It was uncharacteristic for us. We were off our game, we lacked the usual discipline and cohesiveness of our shape, we were a bit easy to play through and we weren't our usual selves with the ball.
"Second half was slightly better but not to the usual standards that we set."
He was 100% right of course, but i would add to that, credit where it is due to Norwich City for the way that they took the game to their visitors and opened them up several times,especially during the first half.
A four goal burst inside the space of just twelve minutes during the first half half, accounted for all of scoring on the night, with Teemu Pukki starting the ball rolling when he got something, possibly his shin-pad, onto Jamal Lewis' left wing cross to steer the ball in at the near post, despite the close attentions of Harlee Dean.
But Blues were on level terms inside a minute, when Jota moved inside from the right flank and threaded a quality pass through to Che Adams, who steadied the ball with his left foot before sweeping it past Tim Krul with his second.
But ten minutes after the sought after Birmingham striker had netted his fourteenth goal of the season, the home side had scored another two goals; regaining the lead when Mario Vrancic sliced a shot into the bottom right hand corner of Lee Camp's net from twenty two yards out, after he'd been left with way too much time and space to pick his spot, and shortly afterwards Tom Tryball rose unmarked on the edge of Blues six yard box to score with a free header from Emi Buendia's left wing corner.
Late in the first half, but mainly in the second, Birmingham found their composure and started to gel together better, but the damage had already been done... and though Jota, Adams and Gary Gardner forced Krul into making a few comfortable and routine saves, and Craig Gardner fizzed a delivery into the Canaries area just wide of the upright, it was actually Norwich who looked most likely to add to the score, with Pukki, Hernandez and Christoph Zimmermann all going close.
FT: Norwich City 3 v Birmingham City 1
Hopefully Garry Monk can keep the wolves (quite literally those Wolves) away from the door, who are looking to take Che Adams away from St. Andrew's, because he's on fire in attack for Blues at the moment. But sometimes in football, everybody's got their price when a club has got books to balance and a regulatory body breathing down their neck... at which point sentiment seldom gets in the way of what are purely business decisions. But fingers crossed that the former Ilkeston Town and Sheffield United player is going nowhere.
Of course, under the smokescreen of all the speculation about Adams, Birmingham actually signed the last free transfer player they're allowed to add to their squad for this season today, one Kerim Mrabti, from Swedish club Djurgardens, who was subject to interest from Middlesbrough in pre-season, so it wasn't a bad day all round for Birmingham City after all.
Apologies for the lack of pictures to break my monotonous tome about tonight's game up, but I was nowhere near as organised as I usually am, on this bloody freezing cold night in East Anglia.