Championship
Norwich2Sheff Wed2

Norwich City 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Championship leaders rescue point against Owls

Mario Vrancic scores Norwich's equaliser against Norwich
Mario Vrancic's free-kick saw Norwich stretch their lead to five points at the top of the Championship

Championship leaders Norwich rescued a point deep in stoppage time against Sheffield Wednesday courtesy of Mario Vrancic's wonderful free-kick.

It looked as though Wednesday would come away with a surprise win when Steven Fletcher controversially bundled in a cross with his left hand earlier in the second half.

Marco Stiepermann had given Norwich the lead in the first half before Fernando Forestieri struck a superb individual effort from 30 yards for the equaliser.

Norwich have a five-point lead over both Sheffield United and Leeds United with three games to play. Another five points would be enough to secure their promotion back to the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2016.

Their third draw in as many games actually saw them stretch their lead by a point after Wigan beat Leeds 2-1 earlier in the day.

The Canaries travel to Stoke City on Monday while Leeds are at Brentford and Sheffield United are away at Hull City.

Substitute Vrancic stepped up with the goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time to preserve Norwich's 11-match unbeaten run.

After he had been tripped by Marco Matias on the edge of the penalty box, he produced a pinpoint curling effort into the top-right corner.

Aside from Fletcher's scrappy effort at 2-1, it was a game of stunning goals with Stiepermann's low powerful drive and Forestieri netting arguably one of the goals of the season midway through the first half.

The Italian's stunning long-range effort flew past Tim Krul into the top-left corner. But the Netherlands goalkeeper was able to deny Forestieri a second with two brilliant saves from more stinging strikes in the second half.

A point for Wednesday sees them climb a place to 11th, but manager Steve Bruce was visibly frustrated at full-time after only five minutes additional time had been indicated by the fourth official.

They are now seven points behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough with nine left to play for.

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Norfolk: "I have no words for these lads, for the spirit in this dressing room and the fight they showed out there on the pitch tonight.

"Like the last game, it was again the feeling like everything was against us, so we had to fight not only against 11 opponents but crucial decisions and moments.

"These lads never know when they're beaten and this attitude and mentality helps us bring it over the line.

"It was totally deserved as there was a brilliant attitude to keep going right until the end."

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce told BBC Radio Sheffield: "I don't know why the referee plays five minutes added time. I don't know where that comes from as there hasn't been a physio on the pitch as far as I can remember.

"He'll say he added 30 seconds for a substitution, but it's probably taken them five seconds as they were trying to get him on for a corner.

"But, I don't think it was a foul for the free-kick either. All night, I think his (the referee's) decisions were poor and he's got to do better than that.

"To not look at your watch and to give them that sneak at the end, makes it a dramatic finish for Norwich and obviously we're really disappointed."

Line-ups

Norwich

  • 1KrulBooked at 54mins
  • 37Aarons
  • 6Zimmermann
  • 4Godfrey
  • 12LewisSubstituted forSrbenyat 84'minutes
  • 19TrybullSubstituted forVrancicat 80'minutes
  • 23McLean
  • 10Leitner
  • 18Stiepermann
  • 25HernándezSubstituted forKloseat 90+2'minutes
  • 22Pukki

Substitutes

  • 8Vrancic
  • 15Klose
  • 27Tettey
  • 31Hanley
  • 32Srbeny
  • 36Cantwell
  • 38Oxborough

Sheff Wed

  • 25DawsonBooked at 9mins
  • 27Iorfa
  • 15Lees
  • 34Hector
  • 2Palmer
  • 19Matias
  • 23HutchinsonSubstituted forPelupessyat 33'minutes
  • 7OnomahSubstituted forBannanat 67'minutes
  • 21BoydBooked at 81mins
  • 45ForestieriSubstituted forLucas Joãoat 76'minutes
  • 9Fletcher

Substitutes

  • 6Fox
  • 8Pelupessy
  • 10Bannan
  • 11Winnall
  • 17Nuhiu
  • 18Lucas João
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
26,744

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamSheff Wed
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home13
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Norwich City 2, Sheffield Wednesday 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Norwich City 2, Sheffield Wednesday 2.

Goal!

Goal! Norwich City 2, Sheffield Wednesday 2. Mario Vrancic (Norwich City) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top right corner.

Mario Vrancic (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marco Matias (Sheffield Wednesday).

Attempt blocked. Ben Godfrey (Norwich City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Dennis Srbeny (Norwich City).

Tom Lees (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Timm Klose replaces Onel Hernández.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Marco Matias.

Dangerous play by Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City).

Cameron Dawson (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Christoph Zimmermann (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Dennis Srbeny replaces Jamal Lewis.

Attempt missed. Moritz Leitner (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Teemu Pukki.

Kenny McLean (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lucas João (Sheffield Wednesday).

Booking

George Boyd (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Maximillian Aarons (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by George Boyd (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Mario Vrancic replaces Tom Trybull.

Foul by Jamal Lewis (Norwich City).

George Boyd (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Dominic Iorfa.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Marco Matias.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Lucas João replaces Fernando Forestieri.

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Joey Pelupessy.

Maximillian Aarons (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday).

Foul by Moritz Leitner (Norwich City).

Marco Matias (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dominic Iorfa (Sheffield Wednesday).

Attempt saved. Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Teemu Pukki (Norwich City).

Marco Matias (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Joey Pelupessy.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Barry Bannan replaces Josh Onomah.

Onel Hernández (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich432512687533487
2Sheff Utd432410971393282
3Leeds432571170442682
4West Brom4322101184582676
5Aston Villa431915979582172
6Middlesbrough431813124536967
7Bristol City421812125647966
8Derby421713126152964
9Preston431612156459560
10Hull43179176362160
11Sheff Wed431515135457-360
12Swansea42178175957259
13Nottm Forest431415145654257
14Blackburn431511175965-656
15Brentford431413166759855
16Stoke431119134148-752
17QPR43139215167-1648
18Birmingham431317136056447
19Reading431015184864-1645
20Wigan431112204763-1645
21Millwall421013194760-1343
22Rotherham43816194976-2740
23Bolton4388272974-4532
24Ipswich43416233372-3928
View full Championship table

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