Buidling Dreams Together


Middlesbrough 3-1 Norwich – Sainz sent off, Welch debut, and a dismal performance at Riverside

A disappointing collapse from Norwich after Spanish winger Borja Sainz was sent off for violent conduct sees the Canaries drop points against struggling side Middlesbrough away from home.

This is the first time since the start of 2024 that the Boro have secured three points at Riverside, with Marcus Forss, Emmannuel Latte Lath and Lukas Engal all scoring against a 10-man Norwich, who opened the scoring via Ashley Barnes.

The result leaves Norwich two points off that elusive sixth spot in the table, and a chance for glory via the play-offs. The only consolation from tonight is QPR managing to secure a late draw at home against West Bromwich Albion.

Former Norwich man Jonny Howson’s reaction to Sainz’s moment of chaos was enough to convince referee Robert Madley to send Sainz off in the 30th minute.

Norwich City’s Borja Sainz being shown a red card after a challenge against Middlesbrough’s Jonny Howson (Image via: Rex Features)
Match Recap:

Norwich started the game off strongly, with the Canaries dominating the opening 30 minutes of football leading up to Sainz’s sending off, with David Wagner’s side recording five shots overall, with two on target, compared to Middlesbrough not recording a single shot in the opening 30 minutes. Norwich dominated possession of the ball, recording 65.8% possession.

After Jonny Howson, 35-year-old midfielder for Middlesbrough, put in a reckless challenge on Sainz, the youngster lost his head and lashed out, striking Howson with an outstretched boot on his upper thigh. Howson’s reaction to the contact was enough to see Sainz sent for an early shower on the 30-minute mark. There is speculation as to whether the red card will stand or if an appeal from Norwich will be successful.

The Canaries began to collapse after that, with the following 60 minutes of football seeing Middlesbrough capitalise on the one-man advantage. The Boro saw 15 shots overall, compared to Norwich’s one, whilst also having 77.1% possession. The Canaries’ defence was completely overwhelmed, and going in at half-time, manager Wagner opted to bring on 24-year-old Chilean midfielder Marcelino Núñez in place of Swiss winger Christian Fassnacht.

The switch did not halt the Middlesbrough offensive, and the third goal from Engel saw the Boro put the game firmly in their hands, and the hope of three points in Norwich’s play-off push fading away.

Next Fixtures:

The hosts will be travelling to London on Saturday, 9th March to take on Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road, who are currently in a good patch of form, with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in their last five games (one of these wins being a 2-1 away to Leicester City)

The Canaries will be at home to relegation favourites Rotherham United, a side who have not won away from home this season so far. David Wagner’s side will have to bounce back quickly from Tuesday’s result to keep their play-off hopes alive.