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2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • Daryl Murphy (77')

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Norwich City

Norwich were sunk by former Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy as Nottingham Forest edged a scrappy game 1-0 at the City Ground.
Chances were few and far between the equally-matched sides and it took the introduction of Forest sub Mustapha Carayol to spark the home side into life.
It was from his 77th-minute cross that Murphy prodded home the winner to seal a fourth straight Championship home league win for Mark Warburton's side.
Forest have been accused of lacking experienced heads this season and boss Warburton rectified that by welcoming back Murphy and David Vaughan into the fold, at the expense of Ben Brereton and Tyler Walker respectively, while Norwich made four changes, with Harrison Reed, Wes Hoolahan, Marley Watkins and Marco Stiepermann all being restored to the starting XI.
The visitors had an early chance inside the first two minutes. Tendayi Darikwa fouled former Reds striker Nelson Oliveira on the edge of the box, but James Maddison could only fire the free-kick straight into the wall and the chance was gone.
Forest midfielder Kieran Dowell fired wastefully over the bar a minute later, before a powerful Murphy drive was well held by Angus Gunn.
Watkins should have fired Norwich ahead after 11 minutes after latching on to a delightful lobbed pass from Hoolahan, but after taking an extra touch, he dragged his shot wide.
Play immediately switched to the other end, where Murphy got in behind the Canaries defence and laid the ball back for Dowell, whose low shot was palmed behind by Gunn.
Murphy narrowly headed over a Liam Bridcutt cross as Forest finally started to trouble the opposition's goal.
Watkins and Murphy then traded efforts at either end that failed to trouble the keepers, efforts which just about summed up the first half.
Hoolahan cracked a left-footed effort over Jordan Smith's inside the first minute of the second half, before Oliveira forced Smith to make a fine save low down to his right, tipping the Portuguese striker's free-kick past his right-hand post.
With Forest struggling to create any chances, Warburton brought Carayol on for Barrie McKay and within seconds, the tricky winger slammed a shot into Gunn's midriff.
The introduction of Carayol proved to be a masterstroke, though, as with 13 minutes remaining, he delivered a low cross into the box that Murphy stabbed home for his seventh goal of the season.
Joe Worrall had to be alert to deny Norwich sub Josh Murphy, with the Reds defender sliding in to nip the ball off his toe after he looked to pull the trigger in the box.
Oliveira nearly came back to haunt his old side, firing a shot inches wide of Smith's right-hand upright in injury-time, while Watkins headed Mario Vrancic's free-kick well wide at the death.
ends

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 +25 51
2 Cardiff City 21 +16 44
3 Bristol City 21 +12 40
4 Derby County 21 +12 38
5 Aston Villa 21 +11 37
6 Sheffield United 21 +8 37
7 Leeds United 21 +7 33
8 Middlesbrough 21 +7 32
9 Ipswich Town 21 +3 32
10 Preston North End 21 +3 32
11 Nottingham Forest 21 -4 30
12 Fulham 21 0 29
13 Brentford 21 +3 27
14 Reading 21 +2 27
15 Sheffield Wednesday 22 -1 27
16 Norwich City 21 -6 27
17 Millwall 21 +1 23
18 Hull City 21 -2 22
19 Queens Park Rangers 21 -9 22
20 Barnsley 21 -10 20
21 Bolton Wanderers 21 -19 16
22 Birmingham City 21 -20 16
23 Sunderland 21 -12 15
24 Burton Albion 21 -27 14

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