Norwich – Burnley was a game full of red cards, fine finishes and the win for the Clarets kept alive their Europa League hopes, while the already-relegated Canaries were their own worst enemies at Carrow Road.
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Norwich had Emiliano Buendia and Josip Drmic both sent off in the first half and to compound the misery for Daniel Farke’s side, Chris Wood scored an overhead kick in first half stoppage time.
A Ben Godfrey own goal summed up Norwich’s day as Burnley sealed a top 10 spot and the Clarets are just two points off sixth-place Wolves. As for Norwich, they’ve lost all eight of their games since the restart and have just 21 points on the board.
Three things we learned
1. VAR gets red cards spot on: Buendia and Drmic were both sent off and for the first, Kevin Friend used VAR correctly. The referee was alerted to an elbow by Buendia on Ashley Westwood’s head and he then used the pitch-side monitor and quickly sent off the Argentine playmaker. Referees should use the monitor more in the Premier League and this was the perfect example of it working smoothly. As for Drmic’s red card, VAR had a quick check of Friend’s decision but his lunging tackle was out of control and Norwich’s frustration was vented in the wrong way.
2. Burnley’s European dream alive: What a second half to the season Burnley is having. One defeat from 13 games has seen them seal a top 10 finish and they are well in the Europa League hunt. They host Brighton on the final day and Sean Dyche’s banged up and battered side could easily win that. If they managed to qualify for Europe given their financial limitations and injury list, it will be one of the best achievements of the season. Wolves and Sheffield United have stolen the headlines but Burnley have brilliantly flown under the radar.
3. Canaries extreme hangover continues: The last few weeks have been damaging for Farke and Norwich. The manner in which they are playing doesn’t bode well for next season as he will have just a few weeks to pick the team up before the 2020-21 Championship season begins. Norwich never really had a chance with less than $2 million spent on new players and Farke was always honest, saying they need a miracle to stay up. A hangover of negativity has seen them lose all eight games of the restart and after the first loss in the first week, every single player seemed to believe they were already down. Players will leave this summer as Norwich’s financial model needs that to happen, but how do you replace this feeling of extreme negativity?
Man of the Match
Norwich started brightly and came out of the traps brightly, as they had several corners and one of those led to a great chance. Ben Godfrey had a header which was saved at point-blank range, then Alex Tettey’s rebound was deflected inches wide as the hosts looked dangerous.
Jay Rodriguez was sharp at the other end for Burnley as he and Chris Wood started to link up as they approached the half time whistle. Referee Kevin Friend then took a look at the pitch side monitor after Emiliano Buendia hit Ashley Westwood in the head with his elbow, and the referee used VAR to issue Buendia a red card as Norwich were down to 10 men.
Burnley went close before the break but Rodriguez and Wood were denied as the Clarets were buoyed by their one-man advantage. Dwight McNeil’s deflected free kick was then saved superbly my Tim Krul but moments later Norwich were reduced to nine men. Drmic’s lunging tackle on Erik Pieters saw him get a straight red card and moments later they were 1-0 down as Wood acrobatic flicked home.
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In the second half it was all Burnley, as expected, with Krul denying Pieters and the Norwich goalkeeper was extremely busy.
Wood then whiffed on a volley after a lovely ball over the top from Westwood as Burnley clicked through the gears but Norwich stood firm but didn’t provide any threat in attack.
Pieters had a shot blocked as it looped just over, then Pieters sent in a harmless cross which Godfrey inexplicably put into his own net to make it 2-0. Soon after Pope denied Onel Hernandez as Norwich launch a rare attack but Burnley ease to victory to keep their Europa League dreams alive.