Playing at home, Norwich faced Middlesbrough on 3 February. A deserved win was a boost for Norwich’s outside hopes of pushing into the Championship play-offs, while denting the similar aspirations of the visiting side.
The Canaries made a bright start, and it took a superb block from Adam Clayton to keep out what looked like a goal-bound shot from James Maddison in the opening exchanges. But the hosts were unable to maintain the momentum and, apart from a couple of wayward shots at each end, there was little for the crowd to get excited about until the 28th minute, when the visitors were reduced to ten men.
‘Boro forward Rudy Gestede, who already had a yellow card to his name, inexplicably opted to fly into a routine challenge on the halfway line with Hanley going down after being caught by a flying boot. It was just a question of whether it was two yellows or a straight red, and referee Michael Jones chose the latter.
With Adama Traore pushed forward in a central role ahead of two blocks of four, the visitors coped reasonably comfortably until a minute before half-time, when Norwich finally made one of their long spells of possession count.
The ball was moved across the edge of the box to Trybull, who took aim and beat Darren Randolph’s despairing dive with a low drive into the bottom corner.
Norwich had a good chance to stretch their lead ten minutes after the break when Maddison was brought down just outside the box. Unsurprisingly, the same player picked himself up to take it, but while his clever low shot went under the wall it also went inches wide of the upright.
‘Boro were hardly getting a look in and manager Tony Pulis brought on former City midfielder Jonny Howson to a big ovation just after the hour mark in an attempt to liven things up.
Randolph twice kept the visitors in the game with good saves low down to his right to keep out stinging shots from Nelson Oliveira before gathering another shot, this time from outside the box, from Josh Murphy.
Ben Gibson finally got an effort on target for Boro nine minutes from time, but his tame header from a deep free-kick was easy for an underworked Angus Gunn as Norwich comfortably saw out the game.
The next game for Norwich is on 10 February when the Canaries travel to Derby County. It looks to be a tricky fixture for Farke’s side, with the Rams currently second in the Championship and coming off a 3-0 home win over Brentford.