Barnsley failed to win their opening match of a calendar year for the third successive season but still remain three points off the Championship play-offs, despite dropping a place to ninth.
This match marked the half-way stage of the season (23 games) and the Reds have an identical record as they did at this stage of the 2016-2017 campaign with tens wins, four draws and nine defeats, however have scored 13 goals less than four seasons ago but have conceded six goals less.
The Reds are closer to the top six this time around than they were in 2016-2017, even though they are in the same position (9th) they are three points adrift of the top six compared with six points on Boxing Day 2016.
This is the first season Barnsley have conceded less than 30 league goals by halfway in the Championship since 2007-2008 when they had also conceded 29.
This was Barnsley’s ninth Championship defeat of the season, seven of which have come against current top half sides and five have been against the current top six.
A Barnsley match was goal-less at half time for the first time in eight outings.
Norwich’s winner arrived after 62 minutes, the latest Barnsley have conceded their first goal of a game in 10 outings since Ivan Toney netted the only goal for Brentford after 66 minutes in November.
Alex Mowatt was forced to miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19, ending a run of 62 consecutive Championship starts for the captain. He had actually appeared in 67 consecutive games for Barnsley in all competitions since missing a 0-0 draw at Wigan in August 2019 (66 starts plus one substitute appearance in the FA Cup at Portsmouth)
Each of Barnsley’s last three defeats have come without scoring (Norwich 0-1, Swansea, 0-2, Bournemouth 0-4) and indeed four of the last five. Since Ismael took charge the only defeat Barnsley have netted in was a 2-1 reverse at Blackburn with the Reds goal coming in the 90th minute.
Barnsley have gone 16 league games without a draw (all under Ismael) (W10 L6) - prior to this they had drawn four out of five.
It is their longest run without a stalemate since a run of 17 between November 2014 and March 2015 (W10 L7)
Barnsley have now gone 11 games without a clean sheet, their longest run in all competitions since a run of 18 between 15th September 2019 – 26th December 2019.
Barnsley have won only one of their last 16 meetings with Norwich (losing 11) with a 2-1 Oakwell success in December 2016 their solitary victory in this run which stretches back to 2000.
They are now winless in 19 visits to Carrow Road and have actually only ever won once there – in 1937.
Of the 19 visits in the 84 years since the Reds have lost 11 including seven of the last eight.
Barnsley have drawn a blank at Carrow Road in six of their last 11 visits.
Norwich had 67% ball possession, the most by a Barnsley opponent since Brentford in November (68%)
There were 19 shots in the game, the most in a Barnsley away game since Blackburn in November (30)
There has been eight shots on target in each of Barnsley’s last three matches.
Only 18 fouls were committed, the lowest since the aforementioned Brentford game (16)
1. Jack Walton
6. Mads Andersen
30. Michal Helik
26. Michael Sollbauer
4. Callum Styles
32. Matty James
8. Herbie Kane
7. Callum Brittain
28. Dominik Frieser
9. Cauley Woodrow
16. Luke Thomas
21. Romal Palmer (for James 63)
29. Victor Adeboyejo (for Frieser 63)
19. Patrick Schmidt (for Thomas 75)
22. Clarke Oduor, 31. Henry Kendrick, 18. Isaac Christie-Davies, 34. Jasper Moon.
1. Tim Krul
2. Max Aarons
5. Grant Hanley
34. Ben Gibson
19. Jacob Lungi Sorensen
20. Oliver Skipp
23. Kenny McLean
17. Emiliano Buendia
8. Mario Vrancic
14. Todd Cantwell
22. Teemu Pukki
10. Kieran Dowell (for Vrancic 77)
27. Alex Tettey (for Buendia 87)
11. Przemyslaw Placheta (for Cantwell 90+2)
9. Jordan Hugill (for Pukki 90+2)
6. Christoph Zimmermann, 50. Daniel Barden, 24. Josh Martin, 53. Tyrese Omotoye, 16. Xavi Quintilla.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke said:
"We wanted to set a sign today because the momentum in this league can change so quickly, and two games without a win perhaps someone could have thought 'Norwich is a bit nervous, let's see how they can handle a team that's in red-hot form'.
"We dominated this game - no team have been able to bypass Barnsley like we did, dominate this game completely and win the game with a clean sheet.
"The only thing was we could have won with a more impressive result because we missed, against a really good side, so many chances, and 4-0 or 5-0 would be even more impressive but I'll take the three points."
Sky Bet Championship results
FRIDAY 1ST JANUARY 2021
Sheffield Wednesday (21st) 1-0 Derby County (22nd)
SATURDAY 2ND JANUARY 2021
Birmingham City (18th) 0-2 Blackburn Rovers (11th)
Brentford (4th) P-P Bristol City (10th)
Huddersfield Town (13th) 1-2 Reading (5th)
Lucas Joao 52
Lucas Joao 65
Luton Town (14th) P-P Queens Park Rangers (20th)
Millwall (17th) 1-2 Coventry City (16th)
Cooper og 20
Wallace pen 74
Norwich City (1st) 1-0 BARNSLEY (9th)
Preston North End (12th) 0-1 Nottingham Forest (19th)
Grabban pen 70
Rotherham United (23rd) P-P Cardiff City (15th)
Swansea City (2nd) 2-1 Watford (6th)
Wycombe Wanderers (24th) 1-3 Middlesbrough (7th)
Stoke City (8th) 0-1 AFC Bournemouth (3rd)
Barnsley lie in 9th place in the Sky Bet Championship with 34 points from 23 games. We are 3 points off the Play-Offs, 9 points off the Automatic Promotion Places, 13 points off First Place and 15 points above the Relegation Zone.
Up to 3/1/21
FA Cup Third Round: Barnsley v Tranmere Rovers, Sunday 10th January 2021. Kick-Off: 1:30pm
On The Road:
Sky Bet Championship Matchday Twenty Five: Watford v Barnsley, Tuesday 19th January 2021. Kick-Off: 7:45pm