Norwich City take a leap forward in 2-0 win over MSV Duisburg

Nelson Oliveira opened the scoring at the Willi-Hafer Stadion.
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Image

Nelson Oliveira opened the scoring at the Willi-Hafer Stadion. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It may be a work in progress but Norwich City's 2-0 friendly win over MSV Duisburg on Wednesday signalled a step forward under Daniel Farke.

Nelson Oliveira of Norwich scores his sides 1st goal during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Wil

Nelson Oliveira of Norwich scores his sides 1st goal during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Nelson Oliveira's opening goal and his role in the second settled a contest marred by an early red card for Gerrit Nauber on the striker, but this was about more than the headline figures.

Farke revealed afterwards the Germans were nearly at full strength in their final outing before the domestic season begins. That is a better context for this victory than City's numerical advantage.

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke watches on during their pre-season friendly with MSV Duisburg a

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke watches on during their pre-season friendly with MSV Duisburg at Willi-Hafer Stadion. Next up, Arminia Bielefeld. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

We know by now Mario Vrancic possesses a fearsome shot. Perhaps of greater promise for the Championship campaign was the way he intelligently linked with Harrison Reed in the opening exchanges. One biting challenge from the Southampton youngster saw the ball spiral in Vrancic's direction. The Bosnian's control was instant and the raking crossfield ball perfect to set Yanic Wildschut free down the right. Farke is seeking combinations and partnerships he can trust and rely on in the hustle of the English second tier.

Central defence is another key component of the German's mix if he is to bring Norwich the success their fans crave. In the absence of Timm Klose for the opening weeks of the new campaign through injury, Christoph Zimmermann and Marcel Franke were given an audition against their countrymen. Communication should not be a problem, nor a lack of aerial presence. Both were tested by a series of MSV Duisburg corners but stood firm and protected captain Angus Gunn.

Christoph Zimmermann has been an ever-present for Norwich City in pre-season.
Picture: Paul Chester

Christoph Zimmermann has been an ever-present for Norwich City in pre-season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

With Jacob Murphy's protracted move to Newcastle United confirmed hours before kick-off, the focus shifted inevitably on the twin he leaves behind. Josh showed enough signs towards the end of last season he is ready to influence games in the manner his brother achieved in his most productive spells during the last campaign. Here, he was a threat in the opening quarter; squaring up Dustin Bomheuer on numerous occasions to reach the byline. Oliveira thumped one cut back against a defender before Murphy took matters into his own talented feet with a rising strike from the edge of the area grasped by Mark Flekken.

The season ahead is just as big for both Murphys. Josh needs to seize the opportunity in front of him while his brother aims to continue his meteoric rise on Tyneside. Few should doubt Norwich's version has the attacking nous and creative ability to earn a regular spot in City's starting XI. Murphy was prominent long before Nauber was dismissed.

Marcel Franke of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion,

Marcel Franke of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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City failed to cash in during the rest of the opening period as Norwich's smooth template remained unaltered in the aftermath. Sharp, crisp passing through midfield designed to free Oliveira and his accomplices. Murphy held off Bomheuer but Flekken kicked his angled effort away, but that was a rare sight of MSV goal.

Farke opted for the same personnel at the start of the second period, bar the introduction of Michael McGovern for Gunn. The Manchester City loanee was not called upon here to display any of the ease with which he can handle the ball at his feet but under Farke that will be vital. Norwich's desire to dominate possession hinges on a degree of comfort with the ball that can resist the high pressing of Championship opponents. Gunn's calm demeanour and the maturity he exudes beyond his tender years will be tested. Which is just another strand of why this could be an exciting voyage. Particularly with the likes of Oliveira in the ranks. The Portuguese has been the subject of sustained transfer speculation this summer but again illustrated he has the capacity to create and score goals with an angled finish across Flekken before his presence appeared to confuse the keeper, who palmed a long ball into his own net.

Josh Murphy of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hi

Josh Murphy of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Angus Gunn of Norwich during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck
Pictu

Angus Gunn of Norwich during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Harrison Reed snaps into a tackle against MSV Duisburg on Wednesday.
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus

Harrison Reed snaps into a tackle against MSV Duisburg on Wednesday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Mario Vrancic of Norwich during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck
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Mario Vrancic of Norwich during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

James Maddison of Norwich is fouled during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion,

James Maddison of Norwich is fouled during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jamal Lewis in action during Norwich City's 2-0 win over MSV Duisburg during their pre-season camp i

Jamal Lewis in action during Norwich City's 2-0 win over MSV Duisburg during their pre-season camp in Germany. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Image - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Yanic Wildschut of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion

Yanic Wildschut of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Steven Naismith of Norwich has a shot on goal during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafe

Steven Naismith of Norwich has a shot on goal during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion,

Russell Martin of Norwich in action during the Pre-season Friendly match at the Willi-Hafer Stadion, Hilbeck Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 19/07/2017 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd