Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Here is Paddy’s verdict on Daniel Farke’s Norwich, who stopped the rot in defiant fashion at Turf Moor.

• Tim Krul 7 

Clean sheet will matter more than most to City’s number one. Poleaxed Nathan Collins in the act of attempting to punch clear Dwight McNeil’s free kick.

Replays suggested he got the benefit of any doubt when referee Friend pointed for a home corner, with Burnley players surrounding the official demanding a penalty. Decisive to beat away McNeil’s 30 yarder shortly after the break.

Grabbed Jay Rodriguez’s close range header. Pouched Mathias Normann’s intended clearing header. Composed with the ball at his feet. Notably an early diagonal clip straight to Josh Sargent.

• Max Aarons 7 

Tireless shift up and down the right flank. Gamely stuck to his task defensively in the second half with Burnley working overloads to fashion numerous crossing positions. 

One lapse when he had no idea where McNeil was in the 64th minute, but his England Under-21 colleague was unable to test Tim Krul. Positioning was spot on in the 87th minute after Krul rashly left his line to confront Matej Vydra.

But so much eye-catching attacking work. Right footed low strike swerved past Nick Pope’s far post in the third minute. Routinely squared up Charlie Taylor in City’s best counter-attacking spells. 

• Ozan Kabak 7 

Adventurous burst turned defence into attack before Vydra took emergency action to halt the centre back right on the edge of his own box, after he had skilfully burst past a number of home players.

Bravely threw his body on the line to take a painful looking whack from Chris Wood’s full-blooded challenge that earned the frontman a first half booking.

Big chance at the back stick flew over on the hour mark from Dimi Giannoulis’ deep cross.

•  Grant Hanley 8 

Commanding display against Wood. Gave himself time and space by dropping a couple of yards whenever Burnley tried to hit the big forward. Excellent challenge halted Vydra inside the City penalty area in the early skirmishes. 

Later penalty scare when Vydra got goal side, but went down after appearing to be clipped as the defender raced back. Referee Friend was unmoved by fresh home penalty claims.

Met Normann’s cross but header was blocked in the 83rd minute. 

• Ben Gibson 7 

Surely an extra edge to this game for the former Burnley record signing, after City rescued him from his Turf Moor hell. Home fans gave him plenty of stick. 

Underlined Farke’s recent praise regarding his ability in possession. Top notch delivery drifted a ball over James Tarkowski for Sargent to sneak in behind in the first quarter. Then another ball infield for Pierre Lees-Melou to try and tee up Teemu Pukki.

Used his experience in the fraught final quarter with a vital near post header to deal with Matthew Lowton’s cross. 

• Dimtris Giannoulis   7 

Grabbed his chance on a return to Farke’s Premier League line up. We know about his attacking potential but this was as good as he has been defensively in green and yellow. 

Did enough to distract Lowton at the back post in the 89th minute when he leapt in front of the airborne full back.

Kept Aaron Lennon largely in check. Lovely drilled cross teed up Ozan Kabak for a big chance. Still had his foot on the accelerator in the 79th minute with a drive to the byline and cross that had no takers.  

•  Mathias Normann  7 

Another impressive offering. Carried on where he left off at Everton, in terms of his attacking threat and quality in possession. Pope parried a fearsome free kick in the 50th minute.

Danced into the area in the 62nd minute before a cross-cum-shot evaded Pope but brushed the top of his bar.

Another free kick in the first half appeared to be flying on target, judging by his anguished reaction, before it smacked the end of the Burnley wall. 

Precision crossfield pass invited Aarons forward in the 38th minute. Added ballast with the hosts looking for those second balls and knock downs on the edge of the Norwich box. 

• Pierre Lees-Melou   6 

Not quite on the same wavelength as Normann and Kenny McLean defensively in the way Burnley probed through central areas in the second part of the opening period.

But fine technique to help Ben Gibson’s bouncing pass over the top for Pukki. One touch, one hit on his less favoured right foot was parried by Pope a minute from half-time.

Less assured in the 67th minute with a wild slice from 25 yards. 

• Kenny McLean 6 

Good comeback after some costly mistakes in recent league and cup tussles. Led the breakout in the 11th minute to gather Sargent’s pass and free the overlapping Aarons.

Tremendous defensive instincts to thwart Lennon at Krul’s near post in first half stoppage time. Drove forward again in the 67th minute, after sparking the turnover, but his teasing ball in behind curled away from Pukki.

Another clever switch brought Aarons into play. 

NCFC Extra: Burnley 0-0 City – Paddy’s Pointers 

• Josh Sargent  6 

Covered plenty of territory to try and give his backline a pressure-relieving option. Fought his way out of a pocket of Clarets’ shirts to find McLean who serviced Aarons.

Charged all the way into his own right back channel to halt McNeil in the 19th minute. Rolled in Lees-Melou to test Pope. Got a couple of second half efforts away but again unselfishly opted to reverse another potential sighter into Puki’s path in the 52nd minute. 

• Teemu Pukki  6 

A nearly performance. Numerous clever runs off Burnley’s towering centre backs but just unable to bring passes under control, or when he did get away a shot, like a 52nd minute effort on his left from Sargent’s inviting pass, he struck Burnley defenders. 

Clearly felt  Tarkowski should have walked for a cynical 11th minute foul that brought the game’s first caution. Like Sargent, showed a major appetite for work to press from the front.   

City substitutes          

Milot Rashica (for Pukki, 80)           n/a

• Lukas Rupp (for Lees-Melou, 80)           n/a

Adam Idah (for Sargent, 90)           n/a

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