MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 05:14:01
Sep 29, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Carrow Road (Norwich, Norfolk)
NorwichNorwich City
WiganWigan Athletic
Vrancic (86' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Farke hails “fully deserved” win as Norwich make Wigan pay the penalty

The Canaries have now won five games in a row in all competitions.

Norwich manager Daniel Farke felt his side fully deserved the three points despite needing a late Mario Vrancic penalty to record a 1-0 win over Wigan at Carrow Road.

The substitute’s 86th-minute spot-kick made it four straight Championship wins for the Canaries – and five in all competitions – and lifted them up to fifth in the table.

Farke said: “It was a close game, and a very hard-fought one, but I thought there was no doubt we deserved to win.

“We didn’t allow Wigan one chance all game. Tim Krul didn’t have a save to make while we had lots of opportunities and should also have had a penalty in the first half.

“The penalty we did get was a clear one, with their player pulling back Teemu Pukki when he prepared to shoot and thankfully Mario put it away.

“Teemu would normally have taken it – and had a chance to score for the seventh successive match he has played in (for club and country) and be the match winner again.

“But he had been fouled and didn’t feel ready to take the penalty so he gave the chance to Mario. That shows the character and attitude of the player – and sums up the commitment of the whole group.”

Farke was pleased with another win – but less excited by the fact his side are now in the play-off positions.

He added: “I don’t take any notice of the table at this time of year. But I do take notice of the fact we now have 17 points, which is a good total at this stage of the season.

“It sets us up nicely for two difficult games against Derby and Stoke.”

The game was settled by a penalty awarded for a foul by Callum Connolly on Pukki as the Finnish striker prepared to lay the ball off.

Referee Gavin Ward pointed straight to the spot when Pukki went down, having ignored even louder appeals in the first half when Chey Dunkley appeared to trip the same player when he burst into the box.

Vrancic coolly stuck away the penalty and Norwich then saw the game out with the minimum of fuss to record a deserved victory against a side who didn’t manage an effort on target all game.

Wigan manager Paul Cook felt his side were unlucky to concede the late penalty but admitted Norwich should probably have had one in the first half.

Cook said: “When the referee awarded the penalty I felt game was petering out into 0-0 draw, with two teams cancelling each other out.

“We got into some great positions in the final third and did a good job pressing them up the pitch but our end product wasn’t great.

“I did think the incident in the first was a penalty if I am being honest but after that we always wondered if another opportunity came along the referee would give it, and that’s what happened.

“I haven’t spoken to the referee about it and to be honest there’s no point because obviously my opinion is biased.

“Overall I thought our performance was okay. We are all very disappointed because we battled hard against a good Norwich side and I think any neutral would have said a draw would have been a fair result.

“But we can’t afford to get down about it because this is a relentless league and there is another game coming up on Tuesday.

“We all need to remember we have taken 16 points from our first 10 games and are eighth in the table – I would certainly have taken that at the start of the season.”

Click here for more stories about Mario Vrancic

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