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Marcelino Nunez free-kick earns Norwich derby win to dent Ipswich promotion bid
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Marcelino Nunez celebrates scoring the free-kick which gave Norwich a 1-0 derby win over Ipswich (Nigel French/PA).
Marcelino Nunez celebrates scoring the free-kick which gave Norwich a 1-0 derby win over Ipswich (Nigel French/PA).

Ipswich suffered a serious blow to their hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship when they slid to a 1-0 defeat at local rivals Norwich.

A tense game of few clear-cut chances was settled by 39th free-kick from Marcelino Nunez, who fired home low and hard from over 30 yards.

The win left a below-par Ipswich side hoping for slip-ups from rivals Leicester and Leeds later in the day, while for Norwich it further cemented their place in the top six.

It also maintained their overwhelming supremacy in this fixture in recent times, with Ipswich having failed to clinch an East Anglian derby win since a 3-2 victory at Portman Road way back in 2009.

After a predictably tight start the home side began to take the initiative, winning a series of free-kicks deep in Ipswich territory.

And they made the fourth of them count, with Nunez edging his side in front six minutes before the break after Sam Morsy had shoved Josh Sargent to the ground some 30 yards out in a central position.

A goal looked a long shot, quite literally, but the Chilean comfortably beat Town’s two-man wall with a low curler which eluded Vaclav Hladky’s desperate dive to the left and went in off the post.

Ten minutes earlier Sargent had been brought down by Axel Tuanzebe in a seemingly more dangerous position, after being put in by a delightful Ashley Barnes through ball, but on this occasion Gabriel Sara’s free-kick came to nothing.

Overall the Canaries had the better of a tight opening period, with Ipswich looking nothing like a side challenging for automatc promotion. Their only effort on or off target was Massimo Luongo’s header from a corner which sailed harmlessly over.

Sam McCallum’s long ball from the back almost caught the visitors out in the early stages of the second half, with Borja Sainz’s lob only narrowly off target.

Sargent then went down on the edge of the box under a last-ditch challenge from Morsy, only for referee Matthew Donohue to infuriate the home fans by waving play on.

As the game entered its final quarter Sargent burst through again and cut the ball back for Sainz, only for the Spaniard to guide a first time effort high and wide.

Ipswich were struggling to make any impact in the final third, although Conor Chaplin finally produced an effort worthy of the name on 70 minutes, firing just over after being picked out by Leif Davis’ cross.

Substitute Ali Al-Hamadi was then thwarted by Angus Gunn’s quick reaction as he chased a long ball but Norwich defended well to see out a well deserved derby win.


ChampionshipIpswichNorwich City
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