Klose snatches point for Norwich at Brentford

Timm Klose’s equaliser seven minutes from time pulled Norwich to within two points of leaders Leeds in a feisty 1-1 draw with Brentford.

The point stretched Norwich’s unbeaten away run to 11 games but Daniel Farke’s side missed the chance to fully capitalise on Leeds’ defeat at Nottingham Forest and have won just one of their last five league matches.

Klose’s near post header took a slight deflection to slip through Bees keeper Daniel Bentley’s hands and cancel out Julian Jeanvier’s first-half opener.

The Brentford centre back broke the deadlock midway through the first half when he headed home Said Benrahma’s whipped corner at the near post.

But there were chances at both ends in an enthralling clash, which was dominated by a string of decisions from referee Gavin Ward that incensed both sides’ fans.

Mario Vrancic was first to get a glimpse of goal for the visitors when he side-footed an effort just wide from close range after Onel Hernandez capitalised on a loose Jeanvier pass.

It was end-to-end stuff and Bees top scorer Neal Maupay got a sighter on goal after 18 minutes at the end of a slick three-man move, but his dipping drive skidded past the upright.

Canaries’ own leading scorer Teemu Pukki saw a penalty appeal waved away when Frenchman Jeanvier was too strong for him in a race for the ball in the box.

Brentford were on the front foot and forced City into a string of last-ditch tackles, which tested referee Ward’s leniency.

Centre back Yoann Barbet’s long mazy run saw him skip past three City challenges before he was cynically scythed down on the edge of the box, with the free kick coming to nothing.

But two minutes later the Bees high-tempo start reaped rewards and Jeanvier, whose return to the side has coincided with an upturn in form, powered home with his head.

After the break, Brentford kept pressing and the turning point came on 55 minutes when Tim Krul pulled off a breathtaking reflex save to deny Maupay from close range.

That gave the visitors confidence to press for the equaliser, but the Brentford defence – marshalled brilliantly by Jeanvier – restricted City to just one worthwhile effort when sub Alex Tettey forced a save from Bentley at the near post.

Vrancic thought he had levelled on 73 minutes when his dipping free kick skidded to safety off the outside of the post.

Klose’s goal gave Norwich impetus, but both sides had great chances to take maximum points as the clock ticked down.

Maupay cut in from the right and forced another superb save from Krul while sub Dennis Srbeny should have found the target deep into injury time from Pukki’s cut back.

In the end, it was Brentford who will probably feel the more aggrieved at the result after dominating for long spells.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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