Connor Southwell: What took place on Saturday will live forever

PUBLISHED: 17:45 15 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:43 15 September 2019

Sam Byram, second from left, celebrates after Teemu Pukki's goal against Manchester City 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Sam Byram, second from left, celebrates after Teemu Pukki's goal against Manchester City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Canaries Correspondent Connor Southwell reflects on an unforgettable night at Carrow Road as Norwich City defied the odds to conquer English champions Manchester City.

Football has a habit of throwing up a situation that defies all logic.

On Saturday evening, every script was thrown out the window in dramatic fashion. It was ectacsy that flowed through Carrow Road's veins as the clock ticked away, every passing moment felt like an eternity.

In the stands stood supporters who arrived hoping to witness anything other than a mauling. Expectation was non-existent, this served as a true test of what it means to commit to a football club.

The terraces were occupied by a nervous energy. A fear for what was to come.

Tim Krul of Norwich celebrates victory at the end of thematch at Carrow Road, Norwich, 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdTim Krul of Norwich celebrates victory at the end of thematch at Carrow Road, Norwich, Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It couldn't be done, that's what they proclaimed. The chasm was too large for this depleted Norwich City side to overcome. The money spent by their opponents was in an alternative stratosphere to that of the Canaries. There was no chance. No hope. No way.

All they had to cling onto was their dreams. That, somehow, there could be a way; there could be a moment that would define the game. Maybe one day. Maybe today.

Some were seen looking to the heavens, hoping for a divine intervention but deity would not be at work on the turf. This was bravery and togetherness the like of which has never been seen before in NR1.

Even the loyalists who endure miles of travelling following their beloved club had wrote this fixture off as nothing more than an opportunity to witness one of Europe's superiors contest with their football club.

The Barclay stand does the The Barclay stand does the "Farke arms" as Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke does his trademark celebration with all four sides of the ground at the end of the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

How wrong they were, we all were.

This is why so many adore football, unlike anything else in contemporary society; it produces narratives that would be envied in the highest towers of Hollywood. Everything about this fixture offered Norwich nothing but a heavy defeat.

Only football has the ability to make you feel like this.

Off the field, the difference in finances and recruitment strategy couldn't be more polarised. A champion of the league maybe, but it was Norwich who were the champions of the evening.

Two more of Norwich City's Premier League games have been picked for live television coverage Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdTwo more of Norwich City's Premier League games have been picked for live television coverage Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

As the piece developed, the more belief was injected into those of a yellow and green persuasion, the first goal was pure disbelief, the second was ecstasy, and the third was pure delirium. Wrapped up in it all were supporters who, only a year previous, had grave concerns regarding the direction of their club.

They've been through the mire with their football club, seen all that there is to see but not this. From League One, the club has ridden a wave of momentum, now though; it feels like something more sustainable is in their grasp. Never before has moments of high drama against the highest of odds arrived in these parts.

Conventions were rejected when Stuart Webber waltzed through the door with a master plan in his hand, in Farke, he has discovered a coach who is prepared to dance with the top guns without fear or self-doubt. Norwich have endured pragmatic football at this level, the enjoyment was sucked out of their experience by accepting their place.

'Be rebellious' that's the mantra delivered by the German. He's been handed a group of misfits and made them dream, extracting every ounce of footballing ability needed to ensure they reach legendary status wearing the yellow and green shirt.

Nobody gave them a chance, but inwardly, they believed. Just like they did in the dying embers against Nottingham Forest or at Elland Road as they nullified Marcelo Bielsa's tactical approach.

The City Stand celebrated every tackle that brought that whistle closer, the roar that emanated out of the stadium enough to leave the ears of anyone ringing. This was no ordinary day; this was a day that will exist in the history books for eternity.

Behind both goals was a sea of yellow and green, those were people who rejected the allure of victories and trophies to begin a love affair with their local side. This was about belonging, as Farke whipped all four sides of the ground into a frenzy, supporters were left to embrace each other. Generations created memories that will be spoken about as legend, parents shared the euphoria with their children.

This was about more than three points, it was about vindication of their approach, it was about Norwich City Football Club grabbing the spotlight and shining it on all things yellow and green. This was about sending a message to football clubs that wealth doesn't need to equate to success.

The reverberations will be heard around the globe, many will opt to dissect Manchester City but this is about Norwich City.

In truth, it always has been.

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