Good evening from a swelteringly warm Darmstadt for this live coverage of Norwich City’s first pre-season game in their week-long tour of Germany as they take on newly promoted Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98!
We also have some team news for you…
The big news is that Christoph Zimmermann, who won the Championship title twice with the Canaries, starts for the hosts against his former club.
This game looks to be a real test for Norwich. There are 6,000 fans expected to be here – plus a few thousand more who will turn up at the gate. There’s also a small smattering of yellow and green shirts in the stadium.
The teams are now walking out to the pitch – Darmstadt wearing blue and Norwich in their away kit. We’re just moments away from kick-off in this pre-season friendly – who will come out victorious?
MIN 1 – The referee blows his whistle and we’re underway here in Darmstadt. And from kick-off, Zimmermann makes contact with Jack Stacey with an unintentional arm to the face. It’s left the new Norwich right-back in a heap but he’s able to continue.
MIN 2 – Marcelino Nunez gets caught in possession and is dispossessed by Fabian Holland. Darmstadt venture forward then Braydon Manu is fouled.
MIN 5 – Been a very cagey start to this game. Darmstadt controlling the possession so far.
MIN 6 – Norwich look as if they’re in a 4-4-2 shape when out of possession with Nunez playing just off Josh Sargent. They’re also pressing with intensity but also look a bit chaotic.Embed from Getty Images
MIN 7 – Matthias Bader puts a driven cross into the box but it is overhit and off-target.
MIN 9 – Norwich try to string some passes together but Nunez slips on the ball – leading to a foul.
MIN 12 – First major chance of the game falls to Darmstadt. Norwich very pedestrian in possession and the hosts take advantage – Bader is played in on the right and lines up to shoot but finds the back of the stand. Real let off for the Canaries there.
Excellent play by Norwich, just moments after a huge chance for the hosts. Sargent plays the ball through to Stacey who nutmegs his man and crosses. The clearance only reaches Nunez who finishes in acrobatic style. 0-1
MIN 17 – This game has completely turned on its head since the opener. Norwich now looking really lively in transition. Kenny McLean breaks the lines wonderfully then Jonathan Rowe overhits a pass down the right to Sargent. His chipped cross is picked up at the back post by Nunez – who cannot do anything with it.
MIN 20 – Another good attack from Norwich. Nunez again in an advanced area down the left and his heavy touch is crossed by Dimitris Giannoulis. Sargent connects on the volley but can’t control his effort.
MIN 21 – Darmstadt are awarded a free kick in a crossing position. Shane Duffy rises to clear.
MIN 23 – Rowe leaves a bit on Mathias Honsak down on the touchline. The referee calls him over to remind him that this is a pre-season game. Speaks levels about the intensity that this game is being played at.
MIN 25 – Rowe has now been booked. In a pre-season friendly. Deary me. He was warned in all fairness. Late tackle on Andreas Muller who is sat on the turf. I think that might just be a sign of his naivety.
MIN 28 – Superb from Stacey. The ball looked lost as Honsak sought to pick it up – he nipped in, wrapped his foot around the ball started a counterattack. Sargent eventually took it over and tried to send Nunez in behind but he didn’t have the pace.
MIN 30 – Darmstadt attack. The ball falls to Honsak but his shot is into the stand behind the far goal.
MIN 35 – Now Ben Gibson has been booked for a foul on Manu.
MIN 36 – Norwich get rid of the free kick and subsequent cross. They go up the other end as Stacey gets in down the right. His deep cross is met by Onel Hernandez but he can only loop it in the air. Nunez then tries to put it in a dangerous area and Darmstadt clear.
MIN 38 – Chance for Darmstadt. Honsak’s cross is nearly met by Tobias Kempe but Liam Gibbs does enough to prevent him from reaching it.
MIN 39 – Gibbs drives forward and offloads to Giannoulis. A tackle from Bader wins a throw. He then fouls Gibbs and Norwich win a free kick on the left.
MIN 41 – Nunez concedes possession in a dangerous area. Manu takes advantage but Gibbs uses his body well to draw a foul in City’s own box. Rookie mistake by the Chilean.Embed from Getty Images
MIN 43 – Stacey involved again. This time he wins a free kick after going over the top of Manu. What looks to be a second-half eleven has emerged from the Norwich dugout. Andrew Omobamidele, Ashley Barnes, and Adam Idah are among them.
MIN 45 – Rowe is caught late by Muller, screaming as he flies through the air. The Darmstadt man is booked.
Half-time here in Darmstadt and Norwich City find themselves a goal up thanks to a fine finish from Nunez. They’ve played really well since going ahead, but it looks as if we’ll see a full 11 switch at the interval.
Darmstadt have had some good chances though, but have been unable to make them count. Will that change in the second half?
We’re just minutes away from finding out…
MIN 46 – The whistle blows and we’re back underway in Darmstadt. Norwich making three changes at the break.
MIN 47 – Darmstadt almost level immediately after the break. A cross to Oscar Vilhemsson is put over by the Swede.
MIN 49 – BIG CHANCE FOR NORWICH! The half-time subs combine as Christos Tzolis puts in a beautiful cross for Ashley Barnes. He makes contact and his powerful effort is saved at close range by Marcel Schunen.
MIN 51 – Norwich burst forward as Hernandez weaves inside the box but his shot is saved by Schunen.
MIN 56 – The Canaries look happy to play on the counter here. Rowe breaks through and shapes up for a shot but he is crowded out by the Darmstadt defence.
MIN 58 – Looks as if Barnes is being utilised as a false nine so far in this second half.
MIN 60 – Jacob Sorensen plays a pass out to the right which finds Stacey, who then finds Barnes. His return pass is slightly overhit.
MIN 61 – Here come a whole host of subs for Norwich.
MIN 63 – Tim Krul flaps at Fabio Torsiello’s cross from a corner. Norwich eventually clear the danger.
MIN 64 – Excellent play from Przemyslaw Placheta who turns his man and gets to the byline. His cross almost finds Idah. Norwich continue the attack as Barnes fires wide.
MIN 67 – The home crowd audibly frustrated as Honsak doesn’t get his cross right. It’s easily cleared by Omobamidele.
MIN 70 – Kenny McLean tries to exchange passes with Barnes but the return just gets away from the City captain.
MIN 72 – Sam McCallum gets caught in possession by Emir Karic but good pressing alongside Placheta wins the ball back for Norwich. The Polish winger is then fouled. The cross from Sorensen is wasteful and goes behind.
MIN 74 – Has to be said that some of the football Norwich are playing is very impressive. Some nice movement and good rotation. They’ve also just made another two subs as Tony Springett and Jonathan Tomkinson replace McLean and Ben Gibson.
MIN 76 – McCallum clips the heels of Fabio Torsiello and concedes a free kick on the right. The resulting cross is headed away but only into the path of Honsak who absolutely belts one towards goal. Krul would have been beaten but it’s been blocked by a green shirt.
MIN 79 – Darmstadt are really struggling to muster up anything meaningful in open play this game. Torsiello has just crossed the ball out for a goal kick.
MIN 80 – Thomas Isherwood clashes with Tzolis. Out come the handbags. Barnes has come steaming in to confront the defender. That has caused a melee. Scenes. Looked like a sore one for the Greek international.
MIN 82 – Both Isherwood and Barnes have been booked.
MIN 84 – Oh dear. Placheta gets into a good position but gets his cross totally wrong.
MIN 85 – Idah gets a cross in from the byline but Placheta is unable to control it at the far post.
MIN 87 – Impressive transitional defending from Norwich. Karic looks to cut in and shoot but Sorensen blocks his effort.
MIN 89 – Good goalkeeping from Schunen. McCallum took the ball well and got into a crossing position – but the goalkeeper anticipated the cross early and claimed it well.
And that concludes this pre-season friendly here in Darmstadt! Norwich running out with a 1-0 victory thanks to Marcelino Nunez’s acrobatic finish in the 12th minute.
The Canaries will now travel to Kaiserslautern to continue the rest of their pre-season tour of Germany for more training sessions and a game with 1. FC Kaiserslautern on Saturday afternoon before traveling to the Netherlands to play AZ Alkmaar.
I’ve been Freddie Humphry-Wakefield and I’ll see you next time!