Championship
Rotherham1Norwich2

Rotherham United 1-2 Norwich City: Kenny McLean & Ben Godfrey score for Canaries

Ben Godfrey scores for Norwich
Ben Godfrey headed home the winner under pressure for Norwich

Norwich City extended their gap at the top of the Championship to four points with a hard-fought victory at relegation-threatened Rotherham United.

The hosts impressed in the first half but fell behind when Kenny McLean hooked beyond onrushing Millers keeper Marek Rodak after a well-timed run.

Defender-turned-midfielder Semi Ajayi levelled for Rotherham, turning on the edge of the box and finding the bottom corner for his sixth goal in five games.

But Scotland midfielder McLean turned provider to seal it for Norwich, his corner headed back across goal and in by centre-back Ben Godfrey.

A sixth win in a row moves Daniel Farke's side five points clear of third-placed Leeds United, who were beaten by fellow title contenders Sheffield United earlier on Saturday.

Jerry Yates came closest to a second equaliser for the Yorkshire side but poked wide with his first touch after coming on, meaning Paul Warne's men stay 22nd and are now a point from safety despite only a second defeat in nine.

In-form Norwich playmaker Emi Buendia had an effort cleared off the line as the visitors pushed for a third, but in the end they were content to see out the result.

While the Canaries were unchanged for a sixth game running, Rotherham were without suspended pair Joe Mattock and Will Vaulks, as well as Ryan Williams - who withdrew after his girlfriend went into labour - leaving the Millers with six substitutes.

However, the home side gave as good as they got in the first half, Michael Smith heading their best chance off target, while Ajayi's purple patch in front of goal will give them hope in the run-in.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne:

"I thought the lads were excellent. If Norwich have their best day and we have our best day, we're always going to struggle because they are a formidable side.​

​"With eight games to go, if we can keep that level of performance up, we can have a great end to the season.​

​"Going a goal down before half-time, when we played well, was a bit of a hammer blow.​ It was disappointing to concede a set-piece. We should mark better than that, it's inexcusable. Overall the lads were virtually blemish-free."

Norwich head coach Daniel Farke:

"Tough games will still come and in the Championship the momentum can change quickly. ​

​​"We are handling spicy games and when we are in the spotlight. We have overachieved in the eyes of so many people so far. It's a good position to be in.​

​​​"We know we are in a brilliant position. It was important to protect our gap to West Brom and Middlesbrough. It's not already done but we have a big chance in the fight for automatic promotion.​"​

Line-ups

Rotherham

  • 1Rodák
  • 2Vyner
  • 20IhiekweBooked at 17mins
  • 6WoodSubstituted forYatesat 83'minutes
  • 28JonesBooked at 29mins
  • 5Ajayi
  • 7FordeSubstituted forTaylorat 62'minutes
  • 25Wiles
  • 17CrooksSubstituted forTowellat 62'minutes
  • 22Newell
  • 24Smith

Substitutes

  • 8Palmer
  • 11Taylor
  • 12Price
  • 13Towell
  • 21Yates
  • 32Kayode

Norwich

  • 1Krul
  • 37AaronsBooked at 88mins
  • 6Zimmermann
  • 4Godfrey
  • 12Lewis
  • 19Trybull
  • 23McLean
  • 17BuendíaSubstituted forVrancicat 90+2'minutes
  • 18StiepermannBooked at 64mins
  • 25HernándezSubstituted forKloseat 90+1'minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forRhodesat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Vrancic
  • 10Leitner
  • 11Rhodes
  • 15Klose
  • 31Hanley
  • 33McGovern
  • 36Cantwell
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
11,026

Match Stats

Home TeamRotherhamAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home13
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Rotherham United 1, Norwich City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rotherham United 1, Norwich City 2.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Jon Taylor.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Timm Klose.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Mario Vrancic replaces Emiliano Buendía.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Timm Klose replaces Onel Hernández.

Attempt missed. Tom Trybull (Norwich City) right footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía with a cross following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Jordan Rhodes replaces Teemu Pukki.

Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United).

Booking

Maximillian Aarons (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City).

Jerry Yates (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Teemu Pukki.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Jerry Yates replaces Richard Wood.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Norwich City).

Ben Wiles (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Christoph Zimmermann (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Newell (Rotherham United).

Attempt saved. Onel Hernández (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía.

Foul by Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City).

Billy Jones (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marco Stiepermann.

Attempt missed. Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Onel Hernández.

Attempt missed. Ben Wiles (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Michael Smith.

Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Michael Smith (Rotherham United).

Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Zak Vyner.

Kenny McLean (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Michael Smith (Rotherham United).

Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Billy Jones (Rotherham United).

Attempt blocked. Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Newell with a cross.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Maximillian Aarons.

Offside, Rotherham United. Ben Wiles tries a through ball, but Richard Wood is caught offside.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Christoph Zimmermann.

Booking

Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City).

Joe Newell (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich38239677482978
2Sheff Utd38228864343074
3Leeds38227963392473
4West Brom381910972482467
5Middlesbrough37151394031958
6Aston Villa381415968541457
7Preston381512115850857
8Derby371511114644256
9Bristol City361510114538755
10Sheff Wed381413114851-355
11Nottm Forest381315105244854
12Hull38149155456-251
13Birmingham381214125349450
14Brentford3713101460501049
15Swansea36138154546-147
16Stoke381017113742-547
17Blackburn381211155260-847
18QPR38128184559-1444
19Wigan38109194157-1639
20Millwall37910184155-1437
21Reading38813174056-1637
22Rotherham38715164061-2136
23Bolton3878232663-3729
24Ipswich38315203062-3224
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