Wolves' win streak to 2022 was finally over in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round. Norwich City came out victorious in a tight tie at Molineux. There was little goalmouth action.
Similar to their Premier League match a few months ago, Wolves failed to break down a stubborn Norwich defense. Despite Daniel Podence hitting the post in a second half where the hosts were more goal threat, Kenny McLean’s header in the first-half added extra time was enough to allow the Canaries to secure their spot in the fifth round.
Conor Coady led Wolves onto the Molineux pitch. He was met by a huge mosaic that spanned all of the Steve Bull Stand. It celebrated his 300 th appearance. The game's early stages were not a success. Neither team offered clear goals, and referee David Coote gave Grant Hanley a hard time for wasting 11 minutes.
Although Wolves controlled the game in front home fans, John Ruddy made a huge stop to prevent his team from falling behind. Rayan Ait-Nouri was caught out by a ball in the Wolves' defence. He played Adam Idah onside and the goalkeeper stretched himself wide to grab the ball.
Midway through the first half, Fabio Silva was slipped into behind the Norwich defense by strike partner Daniel Podence. However, Norwich had Ben Gibson to be thankful for as the defender was able block Silva's attempt to score for a corner.
The Wolves tried to play long-balls above the Norwich defense with Silva and Leander dendoncker racing to the end. But, unfortunately for Bruno Lage's men their efforts proved futile as the Canaries' backline easily absorbed the pressure.
It took a moment for the first half to come alive. Idah managed to move the ball onto his left foot and get past the Wolves defense, but Ruddy could not fire his shot. The black and gold shirts split up the pitch at the opposite end. Podence was brought down in the penalty box by Hanley. However, the referee did not move.
After one minute more of injury time in the first half, Norwich ended the match with the last kick. Maximilian Kilman was fouled on the sideline. McLean whipped in a free kick into the danger zone and McLean slid his looping header into Ruddy's far corner.
Wolves 0-1 Norwich
After the first half was played at a slow pace, the second period started brightly. Silva tip-toed into a penalty area and flicked the ball across goal. But there was no one else in black and gold making the run into box.
The game was swinging in one direction and another as Milot Rashica's shot went wide of the post. Ruddy almost got out when he made a poor touch. However, Idah was able to recover the ball and play calmly out the back.
Wolves then began to put pressure on the goal. The ball was out when Nelson Semedo crossed. Podence attempted to roll a goal-scoring effort, but it bounced off the post. Semedo had a second attempt, which put Michael McGovern to the test in the Norwich goal. Podence, however, found the ball at his feet within the area but was obstructed by green shirts.
Lage tried to maintain pressure on Norwich by bringing Raul Jamesenez off the bench. Toti was sacrificed in exchange for the Mexican striker. Silva was moved to the right-wing and almost paid off immediately as Neves ran through the Norwich midfield, playing Silva into space. However, McGovern was able to stop Silva's attempt at Jimenez.
While Wolves were pushing for an equalizer, Lage made a change and gave Chiquinho his debut. He was celebrating his 22 th birthday.
The hosts were able to continue attacking against a Norwich team that was happy to defend deep with back nine men. However, Wolves were unable to break down the green walls and were nearly caught out by a quick Norwich counter-attack. Kieran Dowell was played into space in the penalty area. But Ruddy got down to his left to pass the ball around the post.
Wolves did everything possible to score the goal that would tie the game. Ruddy was even sent forward to take a corner in the final stages. Despite Norwich finding many players in the referee’s notebook for their persistent time-wasting and trying to eat the remaining minutes, Norwich found several players in his notebook. The Canaries won the fifth round, and the Canaries were awarded their spot in the hat.
Wolves 0-1 Norwich
Wolves | Ruddy, Semedo, Kilman, Coady, Toti (Jimenez 64), Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Dendoncker (Chiquinho 74), Podence, Silva.
Sa, Hoever, Marcal, Cundle, Campbell.
McGovern, Byram, Gibson, Hanley, Williams, Placheta, Gilmour (Dowell 72), Lees-Melou, McLean (Normann 66), Rashica (Rowe 82), Idah (Pukki 66).
Gunn, Aarons, McCracken, Tzolis, Giannoulis.