REPORT | NORWICH CITY 3-2 CARDIFF CITY
The Bluebirds fell to a 3-2 defeat to Norwich City after a competitive match at Carrow Road.
It was Cardiff who began the match stronger, with Anthony Pilkington's low shot from an acute angle saved by Michael McGovern on 14 minutes.
The away side were unlucky to go behind just two minutes later though. Jacob Murphy's dangerous cross evading Norwich attackers and Cardiff defenders alike, but with the ball drifting towards the far corner, Ben Wilson was forced into a smart save. Unfortunately for the Bluebirds No.30, former City forward Cameron Jerome was on hand to turn and slot in to give the Canaries a one-goal advantage.
New signing Rickie Lambert was making his Cardiff City debut against the Canaries, leading the frontline, and threatened throughout. First having a shot deflected wide on 27 minutes before going even closer after 36 minutes. Aron Gunnarsson with a trademark long throw, flicked on by skipper Sean Morrison with Lambert heading towards goal. McGovern pulling off a world class save to tip clear Lambert's effort.
Two late opportunities in an even first half for Norwich were quelled by impressive duo Lee Peltier and Jazz Richards.
The Bluebirds were just inches away from levelling the match on 55 minutes with debutant Lambert heading against the crossbar at close range. Recently relegated Norwich showed a clinical side on 59 minutes to double their lead. Captain Russell Martin heading in Wes Hoolahan's cross at close range.
A double change for Cardiff City saw Peter Whittingham and Kadeem Harris enter the match. A deep corner kick from the Cardiff City No.7 caused havoc in the Norwich penalty box - the ball falling to Lee Peltier at the back post with his effort diverted in by Anthony Pilkington to reduce the deficit to just one.
While Cardiff pressured, the Bluebirds were caught on the counter and will have been felt aggrieved after a challenge on Iceland captain Gunnarsson in the middle of the pitch went unpunished. The Canaries scoring their third of the evening in added time through substitute Josh Murphy's curling effort.
Paul Trollope's men continued their pressure despite this setback and netted a second inside two minutes, with Pilkington scoring a double against his former team. Gunnarsson flicking the ball on with the Republic of Ireland international heading home. While City attempted to find that sixth goal of the match to level up, time ran out with Norwich picking up all three points from a highly competitive match-up.
FINAL SCORE: NORWICH CITY 3-2 CARDIFF CITY (Jerome 16' Martin 59' Josh Murphy 90'; Pilkington 86' 90')
Ruddy, Bassong, Mulumbu, Lafferty.Subs Not Used: McGovern, Dorrans, Martin, Howson, Jerome, Brady (Bennett, 12), Hoolahan (Pritchard, 70), Klose, Jacob Murphy (Josh Murphy, 83), Pinto, Tettey. Norwich City:
Amos, Manga, Gounongbe, Huws.Subs Not Used: Wilson, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly (Noone, 69), Richards, John (Harris, 62), Ralls, Gunnarsson, Immers (Whittingham, 62), Pilkington, Lambert. Cardiff City: