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Norwich 0 Wolves 0 - Report

Wolves’ struggles away from home continued after a goalless draw against Premier League strugglers Norwich.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves (left) and Norwich City's Kenny McLean
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves (left) and Norwich City's Kenny McLean

Although they had more possession in large spells, Wolves failed to make any significant dent going forward, as the hosts picked off a handful of chances.

Wolves had some opportunities in both halves but did not make them pay, as Jose Sa made several big saves to keep the score level as Norwich had a prolonged spell of pressure in the second half.

Fortunately for Wolves, Norwich’s finishing was also lacking and they left Carrow Road with a point.

Bruno Lage made one change from the team that beat West Ham last week, sticking with the 3-4-3 formation.

Daniel Podence, who starred and assisted the winning goal against The Hammers, was not involved in the squad after testing positive for Covid-19. Francisco Trincao replaced him in the starting XI.

Willy Boly also missed out through injury and was replaced on the bench by young goalkeeper Louie Moulden. No player came in to replace Podence on the bench, however, as Lage only named eight substitutes.

Dean Smith also made one change to his side after making a winning start as manager last week, starting in a 4-3-3 formation.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Francisco Trincao (left) and Norwich City's Brandon Williams

Todd Cantwell dropped to the bench as Joshua Sargent came into the side.

There was also one change on the bench as Kieran Dowell returned from injury and replaced Przemyslaw Placheta.

On a wet, windy and freezing day at Carrow Road, Wolves aimed to keep hold of possession early and find their key forward passes.

However, the first opening fell to the hosts when a mistake from Rayan Ait-Nouri allowed Sargent to race into the box from the right byline. His cross was eventually blocked by Conor Coady.

Norwich began to ramp up their efforts and Teemu Pukki saw a curled effort fly high and wide, before the striker was then found with a ball over the top. He delivered to Sargent on the edge of the box who fired over, but should have done better.

That ball over the top, and particularly in the channels, was a key pass for Norwich who constantly looked to get behind the wing-backs, forcing them back, and putting the back three under pressure.

Following that early surge from the hosts, Wolves had a spell of possession and looked dangerous on the ball.

First, Coady found Trincao with a delightful ball over the top but the winger got it stuck under his feet with just Grant Hanley to beat.

Then, Ait-Nouri delivered a ball to Raul Jimenez but he directed wide with an effort at the near post.

Moments later Ait-Nouri then cut inside and played an intricate through ball for Hwang Hee-chan, who almost latched onto it with just the goalkeeper to beat.

But the threat at the other end was not yet nullified as Romain Saiss made an important header to deny the oncoming Ben Gibson, following a Norwich free-kick.

Max Kilman then made a huge interception after a sweeping Norwich move almost saw Sargent race through on goal.

In what was an entertaining first 20 minutes of football, both sides had opportunities but were struggling to find the final ball.

Some niggling fouls started to creep into the game, however, and slow it down. Billy Gilmour and Ruben Neves were both booked.

Hwang then delightfully stole the ball from Max Aarons and nutmegged him, before crossing for Jimenez. The striker then tried to set-up Neves but the ball was intercepted.

The game then came alive on the stroke of half-time. Under pressure from Hwang, Hanley made a poor pass to Tim Krul inside his own box. The goalkeeper made a desperate lunge to deny Trincao a tap-in before it was played to Joao Moutinho on the edge of his box – but his effort was straight at Krul.

Coady had a volley from a corner that flew over the bar before Norwich then raced up the other end and should have scored. Some neat, flowing passing saw Aarons through on goal but Sa made a big save to deny him.

Both sides then entered half-time drawing 0-0. Despite some half chances for both sides, neither was able to fully test either goalkeeper. After the first 45 minutes, too, it felt that if Wolves upped the tempo and energy, they could find a way through the Norwich defence.

And straight out the blocks in the second half Wolves had a chance. Trincao won a tackle high up the pitch before Jimenez released the winger down the right flank. He cut inside and crossed to the far post for Jimenez, but the striker headed back across goal and Hwang failed to meet the ball in the box.

Trincao came alive with another mazy run towards goal shortly after, but just as the space opened up for him he was tackled. At the other end Milot Rashica saw an effort blaze just wide of the post with Sa unsighted.

The Norwich winger then skipped beyond Nelson Semedo, who picked up a booking for bringing him down on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick was fizzed in but cleared by Wolves, as Norwich enjoyed their best spell of the game.

As Wolves search to regain some control of the contest, challenges started flying in from both sides as they frantically searched for a goal.

With Wolves finally seeing more of the ball, Lage brought on Adama Traore for Trincao after 68 minutes to try and force through a goal.

But it was Norwich that almost scored immediately after the change. Pukki got a toe on a through ball and poked it towards goal, but Sa rushed out and got a hand on it to keep his side level.

In order to get a foothold in midfield, Leander Dendoncker replaced Semedo after 76 minutes as Wolves changed to a 3-5-2 formation. Traore slotted in at right-wing-back.

Norwich City's Josh Sargent (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Ait-Nouri

Rupp then had an effort saved by Sa from inside the box. The goalkeeper almost fumbled it but caught the ball on the second attempt.

A rare shot came from Wolves in the 86th minute as Jimenez took it on the turn in the box, but fired over.

But once again Norwich threatened as substitute Dowell swung in a wonderful ball for Pukki, but the forward failed to make the right contact as he came sliding in and he diverted his effort wide.

In the end Norwich’s lack of finishing was the biggest factor in the game ending 0-0, as Wolves took home a point.

Teams

Wolves: Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Semedo (Dendoncker, 76), Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri, Trincao (Traore, 68), Jimenez, Hwang (Hoever, 91).

Subs not used: Ruddy, Moulden, Marcal, Cundle, Silva.

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Williams, Gilmour, Normann (Rupp, 35), McLean, Rashica (Dowell, 82), Pukki, Sargent (Tzolis, 68).

Subs not used: Gunn, Cantwell, Lees-Melou, Giannoulis, Idah, Omobamidele.

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