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Watch: Michael McGovern hailed for 'world class save' as Norwich keeper caps run in the team with a clean sheet

 

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Michael McGovern has been starring for Norwich as he deputises for the injured Tim Krul.

Michael McGovern has been starring for Norwich as he deputises for the injured Tim Krul.

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Michael McGovern has been starring for Norwich as he deputises for the injured Tim Krul.

Michael McGovern has been hailed after keeping his first Norwich clean sheet for over three years in Saturday's 2-0 win over Cardiff City.

The 36-year-old was starting his seventh game in a row as he enjoys his first regular run of club action since the 16/17 season.

He came up trumps with a top drawer right-handed save in the first half to deny Sean Morrison and prevent an equaliser after Emi Buendia's opener.

Todd Cantwell would seal the victory in the second half to send Norwich six points clear at the top of the Championship table ahead of Bournemouth's trip to Luton Town.

Watch McGovern's save 30 seconds in to the match highlights here:

Fans on social media were once again quick to praise the keeper who has long been kept out of the starting side by the currently injured Tim Krul.

"Bit of deja vu because I tweeted the same last week but that first half save from McGovern was absolutely crucial. I am so pleased for him," said Mike Ward.

Connor Southwell added: "Michael McGovern has just produced his third world-class save in as many matches. That may be the pick of the bunch. Unbelievable reflexes to get to Morrison's header."

In the midweek win over Reading, he pulled off a top drawer stop to deny Michael Olise's free-kick, with Norwich fan media comparing him to Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon.

That was all just a few days after he had been hailed by boss Daniel Farke for his part in the 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.

“Overall. He was fantastic,” said Farke. “Yes, maybe in the first games there was some rusty scenes. That is to be expected. But I wouldn’t say mistakes. He was crucial in the last games. He was excellent in the last two matches.

"The save at 0-0 at Blackburn from the corner, you have to label that as a world class save. It was also a crucial period in the game not to go behind in this moment. 

“We can always trust Micky and it is good that he is now in his rhythm and his confidence has grown from game to game."

The win over Cardiff was the Canaries' fifth success in a row and was thoroughly deserved victory for the hosts, whose win broke a sequence of hard-fought 2-1 successes and would have been even more emphatic had they taken more of the plentiful chances that came their way during a one-sided clash.

The leaders gradually got into their stride after a slow start and top scorer Teemu Pukki almost opened the scoring midway through the first half, steering his shot just wide of the far post after being slid in by the recalled Cantwell.

At the other end, McGovern did well to grab a powerful header from Sean Morrison on the line, but Norwich were looking the stronger side and deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes through a superb strike from the in-form Buendia.

The Argentine was picked out by Kenny Mclean just inside the Cardiff half and raced to the edge of the box before unleashing a low shot into the bottom corner to make it five goals in seven games.

Cardiff, who were giving a decent account of themselves, almost got back on level terms just before the break when Morrison got his head on a Harry Wilson cross but McGovern proved again what an able deputy he is for the injured Tim Krul by pulling off a brilliant reaction save.

Norwich also went close moments later when a goalbound strike from Cantwell was deflected wide by defender Curtis Nelson.

Pukki had a pair of glorious chances to stretch Norwich's lead early in the second period but was unable to take either of them. After latching onto an under hit backpass, his chip over the advancing Alex Smithies was just wide of the target and then a poor touch let him down after he had been put clean through by Cantwell.

Another opportunity went begging on the hour mark when a slick four-man move gave Mario Vrancic a clear sight of goal but the Bosnian's low shot was wide of the target, while Smithies then did well to tip a Buendia effort around the post as the Canaries continued to dominate.

Cardiff's only threat came from the occasional set piece and Vrancic wasted another chance to wrap it up when he fired just wide after working himself some space on the right of the area.

The writing was on the wall for the visitors and an overdue second Norwich goal finally arrived in the 70th minute. Buendia picked out Cantwell 30 yards out and the young midfielder used the space he was afforded to good effect by striding forward and curling an unstoppable strike past the exposed Smithies.

Buendia might have grabbed his second on 80 minutes after latching onto a loose ball in the box but screwed his shot just wide while Morrison was narrowly off target with a header in the closing minutes as Cardiff searched in vain for a consolation.

Belfast Telegraph


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