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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 0 Norwich City 1

Rovers left frustrated after late defeat at Ewood Park in final home game of 2018

22 December 2018

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Rovers suffered just a second home league defeat in the league at Ewood Park as Norwich City scored late to earn all three points in East Lancashire.

In a tight game at Ewood, both sides had opportunities to win the game, but it was Norwich who took their best chance in the second half when Teemu Pukki poked home from close range to earn the win for the Norfolk side.

Rovers' best opportunity came from Derrick Williams, who headed over midway through the second half.

Tony Mowbray has named one change to his starting lineup for today's clash against the high-flying Canaries.

With Craig Conway injured, Adam Armstrong is rewarded for his cameo off the bench against Birmingham City last week with a starting berth.

Norwich had more of the ball in the early stages, but it was Rovers who went closest to opening the scoring when Armstrong darted inside his man, and saw his strike beat former team-mate Tim Krul, but it whistled just past the Dutchman's left-hand post.

At the other end, Todd Cantwell's cute ball played in Norwich top scorer Pukki, but the Finn's effort flicked into the side-netting.

Rovers were finding their feet in the encounter and a superb block denied Danny Graham from opening the scoring midway through the half after fine play down the right by Ryan Nyambe.

David Raya was finally called into action 10 minutes before half time when Marco Stiepermann let fly from range and the Spaniard was forced to tip over the German midfielder's drive.

A few moments later, Cantwell was again the orchestrator, but Pukki finished off the move by dragging his shot wide of the target with just Raya to beat, in what was the final action of the half.

Charlie Mulgrew's afternoon was over at the break, with Williams coming on for the Rovers skipper. There was a change for Norwich, too, with Moritz Leitner being replaced by Mario Vrancic.

It was a substitute who actually had the first opportunity of the half, as Onel Hernandez, who came on in the first half, cut in from the right and saw Raya in the way, before Jamal Lewis took the ball off the toes of Harrison Reed after Armstrong's cross from the left.

Rovers started brightly in the second half, and Williams should have opened the scoring but could only head a Richie Smallwood corner over the bar before Bradley Dack forced Krul into a save a moment later.

Graham headed over from another set piece routine as Rovers looked to turn the screw on a Canaries side who were struggling to create clear cut chances just before the hour mark.

Pukki smashed wide after the hour and Raya produced an excellent stop to deny Ben Godfrey from scoring after a wicked Vrancic corner found the former Shrewsbury loanee just five yards out.

It looked as if things would end all square, but with five minutes remaining it was Pukki who tapped home Hernandez's left wing cross to win the game or the visitors.

It was a hammer blow to Rovers, who didn't deserve to lose, but lose they did, for just the second time in the league at Ewood Park in 15 months.

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew (c) (Williams, 46), Bell, Smallwood, Evans (Palmer, 59), Reed, Dack, Armstrong (Brereton, 73), Graham.

Substitutes: Leutwiler, Rodwell, Rothwell, Downing.

Booked: Evans, 23, Smallwood, 29

Norwich City: Krul, Godfrey, Zimmermann, Leitner (Vrancic, 46), Lewis, Buendia (Hernandez, 20), Siepermann, Pukki (Rhodes, 90), Tettey (c), Cantwell, Aarons.

Goal: Pukki, 85

Booked: Hernandez, 28, Leitner, 41, Cantwell, 90

Substitutes: McGovern, Marshall, Hanley, Srbeny

Referee: Darren England.

Attendance: 14,202 (1,272 away)


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