Here is Paddy’s verdict on David Wagner’s Norwich City, who hit rewind in a strangely subdued Sunderland defeat at Carrow Road.

Angus Gunn              7

Beaten by the quality and precision of Abdoullah Ba’s strike which arced through the legs of Grant Hanley from just outside the area. But an excellent point blank reaction stop to thwart Joe Gelhardt two minutes later.

Then beat away Jack Clarke’s long range piledriver just before the hour mark, in a much quieter second half shift. Foiled the tricky Clarke as early as the seventh minute, when he gathered at his near post, after dropping on Gelhardt’s fourth minute effort.

Largely composed with the ball at his feet. One impressive long range ping for Teemu Pukki in the 13th minute.

•  Max Aarons              5

Torrid opening to the game with Clarke relishing his personal duel. The winger cut inside and smacked a near post shot Angus Gunn grasped at the second attempt. Aarons did manage to eventually push him back.

Also had arguably City’s best chance of the game, when Gabby Sara picked him out but sidefooted at Anthony Patterson. Clipped by Clarke a yard outside the area to earn a free kick that led to a decent Pukki headed chance.

Fine full length diving block to foil Clarke in the 42nd minute. But only lasted 10 minutes on the resumption, after taking a blow to his right knee prior to the interval.

Grant Hanley (C)             5

Not close enough to Ba initially, or then when he backed off, before finally engaging only for the striker's match-winning shot to go through his legs. Allowed Danny Batth a free header in the 19th minute, just by the home penalty spot.

Key interception to halt a Sunderland counter in the 40th minute, but too much on his clip forward and Patterson raced out to clear. Weak header from a Sara free kick. Got an important touch to divert Clarke’s goalbound shot wide of the far post.

Ben Gibson             5

Not close enough to Gelhardt when the ball got shifted infield from Patrick Roberts, which allowed the Sunderland attacker time to turn and roll in Ba for the decisive Sunderland goal.

Typified City’s scrambled thinking in that opening quarter when his intended pass towards Grant Hanley deep inside his own penalty area dribbled over the byline to concede a corner.

Dimi Giannoulis     6

Shepherded Roberts inside, but would have expected more from both City centre backs as the move unfolded that led to Ba’s goal. Used his pace to hold up Clarke after Max Aarons coughed up cheap possession.

Cushioned Kenny McLean’s raking ball but then volleyed aimlessly into the area. Linked with Josh Sargent to pick out Pukki, who volleyed tamely at Patterson. Showed again for McLean but no takers for a couple of outswinging crosses.

Kenny McLean       6

Some pinpoint long range passing. Tremendous accuracy in balls arrowed towards Onel Hernandez and Dimi Giannoulis. But also some cheap turnovers. Robbed by Ba but managed to retrieve his error five minutes before the interval.

Tried his luck from distance in the 33rd minute from Marcelino Nunez’s pivot and shift but Patterson claimed at the second attempt. Out sharply to block Dan Neil’s shot.  

• Gabby Sara         6

Measured by his Millwall display this was a pale imitation. Not able to establish any control of that central midfield area, alongside McLean in the early carnage. Couple of probing free kicks. A 12th minute effort was flicked on by Pukki but cleared the bar. Then picked out Hanley in the second half.

Superb diagonal released Aarons to control and test Patterson at his near post. Clever link up with Pukki to fashion a close range chance for Nunez.

Loose square pass, intended for Hanley, ended with Clarke slapping a shot wide. Two strikes on either foot within seconds were both blocked in the closing stages.

Adam Idah  4

Ineffective and replaced at the interval. Hold up play was imprecise.

Marcelino Nunez    5

Came into it more after Sunderland surge subsided, but still lacking the influence you would want from the Chilean in a key creative role. Right footed finish straight at Patterson from Sara and Pukki's set.

Returned the favour for Sara in the 33rd minute. Couple of free kicks in the second half flicked the wall and dropped the wrong side of Patterson’s near post.

Onel Hernandez   5

Another, like Aarons, who made way through injury. In his case due to a twisted ankle. Signs of that defensive work Wagner is now demanding in how he helped Giannoulis deal with Roberts in the initial sparring.

Ran one ball out of play over the byline but did better to find Sara with a cutback in the 41st minute, only for the Brazilian’s heavy first touch to spurn the shooting chance.

­­• Teemu Pukki            6

Glanced a first half header over from Sara’s inswinging free kick. Same outcome after the break from Jacob Sorensen’s delivery. Good movement to show for Sara to create a chance for Nunez. Clearest sighter in the second half, but a weak volley from Giannoulis’ cross at the keeper.


Josh Sargent (for Idah, 45)          5

Upped the intensity immediately when he pressured Batth and then closed down Patterson to get a foot to his intended clearance, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Slaloming run across the box, and then invited Giannoulis forward to pick out Pukki for his volley. Held his station on the edge of the area in the 76th minute, where he was found by Christos Tzolis, but two were out quickly to block.

Marquinhos (for Hernandez, 56)          4

Jacob Sorensen (for Aarons, 56)          4

Deployed at right back. Got himself in a tangle in the 58th minute, as Gelhardt recycled the ball to the vacant full back slot for Clarke to shoot. Picked out Pukki with a cross the Finn headed wide. Took exception to Luke O’Nien’s clear head movement towards the Dane’s face. That ended in a lecture from the referee for both parties.

Christos Tzolis (for Nunez, 73)          4