Norwich City secured victory over Huddersfield Town in our final match before Christmas 2023, courtesy of second-half goals from Sam McCallum and Borja Sainz.
In the initial 45 minutes, Town displayed resilient defending. However, the game dynamics shifted when McCallum scored a mere two minutes into the second half, followed by Borja sealing the victory.
Due to an Achilles problem sidelining Danny Ward, Ben Jackson made a timely return, reclaiming his spot after a three-game absence due to a groin injury. This adjustment prompted Sorba Thomas to join Delano Burgzorg in a front-two formation.
Despite Norwich dominating possession and earning numerous early corners, their only notable chance in the opening 10 minutes occurred when the talented Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Sara found himself forced wide in our area, ultimately hitting the outside of our side netting.
The opposition threatened on the counter and crafted a promising opportunity in the 20th minute. The ball was skillfully worked into the Norwich half for Burgzorg, who advanced towards the Canaries’ defense. He then passed to Jaheim Headley on the left, but Headley chose to cut inside in the penalty area instead of taking a shot, squandering the chance.
Michał Helik rescued Yuta Nakayama moments later when the Japan international lost possession to Jonathan Rowe. Helik made a crucial sliding block on Rowe’s shot from the edge of the box.
However, Helik fouled Borja Sainz just outside our penalty area, conceding a dangerous free kick. Fortunately, Nakayama played his part in the defensive wall, blocking Sara’s set piece.
Chris Maxwell returned to goal as Lee Nicholls adhered to concussion protocol. Maxwell made a crucial save in the 33rd minute when Onel Hernandez’s cross found Ashley Barnes, but Maxwell’s dive to his left denied Barnes’s header.
Regrettably, defensive efforts were undone early in the second half when Sam McCallum headed in Marcelino Nunez’s cross. Norwich had additional chances to extend their lead, with Borja heading wide and Rowe and Sara testing Maxwell from range.
Norwich eventually doubled their advantage in the 73rd minute when Borja Sainz bent the ball around Maxwell after receiving a pass from Adam Idah. Despite continued efforts from Norwich, including a close attempt by Ui Jo Hwang, and a shot by Burgzorg requiring Gunn’s intervention, the score remained in favor of the hosts.