Norwich 1-1 Ipswich: Five Things We Learnt

Norwich unlucky to draw – skysports.com

Norwich dominated Ipswich for long spells at Carrow Road, but they had to settle for a point as Jacob Murphy’s strike cancelled out Jonas Knudsen’s header. What have we learnt from the game?

Norwich creative but wasteful in the first half

Norwich played with more intent than their rivals. They attacked quickly down the left early on through Mitchell Dijks, who crossed tantalizingly for Cameron Jerome and Wes Hoolahan, but neither could get a touch. The absence of a killer instinct was the only flaw in the performance of the team and specifically Jerome, who was otherwise tireless. Norwich got into good areas, yet ironically the biggest first half test for Bartosz Bialkowski was made by an Ipswich player. Another Dijks cross was deflected on to the back of Knudsen, who inadvertently forced a fine close-range save from the goalkeeper.

Ipswich put defending first

It was difficult to identify the attacking side of Ipswich’s game plan, because hoofing the ball to a 5’7” Freddie Sears was unsurprisingly fruitless. Fellow forward David McGoldrick dropped deeper and was the first Ipswich player to have so much as a shot, within five minutes of the half-time whistles sounding. He had to get best three Norwich players on his own and under pressure, he made the wrong contact with his effort.

Bialkowski saved Ipswich’s second half

In the first half, the thing stopping Norwich from capitalizing on their pressure was poor shooting, but in the second, it was Bialkowski. The stopper made saves from Jerome and Steven Naismith set piece headers within 15 minutes of the restart while Dijk’s header was ruled out for handball. His work was proven invaluable when Jordan Spence, who instigated two of Ipswich’s better openings, crossed for Jonas Knudsen to nod home against the run of play.

Norwich subs looked bright

Norwich look deflated after the goal, so it was ironic that their one goal came after one of the few periods during which they did not threaten. Some patient build-up play saw the lively Jacob Murphy beat Bialkowski at his near post with a powerful drive. Murphy’s brother Josh looked lively after replacing Naismith while a tiring Wes Hoolahan made way for Alex Pritchard, who forced another fine save.

McCarthy the more satisfied boss

The stubborn pole in goal’s second half work meant Ipswich came away with the point that Mick McCarthy publicly targeted. The Barnsley born boss’ ambitions were made clear by his team setup and post-match contentment, while Alex Neil is a more frustrated man. His side have missed the chance to close the six-point gap between themselves and the top six with a victory, as well as the bragging rights that would have come with it.