Emi Buendia scored a first-half penalty in the Norwich City championship game at Luton Town
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.
Daniel Farke saw the Norwich City draw with Coventry City as a turning point for injuries. The Canaries hope that Wednesday night they suffered a pathetic 3-1 loss in the championship on Kenilworth Road, ending an undefeated run of 10 games.
The 1. 000 home fans in attendance were delighted with the way the Hatters handled the impoverished visitors. Farke was again without a full team of executives due to an injury, but even with Emi Buendia in the ranks no contradiction was possible this time.
City was extradited twice after the free kicks in the first half and was dropped by George Moncur and Matty Pearson. Buendia’s penalty kick reduced the deficit, but James Collins punished more sloppiness in town seconds after the break.
Norwich is right to point out the challenge for Grant Hanley, which was not seen by the captain handling the ball when it fell to the ground. But there was an unnecessary change of ownership shortly before that, when Michael McGovern’s wayward passport was tumbled over his own six-yard box.
This underscored the lack of precision. Overall, Norwich has failed to match Luton in terms of intensity or urgency, adding to the imbalance with the nature of the concessions which must remain the exception rather than the norm with the return of frontline options.
Norwich’s formidable persistence to this point makes another memorable trip to Kenilworth Road an isolated slip at this point. Now they must leave again and find the energy and appetite to react against Sheffield Wednesday in front of their own supporters on Carrow Road.
Farke caused a tactical surprise when Przemyslaw Placheta led the line. Marco Stiepermann fell into his favorite number 10 role; flanked by Buendia and Josh Martin. That meant Mario Vrancic fell to the bench in the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Coventry City.
Max Aarons was kept fit in the closing stages of the Sky Blues draw after a shin problem.
Luton boss Nathan Jones made five changes from the Hatters’ side and beat Cardiff 4-0. After the Republic of Ireland international’s hat-trick in the 3-1 League Cup victory, Collins led the line again.
Placheta’s pace put him behind Martin Cranie with three minutes to go, but James Shea was sharply down to parry his angled exertion.
Luton seemed pleased that City was getting into the competition. However, the press was more concentrated when the visitors were in possession on the edge of their own penalty area.
Stiepermann almost stuck a probing ball in Martin’s head after a patient came by, but the boy’s strip rolled through to Shea.
McGovern’s reflexes were in the 11th. Minute tested when he walked full length to his left to hold Luke Berry’s half volleyball after the Luton midfielder dragged into space on the edge of the field.
Hanley has been convicted of mistreating Collins for conceding a free kick in the middle of his own half in a meaty dogfight. It was a costly decision. From a quickly taken set piece, Moncur looked to his right and rolled a shot past McGovern against the inside of his long post.
Hanley continued his protests against the officer immediately afterwards. But City answered. As so often this season. Placheta stormed Aaron’s Pass and was spread by Shea. It was the second consecutive penalty in the last few days that stems from the Pole’s searing pace.
Buendia coolly rolled the Spot Kick into the opposite corner. A couple of boos greeted the city goalscorer’s thumb-sucking party, which was an allusion to his pregnant partner.
Luton came back. Olly Skipp loosened Jordan Clark deep in his own defensive third from the ball. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored a free kick from Pearson who shot a header past McGovern from seven yards. Farke had made a great game this season with Norwich’s greater resolution in an area that is routinely exposed in the Premier League. That was a bad memory after losing two goals from free kick situations within seven minutes.
Luton increased the intensity that was subsequently out of possession. The Farke midfielders were a target for the good and with the defensive organization frustrating the Canaries and couldn’t open the lock under the many orange jerseys.
Placheta was booked pretty hard for what the umpire saw as a retreat before umpire England engulfed Farke in a lengthy conversation that apparently focused on his players’ back chat.
Buendia shot in the 39. Minute, a rising shot against one of the support posts that held the goal of Luton. The hand-to-head response showed you how close it was.
Moncur showed poor imitation of Cristiano Ronaldo’s trademark free-kick technique during the first-half break when his long-range shot hit the electronic scoreboard over McGovern’s goal.
Whatever Farke said during the break, the message didn’t get through. Within 30 seconds of the restart, McGovern’s wayward pass was attacked by the Hatters across the width of his 6-yard box.
Clark’s whipped cross from the right was handled by the falling Hanley who appeared to be on his way down after a challenge from behind.
Referee England had no hesitation in awarding another free kick on the same end as Buendia’s attempt, and Collins rushed it into the middle.
Buendia stabbed Shea in the palm of her hand with a right footer from the edge of the box, but there were no takers for the ricochet.
Farke’s response was to move to full-back with Jacob Sorensen stationed alongside Hanley and Ben Gibson. Aarons moved to the left flank, Skipp to the right.
Stieperman threw in the 69. Minute, a glimpse of a header near the post, which was only sporadically seen by the visitors. Vrancic then replaced Alex Tettey for the final quarter.
Aarons fell after narrowly getting past Bree, but Referee England ignored half-hearted City calls for a penalty.
Shea then tore Hanley’s speculative header out of the air to trigger a burst of vocal encouragement from the lucky few in attendance.
Norwich’s chances of late drama were further compromised when Buendia hobbled out of action to be replaced by Christoph Zimmermann with 10 minutes of normal time left.
The central defender shot in the 84. Minute, a shot home that hit Sorensen in an offside position to the wrong foot Shea.
There was a milestone for Tyrese Omotoye when the young striker made his debut for Martin a minute later.
But in keeping with the lethargy of the whole night, Norwich never threatened to return, despite a number of corners.
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Luton Town F. . C.. . , Norwich City F. . C.. . , EFL Championship, Nathan Jones, Luton Town Football Club, EFL Cup, Daniel Farke
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