Fighting for their survival in the Premier League, Norwich City took all-important three points against Leicester last weekend. Hopes were high entering the road game at Sheffield United, who have baffled many with their brilliant performances leading to 6th place in the EPL. Sheffield’s relentless defensive efforts have stopped many teams in their tracks and the same faith was reserved for Norwich. Having conceded 2nd least goals in the EPL, Sheffield’s Dean Henderson took his 9th clean sheet against Norwich. The Canaries are still six points behind the safety at the bottom of the league, with their 21 points. A silver lining is that three of the other relegation candidates, West Ham, Watford and Bournemouth also lost their fixtures, with Aston Villa playing on Monday.
As expected, it was a low-scoring and close affair between the two newly promoted teams – with very different fortunes this season. While the defense has been an issue for Norwich – they’ve allowed more than double the amount of goals compared to Sheffield United (52 vs 25), they were able to keep the hosts at bay for the most of the game, only allowing four shots on goal all game and controlling the ball for 58%. Nevertheless, it was Sheffield United finishing with three points. Veteran striker Billy Sharp was the hero of the day, finding space in front of the goal and diving in an excellent cross by John Lundstram from afar on 38th minute. Tim Krul had already gotten his hand on a dangerous header earlier, but this time Sharp got the better of the Dutchman.
Norwich chase bore no fruit as Sheffield did what they are best at, defending their goal ferociously and allowing no clear cut chances, hitting back on counter-attack whenever possible. Norwich got as close as the goal line, but Dean Henderson was able to punch the ball out of harm’s way as well as parrying a close range effort by Jamal Lewis.
There were lots of positives to take home from the game for Norwich boss Daniel Farke. The goal scoring is problematic, but not many teams have had success against Sheffield United this season. Next fixture should be a tad easier with 14th placed Southampton visiting Carrow Road on Saturday 14th of March. Don’t miss out on Dafabet’s Norwich City Prediction Challenge in order to win weekly free bets!