Here is Paddy’s verdict on David Wagner’s Norwich City, who ground out a third consecutive Carrow Road home win at Stoke’s expense.

• Angus Gunn              7

Second Championship shut out of the season. For all Stoke’s sporadic pressure in that final 10 or 15 minute spell only time he was pressed into action was in the 85th minute when he smothered Wouter Burger’s chip as the angle narrowed outside his six yard box. Josh Laurent’s screamer earlier cleared his bar from outside the area.

Indebted to the likes of Jack Stacey and Kenny McLean, at the end, to deny Stoke clear shooting chances. Confidently claimed Bae’s floating cross under pressure after half-time.

• Jack Stacey                8

Took his match-winning goal with the composure of a seasoned striker. Quickest to anticipate the spiralling flight of Jon Rowe’s header, which brushed Mehdi Leris and dropped for him to slot at the near post on the stretch.

Attacking outlet all that first half in tandem with Christian Fassnacht. Teasing cross in the 18th minute fell between Ashley Barnes and Adam Idah. Advanced again for a big Idah chance 16 yards out, when he showed for McLean’s raking diagonal ball before Shane Duffy rolled it into his compatriot’s path.

Still bombing on in the second half. One deep cross sliced on the volley by Onel Hernadez at the back post. Excellent lunging block to distract Sead Haksabanovic at close range.

• Shane Duffy              7

Along with Ben Gibson had one or two uncomfortable first half moments when dragged deeper into midfield, and in getting to grips with the powerful Wesley.

One occasion midway through the opening period ended with penalty appeals for Gibson’s close attentions on the striker. Fine block later in the opening half to thwart Lyndon Gooch.

Then had to get the timing spot on with his outstretched leg to foil Bae from Rowe’s heavy initial touch that sparked a Stoke turnover. Cushioned an inviting ball for Idah to drill at Mark Travers.

Misjudged a cross in the final seconds of the game, but Przemyslaw Placheta was behind him to divert the cross into Angus Gunn’s path.

• Ben Gibson                7

Must have been concerned when Wesley tumbled in the 24th minute at the far post, with Gibson all over the striker. Then a weak pass aimed at his forward players triggered a rapid turnover, but Shane Duffy blocked Gooch’s effort.

Sparked the switch of play for Idah’s big chance. Quick to spot Fassnacht’s run for the best home opening of the second half, when the Swiss’ rising hit brushed the side netting.

Key near post header to deal with Haksabanovic’s inswinging corner in Stoke’s probing late spell.

• Dimi Giannoulis      7

Must love playing in a system that suits his natural attacking instincts. Particularly in tandem with Rowe.

Diagonal pass for Fassnacht, who showed plenty of athleticism to pluck the cross out of the sky and volley at Travers on his opposite foot. Then the Greek re-directed Gabby Sara’s raking ball agonisingly just in front of the lunging Barnes, seven yards out.

Helped the ball on to Rowe for a snapshot at Travers three minutes from half-time, after the full back was unable to get his own shot away.

Cut back for Idah, who rifled over in the 57th minute. Did depart shortly after for Placheta, with what Wagner flagged as a quad issue.  

• Kenny McLean (C)          8

New contract in his back pocket and surely playing the most consistent football of his Norwich career in leading this side to five wins from his opening seven games.

Linked with Rowe four minutes in for Sara to unleash a swinging shot wide. His radar slightly awry from a quick Duffy free kick with a long pass that evade Fassnacht.

Another raking diagonal was perfect for Stacey, and then Duffy, to tee up Idah. Fully-committed to thunder into a tackle on Daniel Johnson in the 74th that appeared to earn him a painful whack just above the ankle.

Catalogue of nicks, blocks and interventions, notably the move to distract Dwight Gayle as he looked to pounce from seven yards in what proved the final moment of alarm for the hosts.

• Gabby Sara                7

Could have notched within five minutes when he unleashed a swerving shot from 25 yards that appeared to have Travers beaten. Span out of a tight spot in the 12th minute but too much weight on the intended pass for Fassnacht.

Pinpoint long range pass for Giannoulis to almost pick out Barnes. Drifting free kick down the throat of Travers.

Darted into the penalty area in the 34th minute before linking with Rowe to get a shot away. On Fassnacht’s wavelength minutes later, with a spot of neat interplay that ended with the Brazilian carving a cross with the outside of his right that Rowe miscued.

• Christian Fassnacht          9

Wagner labelled it the Swiss international’s best display in a Norwich shirt. Prominent throughout and fitting it was his cross on the right that was eventually swept home by Stacey. Especially as the duo were a constant threat down the Norwich right in that first half.

Excellent feet to pluck Giannoulis’ cross to swivel and hit on his left at Travers from the edge of the area.

Set Stacey free in the sixth minute on the overlap but the full back’s cross looped over for a corner. Game intelligence evident in the 14th minute when Sara was sloppy in possession but Fassnacht raced back to halt Bae. Another superbly timed tackle left Gooch in a heap.

Then found by Idah before clipping a probing near post cross Michael Rose was fortunate to divert the right side of his keeper's left-hand post. Exchanged passes with Sara for a Rowe chance, and looked for the youngster again in the 44th minute in the match-winning move.

Judged the flight of Gibson’s clip better than Gooch for City’s clearest second half sighter but lifted his angled shot into the side netting.

Did blot his copybook with a booking for a scissors challenge on Haksabanovic.

• Ashley Barnes          6

Another half a yard and he had a routine tap in from Giannoulis’ teasing cross at close range. Little else in the way of sights on goal. Flick for Fassnacht to find Stacey but his cross was cut out.

Heavy ball around the corner, intended to spark another counter from the full back, put the ball out of play. Pinned by Ben Wilmot inside his own box for a glorious chance for Tyrese Campbell to equalise the Stoke man screwed wide shortly after Stacey's match-winner.  

• Jon Rowe                7

Prominent in a series of bright first half flashes but no end product on this occasion. Faced up four Stoke players in the 16th minute but was halted by Burger. Later tripped by Leris as he threatened to lead another breakout. Quick feet when found by Sara saw him back heel himself into a shooting chance, but the effort was blocked.

Took a swipe at another Sara centre 16 yards out. Picked it up again just outside the Stoke area and went for the return, after popping passes with Idah and Barnes, only for the Potters’ defenders to converge.

Snapshot at Travers when Giannoulis was unable to get a bouncing ball under control. Attacked Fassnacht’s cross but when his flick hit Leris, Stacey was on hand to finish.

• Adam Idah                 6

Had the type of chances, albeit small in number, to add to his growing tally this season. Tamely sidefooted at Travers when picked out by Duffy. Then skied over in the 57th minute at the edge of the penalty box from Giannoulis’ set.

Couple of times he pivoted away from markers to free overlapping wide players down both flanks; notably when Fassnacht’s near post cross required Rose to take evasive action.


• Hwang Ui-Jo (for Idah, 60)              6

Wagner perhaps did not want to the South Korean cutting back into the area in the final seconds to fire at Travers to launch one last attempt to equalise.

• Przemyslaw Placheta (for Giannoulis, 60)          7

Emergency defensive shift when Giannoulis departed. Positioning was spot on in the 94th minute, when he managed to recover Duffy’s misjudgement on the flight of a cross to divert it back to Gunn. But going the other way was vibrant.

Three forays into the final third within eight minutes of his arrival, the best when he squared up Leris and whipped in an enticing cross at the near post that had no takers.

• Onel Hernandez (for Rowe, 71)          6

Sliced his attempted volley into the stands from Stacey’s deep cross a minute after his arrival. Pressed from the front and forced a pressure-relieving corner in stoppage time.

• Tony Springett (for Fassnacht, 82)            n/a

• Liam Gibbs (for Barnes, 82)           n/a