- Match Analysis
Norwich City reached the Championship play-off final in emphatic fashion, after overcoming Ipswich Town 3-1, at Carrow Road on Saturday lunchtime.
Wes Hoolahan’s penalty five-minutes into the second-half was cancelled out by Tommy Smith’s equaliser for Ipswich on the hour.
But goals from Nathan Redmond, and Cameron Jerome followed, which set up a date with Middlesbrough at Wembley, for the right to play Premier League football next season.
It would be Ipswich who found the first chance of the encounter after just three minutes, though Daryl Murphy failed to keep his header down, after connecting with Kevin Bru’s free-kick from the left.
Mick McCathy’s side were enjoying the better of the play, in what was a frantic, fast paced start to the second leg of the East Anglian Derby.
The impressive Murphy out-muscled Bassong, before firing in a cross towards Freddie Sears, which was picked out by John Ruddy.
Stephen Whittaker had a glorious chance for the Canaries after 11 minutes, but the Scot skewed a short from distance well wide.
Alex Neil’s side would create another opening after 16 minutes, as the ball dropped for Russell Martin from a corner, his shot from the edge of the area was well struck, but cleared off the line by Paul Anderson.
Chances were at a premium for both sides, as the clock ticked down towards the interval, Wes Hoolahan saw his side-footed effort cleared away by Tyrone Mings.
As the second-half resumed, Norwich were on the front foot straight away, Cameron Jerome is wrestled to the turf, with the ball hacked away by the Ipswich back-line.
Up the other end, Freddie Sears drilled a speculative effort just over Ruddy’s bar, after escaping free from his man.
However, just a few minutes later, the hosts were awarded a penalty, when Nathan Redmond’s shot was handled on the goal-line by Christophe Berra.
Berra received his marching orders, and Wes Hoolahan stepped up to send Bialkowski the wrong way after 49 minutes.
The ten-men of Ipswich found an equaliser on the hour, courtesy of defender Tommy Smith. Murphy did well to nod down Teddy Bishop’s lofted free-kick into the path of Smith, who profited from static defending to poke the ball beyond Ruddy.
Norwich restored their advantage after 63 minutes, Nathan Redmond getting his name amongst the goals, after Bialkowski had denied Olsson from a tight-angle, the ball wasn’t cleared and it dropped to Redmond, who drilled in at the near post.
The Canaries wanted more, and Bialkowski had to be alert to deny Hoolahan’s drive, before Luke Chambers had to valiantly block Jonny Howson’s shot.
Cameron Jerome added a third after 77 minutes, after being played through on goal by Redmond, with the former Stoke City man converting beyond the on-rushing Bialkowski.
by Ben Reardon