Match Report: Norwich City 2-1 Leeds United - Woeful Whites lose on the road again
Sunday, 29th Apr 2018 11:18 by @LucasMonk_
In their final away match of the season, Leeds United surrendered a 1-0 advantage to lose 2-1 to Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Leeds United spurned the opportunity to at least end their season with a long-awaited away victory as Norwich City, led by Wes Hoolahan in what was his last match for the Canaries at Carrow Road, produced a spirited fightback to win 2-1.
Kalvin Phillips had handed the visitors the lead with a sumptuous right-footed strike into the top corner after Ronaldo Vieira had scuffed an initial shot on 39 minutes - and United were ostensibly well on their way to ending their fallow spell on the road.
But Leeds’ hopes of a first away victory since Boxing Day were dealt an appreciable blow as the hosts equalised just before the break; after Vieira carelessly conceded possession on the halfway line. Norwich surged forward with Hoolahan, who took aim from outside the area and then saw his deflected shot loop over Bailey Peacock-Farrell before hitting both posts and crossing the line to ensure a low-key first-half ended level.
The second period was also far from compelling, with conspicuous goalscoring opportunities a premium, but Peacock-Farrell was called into a remarkable save from James Maddison’s stinging effort on 67 minutes following a slick exchange of passes with Nelson Oliveira.
Unfortunately for United, the hosts would complete the turnaround just two minutes later when Josh Murphy rifled a shot in at the near post from within the penalty area after being afforded far too much room to chance his arm.
And once Murphy had fired the Canaries into the lead with his sixth goal of the season, the visitors scarcely threatened to salvage even a draw. Head coach Paul Heckingbottom’s decision to introduce Jay-Roy Grot and Pierre-Michel Lasogga to the match did zilch to bolster Leeds’ attacking arsenal and it was midfielder Adam Forshaw, another substitute, who came closest to restoring parity with City stopper Angus Gunn beating away a well-struck drive from outside the box on 78 minutes.
Norwich were never really subjected to any intense attacking pressure for the game’s remainder and instead of seeing a dramatic fightback from the visitors late in the day, the match became a farcical testimonial as Hoolahan, Maddison and Oliveira each took an aeon to leave the pitch to the sound of unctuous applause. Leeds fans were unduly criticised after full-time by a standard-issue, insipid hack from the Eastern Daily Press - who shall remain nameless - for quite understandably not partaking in a completely overwrought fawning over an opposition player (Hoolahan).
Once the fawning had ceased, the full-time whistle soon came. The result sees Leeds fall to 14th, and corroborates what we all already knew about this so-called team: they are invertebrate, craven and languid, and are not fit to wear the shirt.
There is now a palpable desire on the part of many United fans to get next Sunday’s season finale at home to Queens Park Rangers over with as briskly as possible. Typically, the players embark upon a ‘lap of honour’ at the end of the last home game of the season. Last season, adoring fans warmly applauded the likes of Robert Green, Kyle Bartley, Pontus Jansson, Pablo Hernandez and Chris Wood for what was, for the most part, a campaign to relish. This time around, the fans will still applaud, despite the team being one of the worst in the club’s recent history, because they are the best fans in the country, and these players do not deserve them.
Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Gunn; Reed, Hanley, Klose, Lewis; Leitner, Vrancic; Maddison (Hernandez 88’), Hoolahan (Trybull 85’), Murphy; Oliveira (Srbeny 83’).
Unused Subs: McGovern, Pinto, Husband, Zimmermann.
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Peacock-Farrell; Pennington, Jansson, Cooper, Pearce (Lasogga 83’); Vieira (Forshaw 74’), Phillips; Alioski (Grot 70’), Saiz, Hernandez; Roofe.
Unused Subs: Lonergan, O’Connor, Anita, Ekuban.
Match Statistics (Norwich / Leeds)
Shots: 18 / 15
On target: 5 / 5
Possession: 51% / 49%
Corners: 9 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 15
Referee: John Brooks.
Booked: Hanley (Norwich), Pennington, Jansson (Leeds).
Man of the Match: Kalvin Phillips (Leeds).
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Photo: Action Images
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