Norwich’s 2-0 victory over top-six for Blackburn revived the club’s play-off aspirations.
David Wagner’s squad was winless in their previous four games but turned in a strong effort against the divisional rival.
In the eleventh minute, they got going thanks to a fantastic team goal scored by Liam Gibbs.
According to Rezence Vn88, the half ended on a frightening note for Norwich when Grant Hanley was carried off the field with an injury. Max Aarons also had a shot hit the post.
Gabriel Sara extended the Canaries’ lead 10 minutes after the resumption of play, scoring his eighth goal of the season in the process.
Blackburn, who dropped to second place and are now one point behind Norwich, will be upset with their lack of quality shots on goal, with the exception of a frenetic final few minutes in which Angus Gunn made a save from Ben Brereton Diaz and James McCallum headed the ball off the line.
Instead, after suffering their first home loss of 2023, Rovers are now cautiously looking over their shoulder.
Although Onel Hernandez missed a golden opportunity in the first few minutes, W88 thinks that the Canaries took the lead after 11 minutes when Jacob Sorensen scored on a first-time volley after Josh Sargent had cushioned the ball for him. Sorensen’s shot carved open Blackburn’s defense, and Gibbs outran his defenders to bring the ball into the top corner.
Soon after, Blackburn’s Sammie Szmodics had an attempt blocked, but Norwich’s Aarons’ 25-yard drive was denied by a combination of Aynsley Pears’ fingertips and the post.
Vn88 said that Norwich’s captain Hanley went down in pain and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher just before halftime.
Rovers started out strong, but Joe Rankin-lob Costello’s shortly after the restart was wide of the post when it should have been close.
In the 55th minute, though, Norwich took a firmer grasp on the game when Hernandez released Sara down the left side, and Sara blasted a shot from a difficult angle that found the far corner.
It wasn’t for Gunn’s incredible save in the 78th minute, when the visitors’ lead could have been cut in half. Rezence showed that Sam Gallagher was all set to score when a corner kick from Sorba Thomas deflected into his path a yard from the goal, but the Scottish international goalkeeper made a spectacular diving save.
When Teemu Pukki charged into the box, he appeared certain to add a third, but Hayden Carter produced a fantastic tackle to deny him.
Gunn made a fine save in the 89th minute to keep out Brereton Diaz, and when he was beaten in added time, McCallum cleared the danger to give Norwich the win over their play-off opponents.
Blackburn’s Jon Dahl Tomasson, one of the coaches, Stated on rezence.com
“The outcome was less than ideal. I indicated before the game that they were projected to be near the top teams in the league based on their financial resources and the quality of the players they’ve assembled. First half, in my opinion, was very even with little scoring opportunities. I felt like we produced more scoring opportunities and had more in the second half. Before Norwich’s second goal, we had a golden opportunity to score thanks to some fantastic play, but we failed to do so.
“We kept on making opportunities, with three or four off the line against a strong opposition. Keep in mind that despite everything, we’re still in an excellent situation. It’s always a letdown to concede, but Rezence has to admit that they were really clinical about it. Both goals were ones in which our defense should have done better, but the scorers had nice touches.”
David Wagner of Norwich:
“In my opinion, that was the season’s biggest victory. And it’s not just the table’s location that makes this so. With Kenny (McLean) going down with a significant knee ligament damage that will likely end his season, I feel like we’ve taken a lot of blows to the face, setbacks, or challenges in the last six or seven days.
“Then there’s Grant’s injury, an Achilles tear that needs scanning but, if he can’t play, looks like it may be devastating. Also, Gibbo (Ben Gibson) strained his hamstring. The team’s reaction, fight, commitment, and digging in was impressive, and the players’ tenacity on the field was commendable. Vn88 thinks it was a worthy win, especially considering the challenges the players overcame. Blackburn had their opportunities, too. The victory was monumental.”