Here is Paddy’s verdict on David Wagner’s Norwich City, who squashed Cardiff after recovering from an early setback.

• Angus Gunn              7

Watching brief in the main. Kicked away a cross-shot at his near post from Mahlon Romeo but less fortunate a minute or so later when he got down to parry Robin Colwill’s driven low cross, and the ball reared up against Jack Stacey’s chest for the alert Jamilu Collins to finish.

Got his body behind Josh Bowler’s curling effort five minutes after the interval, when he cut in on his left.

• Jack Stacey               8

Wagner labelled him as ‘unstoppable’ since a post-festive break. A third consecutive game in which he served up an assist. Excellent threaded ball around two back-pedalling Cardiff defenders for Josh Sargent to slot at the second attempt.

His body language suggested he felt he should have done better on Cardiff’s goal, when the ball bounced off his chest and Collins appeared on his shoulder. Teed up Borja Sainz in the 12th minute. Adventurous again the 31st minute when Marcelino Nunez fizzed a ball into his feet, and he travelled past three to earn a corner.  

• Grant Hanley             7

With Norwich so dominant in possession none of the discomfort from the previous weekend’s draw at QPR. Involved in a very decent headed chance for Ashley Barnes, when he helped Gabby Sara’s flick to the back post from Nunez’s short corner routine.

• Kenny McLean                7

Perfect chip controlled by Barnes on his chest for Sargent’s big chance three minutes in. Then superbly halted a counter, before driving forward and releasing the overlapping Stacey to cross for Sainz to get a shot away.

• Sam McCallum       8

Had to wait for another chance in recent league games but capped a front-foot display with the driven cross Ethan Horvath could only parry towards Sargent for Norwich’s equaliser. A flick header put the ball back into the Cardiff box for Barnes to see a hooked effort deflected wide.

• Marcelino Nunez     8

No coincidence Norwich look better in possession, and exert more control, when the Chilean is operating in those deeper parts of the pitch.

Short corner whipped in led to a bout of head tennis before Barnes rose to head over the top. 25-yard free kick clipped the Cardiff wall.

Superb long-range diagonal pass fired straight to the feet of Sam McCallum. Sensed the opportunity to quicken the tempo in a flowing move that saw Sargent, Onel Hernandez and Stacey combine for the American’s second.

• Gabby Sara               8

One to tell his little girl about in years to come, after a baby-themed celebration, following his dipping free kick that brushed a head in the Cardiff wall and flew inside Horvath’s left-hand post.

Also triggered the move for Norwich’s equaliser, when he picked out the unmarked McCallum.

Tried to block Colwill’s first cross but bought the body swerve as the Cardiff player whipped a second ball into the Canaries’ penalty area for a shock early lead. Curled a shot flush against the post from just outside the area, with Horvath flailing.

Another free kick just before the hour mark hit the wall. Burst down the left to receive the ball from Sargent and clip a cross just in front of the diving Barnes. Deep corner reached Sainz, who sidefooted over. Cheeky nutmeg got Kellen Fisher into a decent crossing situation.

• Onel Hernandez            7

Prominent in tandem with Stacey down the Norwich right before the interval. First link up saw Horvath intercept as Sargent sensed a chance. Excellent tracking back to get his body in front of Collins to halt a Cardiff raid.

Then took his marker the other way, but the stood up cross was too close to Horvath. Quick pop pass from Sargent to Stacey brought the Norwich third goal.

• Ashley Barnes          ­­               7

A goal and an assist in midweek and more evidence of the transformational impact of being reunited with the fit-again Sargent. 

Controlled McLean’s ball on his chest and took Horvath out of the equation when he reversed a pass back into Sargent’s path, but Nat Phillips stuck out a leg to clear on his line.

Headed over Grant Hanley’s re-directed header inside the six yard box. Goalbound hook from the angle of the six yard box just got a touch from a Cardiff defender to divert it over the bar. Sara’s cut back was a fraction in front of his dive just past the hour mark.

• Borja Sainz                7

Most of City’s best work in the first half came down the right. Bar McCallum’s burst for Sargent’s leveller. But enjoyed himself when the game got increasingly stretched. First half shot was blocked, after he followed in a Stacey cross.

Best moment came arguably in the 61st minute when he drove at the Cardiff backline and timed his pass to perfection for Sargent, who tamely sidefooted at Horvath. Then got inside his marker to initially control a Sara corner, but the cushioned finish with his second touch drifted over the bar.

• Josh Sargent                 9

On another day he definitely walks off the pitch with the matchball. A goal in each half to continue his prolific league scoring record this season. But denied by Phillips’ goal line clearance three minutes in, and then curled a shot at Horvath from Sainz’s set.

In between kept his composure as he fell backwards to guide home McCallum’s cross, which Horvath could only parry.

Then involved in the sharp build up before whipping Stacey’s centre against the keeper's left-hand post, and expertly adjusting his body to re-direct the rebound. Released Sara to try and pick out Barnes in the 63rd minute.


• Dimi Giannoulis (for McCallum, 60)              6

• Christian Fassnacht (for Hernandez, 61)                  7

Slaloming run and then one-two with Sydney van Hooijdonk before angling a smart finish across Horvath from just outside the six yard box.

• Jacob Sorensen (for Barnes, 70)                    6

• Sydney van Hooijdonk (for Sargent, 70)                   6

Unselfishly elected not to shoot just outside the box but roll in Christian Fassnacht to seal the win.

• Kellen Fisher (for Stacey, 81)            6

Excellent anticipation to thwart Bowler with a block in stoppage time.