Coventry 2-4 Norwich City: Josh Sargent, Kieran Dowell on target as resurgent Canaries win again | Football News

Norwich continued their resurgence under new head coach David Wagner as they saw off a spirited Coventry to win 4-2 at the CBS Arena.

A week earlier, the Canaries were 3-0 up at Preston inside half an hour, and they bettered the feat against the Sky Blues, with a Michael Rose own goal and one each from Onel Hernandez and Josh Sargent looking to have put the result beyond doubt with 18 minutes on the clock.

Coventry – playing in their first game since Doug King’s takeover – bravely battled back, though, with Jamie Allen and Kasey Palmer on target to make it 3-2 at the break.

Kieran Dowell celebrates after scoring Norwich's fourth goal against Coventry
Kieran Dowell celebrates after scoring Norwich’s fourth goal against Coventry

But Wagner’s men were much more dominant after the break and, after Hernandez had been denied a second by the base of the post, Kieran Dowell struck to seal all three points and a first double against Coventry since the 1980/81 campaign.

Victory sees Norwich climb to sixth in the Championship table, while Coventry stay 15th, seven points outside the play-off places and nine above the relegation zone.

How Norwich continued to emerge from their slump

Wagner’s first match in charge had ended in defeat to Blackburn in the FA Cup on January 8, but between that day and the trip to Preston last Saturday, he appeared to have helped his squad evolve into the Norwich of old; the one that made the second tier look like a breeze.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Norwich City.

With six minutes gone in Coventry, they had the lead once again when Gabriel Sara’s corner was flicked on by Kenny McLean, with the ball striking Jake Bidwell’s foot and then taking the slightest touch off Rose before crossing the line.

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Norwich take an early lead after an unfortunate touch for Bidwell.

It was two after 11 minutes when Hernandez retained possession after a poor first touch and rolled the ball through Ben Wilson’s hands and into the bottom-right corner, and it looked to be game over seven minutes later when Sargent converted a neat pull-back from Teemu Pukki.

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Hernandez gives Norwich a 2-0 need in their Championship clash with Coven try.

But at this point, Coventry had nothing to lose and could afford to go for broke. Rather than sitting back and accepting their fate, they pressed and were rewarded as a result, when Allen lashed home after a header was cushioned into his path.

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Norwich are cruising as Josh Sargent makes it 3-0 in their clash with Coventry.

And they added a second to really inspire hope, with Viktor Gyokeres and Palmer both attacking a cross at the same time. The former turned on a sixpence and appeared to thump the ball home, but it was only a replay that proved the latter applied the finish.

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Allen pulls one back for Coventry to make it 3-1 as the home side aim to recover after their dreadful start to the match.

The second half was distinctly less open than the first – and perhaps predictably so. But, in truth, it only ever looked as though Norwich would go on to triumph.

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Kasey Palmer appears to get the final touch after Viktor Gyokere controls the ball as Coventry continue their fightback.

Hernandez cannoned a shot off the base of the post from a similar position to which he had scored, before Dowell controlled a cross from the left, worked space for a shot under pressure and fired his third goal in two games past Wilson.

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Kieran Dowell shows great close control and finishes well as Norwich double their lead in the second half against Coventry.

Wilson was then called into action twice to keep out efforts from Pukki, but the Finn could find no way through.

Player of the match – Onel Hernandez

The managers

Coventry’s Mark Robins:

“They’re a top-quality side and they’re even better when you give them a head start. This was a game where we had to be brave and we had to go after them where we could, if you get that wrong it shouldn’t mean they have a goal but if you
aren’t committed mentally to it and you’re not brave and you don’t go after it collectively, then you’re dead. When we did it, we got it right. We were three goals down in the blink of an eye and looked like we could have gone under.

“The good thing is we didn’t, we started to do what we’d spoken about, about pressing and getting after them because they’re going to give up chances against you and not worry what’s behind you. We didn’t do that well enough until the first goal, which gave us a little bit of belief, and then we got the second goal pretty quickly afterwards so that gave us the foothold that you’re almost back in it but you’ve had to work really hard to get there.

“We’re not that team where we can play our joker and go there’s three goals, we’ll have to have a go now and see if we can turn it round, they nearly did it and credit to them. We’re in that moment where we’re just in a bit of a poor run in terms of picking points up but we’ll get back on it. This season has been tough but we are a good side. There’s no doubt about that.”

Norwich’s David Wagner:

“I’m happy we won it and very pleased about the second half when we controlled the ball and game, created chances and defended very well. But the first half I wasn’t happy with even when we were 3-0 up. We didn’t control the ball or the game and were not calm enough, lost the ball too early.It was wild without a clear structure and not good enough.The players made it too complicated.

“But we addressed this at half-time and how they responded in the second half was good. Was I angry at half-time? Yes. I let them know about things but, to be fair, they were angry as well. They are not stupid. But from my point of view, it’s not about showing you are angry. It’s about giving them solutions to be better and we showed them some clips. I was angry and I can let them know, like I can let them know when I am happy.

“This squad excites me. That is why I signed this contract. Two games, eight goals is a good start and I am happy with individual performances. At the moment the table is irrelevant. It is about us and how we perform.”

What’s next?

Coventry welcome Huddersfield to the Coventry Building Society Arena at 3pm on Saturday January 28, while Norwich are not back in action until Saturday February 4 at 12.30pm, when they host Championship leaders Burnley at Carrow Road, live on Sky Sports Football.

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