Sheffield United 0 Norwich City 1 match report: Yanic Wildschut earns first away win of the season for Canaries
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Yanic Wildschut’s first-half strike was enough to earn Norwich City a gritty win at Bramall Lane and end a run of four successive wins for the high-flying hosts.
The Dutch winger’s first strike of the season, in the 23rd minute, earned Daniel Farke’s side their first away success of the campaign and extended their unbeaten run to three matches since the international break with a third clean sheet on the bounce.
It made it seven points picked up from a possible nine to get the German’s reign back on track – and secure just a third victory in City’s last 21 away games – in a feisty affair.
There was an early scare as a Paul Coutts corner was headed back across goal by Jack O’Connell in just the second minute but Angus Gunn claimed Ched Evans’ header on his line.
Cameron Jerome fired into the side-netting after fine work from Josh Murphy soon after and then the winger robbed Chris Basham in the 12th minute, rolling in an unmarked James Maddison, who completely fluffed his lines, caught in between two minds of shooting or crossing.
David Brooks jinked his way behind Timm Klose four minutes later to go clean through but Gunn was out quickly and spread himself to make a vital save 15 yards out.
Klose made an important block from former Norwich loanee Evans soon after, who looked to have controlled a cross with his arm, but it was the Canaries who took the lead.
Maddison slipped Wildschut into the right channel and the Dutchman blasted a low shot across keeper Jamal Blackman and into the bottom-left corner – before dancing around with glee at scoring his first goal of the season.
United skipper Coutts smashed a low shot just wide from 25 yards five minutes later but City were working hard to keep the hosts at bay.
Marco Stiepermann lashed a low shot wide from 25 yards in the 39th minute and the Canaries held out until half-time despite some pressure from United, which lacked any real quality.
The Blades continued to pile forward but couldn’t create a clear-cut chance and their frustration started to show.
Coutts was booked for stopping Maddison breaking away in the 63rd minute and United boss Chris Wilder was sent to the stands a minute later, entering the City technical area and smashing a ball down the touchline so Maddison could take a throw-in. The ball whistled past City boss Farke and fourth official Ryan Johnson called over referee Scott Duncan, who dismissed Wilder.
John Fleck then took out Wildschut on the right wing as the home side totally lost their cool but still struggled to get on the ball in the City box.
James Husband replaced Murphy in amongst the arguments and went down under Basham’s challenge in the area, sparking loud penalty calls from the 1,800 away fans behind the goal, which were ignored by the referee.
Maddison tested Blackman with a shot from the edge of the box in the 77th minute, thanks to a nice dip of the shoulder to find space after his free-kick hit the wall, having been taken out by Basham.
Wildschut was replaced by Marley Watkins with 12 minutes remaining and the former Barnsley man, booed as he came on, soon burst into the area and teed up Jerome, whose shot was blocked behind and who then headed Maddison’s corner wide.
O’Connell headed a Coutts’ corner well wide in the 83rd minute for the hosts and Maddison also appealed for a penalty soon after, as he was bundled into by Blackman, but again the referee ignored the claims from the away fans behind the goal.
Gunn made a superb claim from a Basham cross as six minutes of added time began, going down under pressure and getting an earful from David Brooks on the floor – and a bottle chucked from the stands – at his accused time wasting but the Canaries clung on.
Sheffield United: Blackman; Basham, Wright, O’Connell; Freeman, Coutts (C), Fleck, Duffy (Carruthers 73), Stevens (Thomas 74); Brooks, Evans. Unused subs: Baldock, Lundstrom, Carter-Vickers, Lafferty, Eastwood
Booked: Coutts, foul on Maddison (63); Fleck, on Wildschut (65)
Norwich: Gunn; Pinto (C), Zimmermann, Klose, Stiepermann; Trybull, Tettey; Wildschut (Watkins 78), Maddison (Hanley 87), Murphy (Husband 60); Jerome. Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Reed, Vrancic, Hoolahan.
Booked: Tettey, foul on Brooks (57); Husband, foul on Freeman (78); Jerome, foul on Carruthers (82); Maddison, time wasting (86); Trybull, foul on Carruthers (90)
Referee: Scott Duncan
Attendance: 26,218 (1,842 away)