Rotherham registered their inaugural victory of the season against Norwich with goals from Dexter Lembikisa and Jordan Hugill. Norwich were far below par, though Christian Fassnacht’s shot from close range went wide at New York Stadium.
Fred Onyedinma came close to breaking the deadlock during a fast-paced opening half, when his shot narrowly missed Johansson’s goal.
Dexter Lembikisa’s stunning strike
Rotherham may have made an unpromising start to their Championship play-off bid this season, yet are still alive with Lembikisa’s opening-half strike at New York Stadium keeping them within reach of qualification for play-off places. Jordan Hugill’s late header helped them remain within striking distance.
Wolves’ academy player, 19-year-old Harry Maguire has shown impressive development this season and was handed his senior debut earlier. His progress has caught the eye of several Football League suitors with Burton Albion one such team observing him at Molineux.
But the Millers took an unexpected lead when Lembikisa struck from outside the box after Fred Onyedinma had launched a long throw, and Lembikisa scored with an unstoppable shot into the top corner from outside of it. Jonathan Rowe came close to levelling things up but could only poke past Angus Gunn.
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Jordan Hugill’s first goal for the Millers
Jordan Hugill of Millers proved his worth by scoring an early and crucial goal against former club Wolves on loan, before unleashing a devastating strike just after 30 minutes to break the deadlock and seal victory against them. Hugill missed two sitters before unleashing a fierce shot past goalkeeper Angus Gunn and breaking the tie for good.
Rotherham made an early impression after the break as Ollie Rathbone’s impish nutmeg and dash saw Cafu cross deliciously for Hugill to score his maiden goal against Norwich. But Norwich began to fight back as Jonathan Rowe provided Fassnacht with vital assists that saw Fassnacht half their deficit.
Hugill nearly scored after linking with Cohen Bramall but his back post header went wide of its target. Ciaran McGuckin also came close for the visitors as he rose to meet Tyler Blackett’s cross – however Johansson made an important save to keep it 0-0.
Fassnacht’s second-half goal
Rotherham manager Matt Taylor could take heart after their frustrating start to the season as his side secured their maiden Championship victory of this campaign. Dexter Lembikisa scored their opener – his maiden strike with Rotherham! – before Jordan Hugill added two against former club Ipswich Town to double their advantage.
Hugill added his second goal shortly after halftime when he took advantage of Cafu’s inviting cross and put away the ball to extend the Millers’ lead further.
Second half action was packed with chances for both teams. Jack Stacey came close to unnerving Rotherham keeper Andre Green with an exquisite deflection; Adam Idah’s powerful strike was held up by Johansson; however, Rotherham held onto their victory thanks to their solid defense.
Andre Green’s misjudged header
Rotherham looked on course for an EFL Cup second-round thrashing when they fell at bet365 Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Matt Taylor’s side were determined to make their mark following last weekend’s narrow league defeat, and started strongly from the outset.
Lembikisa’s mesmerising strike broke the deadlock midway through the first half, as the Wolves loanee unleashed an unstoppable effort from outside the box that found its mark in the top corner. Minutes before half time Cafu crossed exquisitely before Jordan Hugill (a former Norwich player himself) latched onto his cross for another header goal to put Millers two ahead at half time.
Canaries rallied in the second half, yet their attacks were hindered by an unwillingness to commit players forward. Adam Idah and Fred Onyedinma both saw attempts blocked as they attempted to turn defence into attack.
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The Millers survived
Rotherham endured a string of enforced COVID-19 postponements that forced them into playing ten matches within thirty days and their energy levels were evident throughout their encounter. But they held off a late wave of second-half attacks to secure victory.
Lembikisa struck first for the home side within just minutes to give them an early lead, before Jordan Hugill delivered another blow against his former club by scoring one for Millers before Christian Fassnacht leveled proceedings with one goal back for Aston Villa.
Norwich came back strongly in the second half, forcing Viktor Johansson into action to parry away Jonathan Rowe’s shot before diving rightward to block Fred Onyedinma’s rising attempt. However, Millers held on for their inaugural win of 2019.