The long list of casualties reeled out by Daniel Farke at his pre-match news conference was never going to win any prizes for the shock of the week.
Quite how deep he would have to plunge into the depths of City’s young talent was, perhaps, the deciding factor at Carrow Road.
Norwich started in full control. For the first 10 minutes, they enjoyed almost exclusive possession, gradually pushing Coventry deeper and deeper into their own half, culminating in a minute or so of play where City passed and probed, trying to tease a way through the packed ranks of the defence.
Ultimately, they were unable to even fashion a chance and Coventry struck back, in a foretaste of what was to come, the ball flying over McGovern’s crossbar. This seemed to spur City into life.
A through ball from Josh Martin put Marco Stiepermann through on the keeper but he couldn’t get a decisive touch on the ball.
Moments later City created more chances. The ball was cut back to Martin who sidefooted his shot at the keeper. Przemysław Placheta couldn’t quite make the best of the rebound.
Persistence paid off moments later though. A floated through-ball from Alex Tettey of all people, Placheta and the goalkeeper clashed and a penalty was the result. With no Teemu Pukki, it was Mario Vrancic who stepped up to slot home.
The half continued with Norwich in complete control, but Coventry looking dangerous on the break and putting some great crosses into Michael McGovern’s box, albeit creating few clear chances.
The second half began with Coventry looking far brighter and a succession of wicked crosses somehow failed to produce a decent goal effort. As the half progressed, they began to cause more and more problems.
Unlike Farke, Mark Robins felt able to use all five of his substitutions and ultimately this was what swung the match in their favour.
City’s players were visibly tiring while the fresh legs of Coventry injected energy and pace. Christoph Zimmermann replaced Martin in the now-familiar switch to three at the back, but as youngster Reece McAlear was ready to come on, a long cross-field ball found the gap behind the advanced Max Aarons.
Aarons chased back but his scything attempt to win the ball not only won him a yellow card but more worrying, saw him hobble off unable to bear weight on his left knee. Regardless, the cross came in.
Ben Gibson’s interception wrong-footed McGovern and a tap-in resulted in City falling victim to an 89th-minute equalizer for once.
Given the length of the injury list, a point, 10 games unbeaten and top of the league is something of a miracle.
Without the movement of Pukki and the guile and industry of Emi Buendia, City flattered to deceive somewhat and clearly tired as the game passed.
And McGovern? His distribution does not inspire confidence, and there was one heart-stopping juggle with the ball in the first half, but he also made a couple of half decent saves. He’s no Krul, but he’s no mug either.
The loss of Aarons though means that City’s already depleted resources will be tested once again as Farke looks to find 11 fit players for Wednesday night.