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Stoke City 2-2 Norwich City: Canaries on brink of Premier League despite fourth straight draw

Ashley Williams scored Stoke's first equaliser at the start of the second half.
Ashley Williams scored Stoke's first equaliser at the start of the second half

Championship leaders Norwich City moved to the brink of promotion to the Premier League despite being held to a fourth successive draw by Stoke City.

The draw, combined with Leeds' defeat by Brentford, leaves Norwich six points above the third-placed Whites with two games to go, and a goal difference superior by 10.

Norwich would have secured promotion on Monday had they held on after twice going ahead through Onel Hernandez's crisp shot and Teemu Pukki's glancing header.

But an Ashley Williams header and Tom Edwards' unerring finish meant the Canaries still need a point from their final two games to be completely assured of their top-flight place, although it seems a formality.

Norwich's run of four straight draws, two of which have required late levellers to rescue a point, has prevented the promotion party beginning early despite extending their unbeaten streak to 12 matches.

However, while second-placed Sheffield United have not buckled, Leeds have now lost their past two games to 10-man Wigan and mid-table Brentford, rendering Norwich's slight stutter irrelevant.

Leeds' loss in the late kick-off made the point Norwich collected in Staffordshire earlier on Monday even more crucial because, despite leading twice, they could quite easily have left empty-handed.

Sam Clucas wasted two great chances for the Potters, heading wide unmarked and later blazing over, both from around six yards, with the score at 0-0 and 1-1.

After Clucas' first miss, Norwich assumed control with Stoke keeper Jack Butland foiling a close-range Pukki header before he was left helpless by Hernandez's vicious near-post strike.

But Williams' header from a corner again showed up the Canaries' recent defensive shortcomings, only for Pukki to nod Norwich back in front from Mario Vrancic's cross - the Finland striker's 28th league goal of the season.

The lead lasted just three minutes as Edwards arrowed a fine finish into the bottom corner from just inside the area as Stoke, who remain 16th after a 20th league draw of the season, earned a deserved point.

Stoke City boss Nathan Jones told BBC Stoke:

"In the first half we showed Norwich too much respect, we sat off them - we didn't press them and work and graft and they were able to play in front of us.

"I thought we were disciplined. They only had one chance that they scored from, so it's not like they were carving us open in any way - it's just we needed to be a bit more proactive and get tighter.

"We were far too passive in the first half, but second half we stepped onto them and worked harder. We showed a real desire to go and win the game, I thought we were excellent and we should have scored more than two goals today."

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Norfolk:

"We stay 12 games unbeaten. I'm not concerned about nerves, but we have to learn the lesson out of it [the result].

"To be honest, it's what I expect when I work with a young side. It's not like I can press a button and the Premier League [promotion] is coming easy.

"I expect it to be the hard way, and it looks like we go the hard way. There is no need to doubt ourselves. We go again on Saturday."

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 30EdwardsSubstituted forCollinsat 81'minutes
  • 14Batth
  • 17Shawcross
  • 5Williams
  • 11McClean
  • 8Etebo
  • 4Allen
  • 22Clucas
  • 31VerlindenSubstituted forInceat 67'minutes
  • 9Afobe

Substitutes

  • 7Ince
  • 10Vokes
  • 16Adam
  • 18Diouf
  • 27Bojan
  • 32Federici
  • 37Collins

Norwich

  • 1Krul
  • 37Aarons
  • 6Zimmermann
  • 4Godfrey
  • 12Lewis
  • 23McLean
  • 19TrybullSubstituted forVrancicat 54'minutes
  • 17Buendía
  • 18Stiepermann
  • 25HernándezSubstituted forLeitnerat 83'minutes
  • 22Pukki

Substitutes

  • 8Vrancic
  • 10Leitner
  • 11Rhodes
  • 15Klose
  • 31Hanley
  • 33McGovern
  • 36Cantwell
Referee:
Tony Harrington
Attendance:
25,487

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home33%
Away67%
Shots
Home18
Away17
Shots on Target
Home9
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 2, Norwich City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Norwich City 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Maximillian Aarons (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Godfrey.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

  5. Post update

    Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by James McClean (Stoke City).

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ben Godfrey (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Danny Batth.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Norwich City) left footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the left.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía with a cross following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Danny Batth.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mario Vrancic (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Moritz Leitner.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mario Vrancic.

  15. Post update

    Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Benik Afobe (Stoke City).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Moritz Leitner replaces Onel Hernández.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Nathan Collins replaces Thomas Edwards.

  19. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  20. Post update

    Delay in match Thomas Edwards (Stoke City) because of an injury.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich442513689553488
2Sheff Utd442510974393585
3Leeds442571270462482
4West Brom4422111184582677
5Aston Villa442015980582275
6Derby4318131263521167
7Middlesbrough441813134539667
8Bristol City431812135649766
9Sheff Wed441615135657-163
10Swansea43188176057362
11Nottm Forest441515145954560
12Preston441612166461360
13Hull44179186365-260
14Blackburn441611176165-459
15Brentford4415131669591058
16Stoke441120134350-753
17Birmingham441417136357650
18Wigan441212204963-1448
19QPR44139225169-1848
20Reading441016184864-1646
21Millwall431013204761-1443
22Rotherham44816205079-2940
23Bolton4488282976-4732
24Ipswich44416243373-4028
View full Championship table

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