CANARIES FLYING HIGH AT THE TOP
Ten-man Brewers downed by hosts
NORWICH City’s fourth league win in a row saw them take top spot in the Championship, but boss Alex Neil believes there is still plenty more to come from his team.
Goals from Martin Olsson, Jacob Murphy and Ivo Pinto did the damage as the home side eased to the win, with Robbie Brady also seeing a penalty saved.
Lucas Akins had levelled early in the second half, but it lasted for less than a minute, while the sending off of Tom Flanagan all but ended Burton’s chances.
“I think satisfied is probably the word, because in any game you’ve got no right to win it,” said Neil.
“So because we’ve won the game we’re satisfied, and there were good performances within the team, but do I think we played well as a team? Probably not as good as we should have done.
“Is there more to come? I think there is, and that bodes well for us, because we are doing enough at the moment to win the games we’ve played.
“I think we deserved to win the game, I think we created a lot of opportunities within the game but they made us work hard for the result. They played well at certain spells, but I thought we were the better side.”
Burton would have come to Carrow Road expecting a tough game, but the width of their formation saw chances come their way, with Lloyd Dyer’s early effort that went just over the bar their best in the first half.
The Brewers’ resolute halfhour defensive display finally faltered when Olsson was left free in the box. The left-back drifted in unchallenged and, after collecting the ball from Graham Dorrans, took his time before rifling the ball high into the net.
Some slack Norwich defending resulted in an easy tap in for Akins seconds after the break.
However, the scores were level for less than a minute thanks to Murphy’s shot deflecting off of John Mousinho, taking it past Jon McLaughlin and into the left corner.
Burton were in the ascendancy when Flanagan was sent off for a second yellow card when he was adjudged to have handled a long-range shot in the box. Brady stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but saw his effort well saved by McLaughlin.
And the Canaries ended any chance of a Burton revival when Pinto burst into the box before lifting the ball high into the net.
Burton manager Nigel Clough was left frustrated at the refereeing display and the defensive lapse in concentration in a game he thought was there for the taking.
“The sending off, whether it’s handball or not certainly wasn’t deliberate and I don’t know how the referee asses that,” Clough said. “Jerome handles one in the six-yard box in the first half and he wasn’t booked.
“So if he’s saying our lad handled the ball then it’s a hell of a save, we’ll have to think of him as a goalkeeper in the future.
“We thought we had enough goal scoring situations throughout the game again, especially early on. The first two goals we conceded were unbelievably poor, and that’s what has cost us. To get an equaliser a minute after half-time and then go and concede within a minute is very poor in any circumstances.”
MURPHY’S SCORE: Norwich celebrate after Jacob Murphy makes it 2-1
STAR MAN JACOB MURPHY Norwich