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Stoke 0-3 Norwich: Canaries continue Championship play-off push
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Norwich eased to victory at Stoke (Joe Giddens/PA)
Norwich eased to victory at Stoke (Joe Giddens/PA)

Norwich continued their Championship play-off push with a comfortable 3-0 victory away at relegation-threatened Stoke.

Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Ashley Barnes all got their names on the scoresheet as David Wagner’s side made it six wins from their last nine matches.

Victory keeps the Canaries in sixth place – the fourth and final play-off spot – but they are now three points clear of seventh-placed Hull, having played a game more.

Defeat for Stoke, meanwhile, leaves them two just points clear of the drop zone and still firmly among the candidates for relegation.

Norwich – unchanged from the team that started the 5-0 win over Rotherham last time out – came flying out of the traps, with Borja Sainz’s half-volley forcing a good save out of Daniel Iversen in the opening minute.

Stoke responded well though and nearly took the lead when right-wingback Ki-Jana Hoever went on a long mazy run before unleashing a close-range shot that was diverted against the post by goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

The missed opportunity came back to bite the hosts after 24 minutes as Norwich captain Kenny McLean threaded the ball through to Sainz, who held it up before feeding Sargent to score into an empty net for his 13th goal of the season.

Sargent turned provider for Sainz moments later as the visitors’ confidence grew, hanging up a cross for a volley that was well stopped by Iversen.

And the Canaries doubled their advantage just before the half-hour mark, with Sainz finding Sara, who guided the ball into the corner of the net from outside the box.

Potters skipper Josh Laurent had a great chance to halve the deficit five minutes later, but he could only head the ball over the crossbar from Lewis Baker’s corner.

Stoke continued to battle for a way back into the contest as the second half got underway, with Tyrese Campbell heading over after meeting Baker’s delivery.

But the game was effectively put to bed on the hour mark as Barnes slotted home a rebound after McLean’s effort in the box was deflected into his path.

Iversen denied Sara from distance in the 72nd minute and Sargent from up close shortly after to prevent Norwich adding further gloss to the scoreline.

Stoke came close to bagging a late consolation on a couple of occasions but it was an extremely disappointing day for Steven Schumacher’s team, who had come into the match in confident mood on the back of two wins from their last three games.

Some of the home fans were leaving with 10 minutes left to play and it is bound to be a nervy end to the campaign for them, with eight matches remaining.


ChampionshipNorwich CityStoke
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