Sheffield United came from behind to clinch a vital 2-1 win over Norwich City in the Premier League on Sunday.
Victory for Chris Wilder’s side takes the South Yorkshire club up to eighth in the table, while the Canaries remain 19th and four adrift safety.
It was an entertaining afternoon of football at Carrow Road, with Alexander Tettey opening the scoring, before second-half goals from End Stevens and George Baldock completed a defiant turnaround for the Blades.
With that considered, here are five key stats from this lively encounter.
Tettey bags his first PL goal since 2015/16
Not a renowned goalscorer, the Norwich City skipper came up with the goods today, bagging his first Premier League goal since January 2016. The 33-year-old defensive midfielder produced an excellent strike to break the deadlock and open the scoring for his side.
Alex Tettey has scored three Premier League goals at Carrow Road:
⚽️ vs. Sunderland
⚽️ vs. Southampton
⚽️ vs. Sheffield United
They've won the previous two. pic.twitter.com/sWkNktqAD6
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 8, 2019
As Norwich whipped in an out-swinging corner, Sheffield United were unable to clear their lines and the ball eventually found its way to Tettey, who manoeuvred his body exquisitely to unlead a thunderbolt of a left-footed strike – a true striker’s finish from an unlikely source.
It will come as no surprise to see Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson lead the charts for most direct contributions for full-backs in the league this season, but clinging to their coattails in that department is George Baldock.
The attack-minded wing-back bagged the winner this afternoon to take his direct contributions tally to five (two goals, three assists). The 26-year-old has proven a key component in Wilder’s well-oiled side, attacking the byline with flair and energy, while adding an element of aggression and bite as well.
It will also please Wilder that his other wing-back, Stevens, also got himself on the scoresheet.
Farke’s clean sheet woes stretch
Part of Norwich City’s demise this season has been down to their leaky backline, with Farke yet to see his side keep a clean sheet at home. That unwanted run has extended this afternoon after Sheff Utd breached Tim Krul’s net twice, meaning Norwich have gone eight games without a clean sheet at Carrow Road.
Mike Phelan currently holds the record for the longest run without a clean sheet in the Premier League from his first home match in charge (10), which came during his stint as the Hull City manager in 2016/17 – can Farke avoid equalling that record? Their next two home matches are Wolves and Spurs.
Sheff Utd remain unbeaten on the road
Sheff Utd are still yet to taste defeat away from home in the Premier League this season, with Wilder’s side now eight games unbeaten. Granted, six of those eight matches ended in a stalemate, but it remains a remarkable feat nonetheless.
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That unbeaten run was certainly in jeopardy of ending at Carrow Road this afternoon, but whatever Wilder said in the dressing room at half-time worked a treat, as his side came out in the second-half and battled valiantly to clinch maximum reward.
Norwich’s woes at home get worse
Norwich have now conceded two or more goals at home in seven consecutive Premier League games, stretching back to Chelsea in August. The only game they haven’t seen more than one goal fly into the back of their net was the 3-1 win over Newcastle.
The last side to concede two or more goals at home in seven consecutive games was Wolves back in 2011/12 – their barren run extended to 11 games. Unsurprisingly they finished rock bottom that season.
Can Norwich find consistency to beat the drop?
If you watched the Canaries away to Everton last month, or Arsenal at Carrow Road just last week, then you’d never consider that Daniel Farke’s side are sitting perilously in the relegation zone, but that is exactly the predicament facing those in Norfolk this season.
The newly-promoted club have dazzled in parts across this campaign, notably triumphing over reigning champions Manchester City and putting in a valiant effort during their 3-2 reversal to Chelsea, but these performances have thus far proven one off spectacles rather than the norm.
And it is this lack of consistency that will ultimately come back to haunt Farke and the Yellows. If they are unable to find the requisite level of regularity in their performances then they will find themselves teetering on the brink of relegation in just a few month’s time.
Their stunning starlets – the likes of Jamal Lewis, Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell – have elevated their games and put in eye-catching performances at times this campaign, but it will now be up to Farke to have them firing on all cylinders week in week out, particularly as Norwich have a crucial and tricky run of fixtures this festive period.
14 December 2019: Leicester vs Norwich
21 December 2019: Norwich vs Wolves
26 December 2019: Aston Villa vs Norwich
28 December 2019: Norwich vs Spurs
01 January 2020: Norwich vs Crystal Palace