Friday 18 October 2019

Wood double sinks Norwich

Burnley's Chris Wood in action. Photo: Molly Darlington/Action Images via Reuters
Burnley's Chris Wood in action. Photo: Molly Darlington/Action Images via Reuters

Jamie Holland

Norwich were brought crashing back down to earth a week after their brilliant victory over Manchester City as two early Chris Wood goals gave Burnley victory at Turf Moor and left the visitors still without a point on the road this season.

Burnley's first win since the opening day of the season gave them, for 24 hours at least, a place in the top 10.

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Jeff Hendrick was rewarded for his late equaliser as a substitute against Brighton last weekend with a starting spot for the hosts while Norwich, unsurprisingly, were unchanged.

If ever there was a team geared up to dish out a reality check, it is surely Burnley, and the Clarets began with an intensity that Norwich could not match.

They could still have taken the lead, Teemu Pukki being denied by Nick Pope the only time the visitors made it out of their own half in the first 10 minutes, but it was no surprise when Wood headed in the opener from Ashley Westwood's corner. It was poor defending from Norwich, who left the striker alone a couple of yards out with no one on the near post.

The Norwich treatment room, already a busy place, gained another customer 12 minutes in when captain Alex Tettey appeared to suffer a muscle injury and was replaced by Moritz Leitner.

Two minutes later Burnley grabbed their second and again Norwich's defenders seemed strangely unconcerned by Wood as he strode across the area to meet Dwight McNeil's low cross with a sweeping finish.

Norwich finally put a move together in the Burnley half in the 22nd minute and very nearly profited but Leitner's 25-yard effort, which took a deflection off Jack Cork, crashed against a post.

Fabian Schar came to Newcastle's rescue as Brighton had to make do with a point from a dominant display on Tyneside.

The Switzerland international acrobatically hooked substitute Aaron Connolly's 74th-minute effort off the line to ensure the Premier League game finished goalless.

Not even the return of Andy Carroll could lift Newcastle out of the quagmire of their own limitations as Steve Bruce's problems mounted in front of the lowest home crowd for a Premier League game for nine years.

Newcastle are simply not creating enough chances, let alone scoring goals and this was a bitter game of football.

It was certainly as bad a first half as Newcastle have delivered at home for many a year and, although they were marginally better in the second, it was pretty dreadful throughout as Brighton dominated the ball and long periods.

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