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Super Mario Vrancic leaves it late again as Norwich edge past Wycombe

Norwich City v Wycombe Wanderers – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Super-sub Mario Vrancic was the last-gasp hero for 10-man Norwich for the second game running as they beat Wycombe 2-1 at Carrow Road to make it three straight wins in the Championship.

Vrancic followed up his late winner against Birmingham in midweek by curling him a magnificent free-kick in the first minute of stoppage time as the visitors’ search for their first point since promotion continued.

The Canaries dominated the early stages, with Teemu Pukki opening the scoring after three minutes, but Wanderers quickly got back on level terms through Scott Kashket (12) and then proceeded to give an excellent account of themselves against a side who were playing at the highest level last season.

They defended heroically but couldn’t quite see it out and had no time to take advantage of a late red card for Norwich substitute Adam Idah.

It looked like it would be a long, hard afternoon for the visitors in the early stages, with Norwich quickly getting into their stride and taking the lead.

A familiar supply line saw Emi Buendia find Pukki through a gaping hole in the defence and with goalkeeper Ryan Allsop slipping, the Finland striker had no problem ramming home his second goal of the season.

Pukki really ought to have made it two minutes later but after being picked out again by Buendia, this time from the left, he fired inches wide.

At this stage the gulf in quality between the sides was all too evident but to their credit Wycombe held firm and grabbed a surprise leveller as they punished some poor Norwich defending.

When Joe Jacobsen’s long diagonal into the box was nodded on by David Wheeler it should have been dealt with by Grant Hanley but with the defender and goalkeeper Tim Krul both dithering, Kashket nipped in to prod the ball home.

The Chairboys then had a decent shout for a penalty turned down as Ben Gibson appeared to pull down Fred Onyedinma in the box while Kashket headed a deep cross into the side-netting.

Norwich were having the bulk of possession, and knocked the ball around crisply at times, but when Jordan Hugill headed a Xavi Quintilla corner just over on the half hour mark it was a rare moment of concern for Gareth Ainsworth’s side.

Indeed, it was Wycombe who continued to carve out the better chances and defender Anthony Stewart headed wastefully over after a corner had been nodded back into the danger area by Josh Knight.

Todd Cantwell fired a low 20-yard shot just wide as the Canaries sought to regain the initiative after the interval while it needed a great block from Stewart to foil Lucas Rupp as the German let fly from close range.

Idah then stung Allsop’s palms from just inside the area as the pressure continued to build while at the other end Onyedinma sent a low shot just wide for the valiant visitors.

It was Norwich in control, however, and it needed good saves from Allsop to deny first Pukki and then Cantwell before Daryl Horgan scrambled Hanley’s header from a corner off the line.

There was late heartbreak for Wycombe when, with just minutes remaining, Vrancic was tripped by Onyedinma on the edge of the area.

For the second time in successive games, the Bosnian conjured up a late piece of magic to clinch the points, following up his low drive against Birmingham with a stunning curling free-kick to settle the issue.

There was still time for Idah to see red for hitting out at Jacobson but Norwich comfortably saw out the final moments.