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Hoolahan showed leadership but was unable to spark City into life during drab draw at Burton

PUBLISHED: 12:38 31 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:38 31 December 2017

Wes Hoolahan under pressure against Burton. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Wes Hoolahan under pressure against Burton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Our latest Norwich City player watch followed the fortunes of veteran playmaker Wes Hoolahan as he returned to the starting line-up during the Canaries’ drab 0-0 draw at Burton Albion. Here’s how his afternoon unfolded...

3 – Poor touch and penalised as he tugs Luke Murphy back to prevent Burton breaking.

7 – Nods down loose ball to Mario Vrancic and bursts forward, telling his team-mate to ‘hurry up’, but pass deflects out for a throw.

8 – Brought down by Luke Murphy in midfield, quickly takes to play Nelson Oliveira down the right but striker can’t keep the ball in play.

18 – Turns Murphy on the edge of the box and Oliveira spreads left to James Husband, who is tackled by Sean Scannell. Hoolahan’s control lets him down from the throw.

22 – Clears up loose ball after Lucas Akins throw into the box, poor pass intercepted by Tom Naylor and clips the midfielder trying to recover, giving away a free-kick on the right.

30 – Nice one-two with Vrancic but can’t get a shot away from edge of the box, follows up with a nice back-heel to get Husband clean through but left-back is booked for diving under pressure from Scannell as City appeal for a penalty.

33 – Crowded out by Murphy and Kyle McFadzean in midfield but wins free-kick.

34 – Played in by Vrancic, jinks his way to the bye-line but low shot turned behind by Stephen Bywater for a corner.

37 – Does well under pressure to keep possession and gets Marley Watkins away on the right wing, who is fouled by Tom Flanagan.

39 – Fine control and turn away from Jamie Allen from Husband’s throw, Watkins can’t reach pass but Vrancic finds Oliveira, who is fouled and Vrancic’s free-kick is punched clear.

45 – Beautiful turn and back-heel from Alex Tettey’s clearance but Watkins doesn’t read the through-ball.

45+1 – Poor touch on the edge of his own box and clips Murphy to concede a free-kick.

47 – Brilliant flick from Oliveira and the Irishman goes clean through, shot blocked and crowded out. Low corner just doesn’t reach Oliveira at the near post.

52 – Combines with Oliveira and sets Vrancic down the left wing but it’s wasted.

54 – Deep free-kick finds Tom Trybull at the back post but German’s touch isn’t good enough.

55 – One-two with Oliveira doesn’t quite work out as Hoolahan delays pass too long.

62 – In the thick of sharp passing to play out of trouble with Ivo Pinto and Christoph Zimmermann.

65 – Plays Pinto down the right and then shows brilliant control as he gets the ball back in the box, winning a corner.

69 – Fine high ball over the top but Bywater beats Watkins to the ball.

72 – Twists and turns away from Naylor before being tripped to win a free-kick. Takes himself but headed clear and Grant Hanley is offside when he puts the ball back into the box.

73 – Replaced by Alex Pritchard.

Verdict: After a rusty start, Hoolahan showed leadership, demanding the ball and constantly trying to get City on the front foot. Far from vintage Wes but one of the better performances in the Canaries team.
Rating: 6 out of 10

• Catch up with all the post-match reaction and analysis in our Matchday Live blog at pinkun.com/live

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