Football

Wolves torment Norwich as Rajiv Van La Parra and Bakary Sako shine

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Kenny Jackett's resurgent Wolverhampton Wanderers cruised towards a 1-0 victory against Norwich City in their Championship opener on Sunday, after Dave Edwards converted Rajiv Van La Parra's cross to seal all three points. 

Norwich have failed to win a competitive fixture under Neil Adams, and unfortunately for the Canaries boss that trend continued last weekend.

The last time Wolves lost, they were beaten 2-1 on the 18th March, 2014, by Crawley Town. Since then, they have failed to lose any of their last ten competitive league games.

On the other hand, Norwich have not won an away game since beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 on 7th December, 2013, in which absentees Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer scored.

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Old Gold back in business

Consequently, Wolves were beaming with confidence at the start of the game, whilst Norwich were content with a draw.

Wolves broke through the Norwich defence for the first time after just 23 seconds, as Bakary Sako skinned Steven Whittaker and crossed the ball into Edwards, who smashed his shot over the bar. 

Unfortunately for struggling Whittaker he was left in Sako's shadow for the remainder of the game. 

La Parra looks promising

On the other wing, Wolves' summer signing Rajiv Van La Parra taunted Martin Olsson from the onset. On his Molineux debut, the Dutchman decided he would test out his skill-set against Olsson.

Unfortunately for Norwich, the majority of the first-half consisted of Van La Parra crossing the ball into their penalty area without effective resistance.

Unsurprisingly, the Swedish left-back attempted to intimidate Van La Parra by tackling him from behind in the 27th minute. In turn, referee Simon Hooper awarded the first yellow-card of the game to the frustrated Swede.

Norwich struggle to make mark

In the 60th minute, Van La Parra tore past Olsson and was dragged down on the edge of the penalty area. Deservedly, the Swede was sent-off, and protested his innocence by pushing the referee and kicking his water-bottle.

Four minutes later, Van La Parra pushed past Olsson's replacement Javier Garrido and whipped the ball into Dave Edwards, who smashed his header past John Ruddy to give Wolves the 1-0 lead.

Wolves should have killed the game in the 79th minute, as Nouha Dicko broke through the Norwich defence and squared the ball to Sako who was denied by Ruddy.

Reality check

Ultimately, the Canaries missed the creative flair of Robert Snodgrass, who was sold to Hull City for £7 million, the power of Fer, and the clinical finishing of Hooper.

Norwich managed to register just one shot on target all day, despite having 12 shots at Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.

To conclude, Sako and Van La Parra are a wing-duo capable of creating problems for any team in the Championship this season. With the addition of Dicko's pace, Wolves are guaranteed to continually frustrate wing-backs across the division.

Fixtures come thick and fast

Next, Norwich host Watford at Carrow Road, after the Hornets destroyed Bolton Wanderers 3-0 at home.

Wolves meanwhile travel away to Rotherham United, in a fixture which produced an aggregate score of 9-7 to Wolves last season, following their last two previous meetings in League One.

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Topics:
Norwich City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
England Football
Football

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