Norwich 1 – 1 Wigan
Norwich picked up their first point of the Championship season after coming from a goal down to hold Wigan to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.
The Canaries were, by far and away, the more dominant team in the first half in Norfolk and racked up 11 shots – none of which amounted to anything – before falling behind when James McClean finished calmly against the run of play after Ben Gibson’s lapse in concentration at the back (29).
For some time, it looked as though it may have been a perfect example of a successful smash-and-grab for Wigan as their opponents received no luck in front of goal, but Max Aarons finished off a flowing move to seal a draw (62), before Teemu Pukki rattled the crossbar in a fruitless attempt to seal victory.
How Norwich were frustrated for a second week in succession
Norwich boss Dean Smith bemoaned his side’s lack of quality in the opening loss to Cardiff – during which the Canaries registered just one shot on target – and, this time, they flew out of the blocks in an attempt to right their previous wrongs.
Dimitris Giannoulis had the first sight of goal, with Teemu Pukki, Aarons and new signing Marcelino Nunez all dragging shots across the face of goal, while five first-half corners produced no end product.
It is not uncommon for teams to be punished for such profligacy – and that was exactly what happened. A sloppy pass from Gibson presented Will Keane with the chance to square for an unmarked McClean to stay cool and find the bottom right corner.
That goal turned the tide, with the more confident Latics stepping onto their hosts, who received a perhaps unfair smattering of boos as the returned to the dressing room at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Norwich took control once more following the restart, though, and forced the equalising goal they deserved when Aarons finished off a flowing move orchestrated by Pukki and Milot Rashica.
As the crowd got behind the Canaries, they ever so nearly carved out the winner when Pukki turned and fired onto the crossbar, but replays showed Wigan goalkeeper Ben Amos got the slightest of touches on the ball to tip it onto the woodwork and earn a second point in as many games.
Man of the match – James McClean
Both teams are next in action at 7.45pm on Tuesday August 9 as the first round of the Carabao Cup takes place. Norwich host Birmingham at Carrow Road, while Wigan travel to Highbury to face Fleetwood.