Goalkeeper Angus Gunn shines as Norwich City earn draw against Stoke City
Excellent saves frustrate Stoke
Goalkeeper Angus Gunn was instrumental in helping Norwich City close the gap to the play-off places to three points after a goalless draw at Stoke City. After Josh Sargent wasted an early chance for Norwich, Gunn made three excellent saves in quick succession to frustrate Stoke in the first half. He first denied Will Smallbone from close-range, before twice stopping Jacob Brown from putting the Potters ahead.
Gunn’s inspired performance
After the break, the inspired Gunn foiled Brown twice more and tipped a Tyrese Campbell effort over the bar to help the Canaries edge closer to sixth-placed Millwall, after they were beaten by Huddersfield. In a game largely dominated by Stoke, Ben Pearson also lashed an effort into the side-netting on a frustrating afternoon which saw the hosts move up a place to 13th.
Potters boss Alex Neil made just one change from their midweek draw at Middlesbrough, with Morgan Fox coming in for the injured Dwight Gayle. While Marquinhos was available for Norwich, having had his red card from Wednesday’s draw with Huddersfield overturned, the winger dropped to the bench. And with Adam Idah out injured, Teemu Pukki and Christos Tzolis were called upon from the start.
Norwich contained, but pleased
Play-off chasing Norwich were well-contained throughout and were limited to a solitary shot on a target as they managed just 35% possession. Norwich manager Daniel Farke said after the match, “I’m very pleased with the performance, especially the fighting spirit and togetherness. With the injury problems we’ve had, we really had to stick together and fight if we wanted to earn something and the players have done this.”
Disappointment at missed opportunities
Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill said after the match, “I thought we were excellent, we limited them to very little. The one chance they did have in the first half was a foul for me – [Josh] Sargent tugs back Morgan Fox on his wrong side but I don’t think that was only thing the officials got wrong today.” “We didn’t lack for good opportunities, we just didn’t finish them off and you’ve got to give their goalkeeper a bit of credit – he pulled off some really good saves. On another day we should score and win the game.”
Final score and last eight games
Match ends, Stoke City 0, Norwich City 0. Second Half ends, Stoke City 0, Norwich City 0. The draws mean that Norwich remain in seventh place, three points behind sixth-placed Millwall. Stoke City sit in 13th place in the Championship table. Both teams now have eight games remaining in their seasons, as they look to secure their place in the playoffs.