Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s Premier League 3-1 win against Newcastle United
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt delivers his Newcastle United verdict after the Canaries’ superb 3-1 Premier League victory
1. Back with a bang
Not a bad way for Norwich City to announce their return to the Premier League. Liverpool was a faltering first step in many respects but the manner they demolished Newcastle at Carrow Road will have not only demonstrated they are quick learners but Daniel Farke's squad feel they already belong.
Teemu Pukki's mantelpiece may need an extension at this rate if he continues to grab the headlines in the manner he routinely did in the Championship.
A first Premier League match ball, the first top flight hat-trick by a Norwich City player since Efan Ekoku back in September 1993.
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Fresh adoration from the green and yellow hordes.
But the self-effacing frontman would be the first to share the collective praise. From front to back, bar a late stoppage time lapse that afforded Jonjo Shelvey a goal the Magpies did not deserve, this was a reaffirming display from the hosts.
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Farke may have to re-think his 'underdog' mantra if they look as comfortable as this over the piece.
2. Pure and simple, Pukki
What more is left to be said about Norwich City's fearsome frontman?
All the plaudits and the awards that accompanied his starring role in the club's Championship title winning success could have dulled the appetite to go again and prove yourself all over in the big time.
On the early evidence, the Premier League looks the perfect fit for the striker.
A cool slot in a losing effort at Liverpool was matched and bettered by a stupendous volley sweetly struck at the far post that Martin Dubravka bravely, or maybe foolishly, attempted to keep out. By that stage in the opening period, Pukki must have already had three or four very good sighters.
The movement and the cunning to find pockets of space was too much for the disorientated Newcastle backline.
His second and third were clinical strikes after the break. It bodes well for the rest of this season.
But with Josip Drmic absent through injury it once again underlined just how precious and how pivotal Pukki is to Norwich's survival chances.
3. Cool-hand Cantwell
Pukki will rightly grab all the headlines but what a display from the boy from Dereham. Cantwell made the pressure-releasing second goal with a turn and surge that left his Newcastle opponent in his vapour trail before sliding in the frontman to do the rest.
It was actually reminiscent of a goal at Reading last season when Cantwell first announced his arrival on the first team stage.
But this version is a far better operator. The manner he cut inside looking for work at will underlined his growing maturity. Typified by the burst that led to Pukki's hat-trick clincher.
Probably better to defer to the senior man on this occasion, but on this evidence his time will come to notch in the Premier League.
4. Three card trick
Moritz Leitner got the nod with Kenny McLean starting on the bench after missing two days of training with a back issue. It was a huge audition for the German midfielder who himself lost his place at the top table last season through injury and never quite was able to work his way back in as the Canaries' promotion bandwagon picked up speed.
Farke admitted in the build up his omission at Liverpool was more a reflection of the physical threats posed by the Reds.
This was a far better environment for Leitner to get on the ball and dictate the tempo as Newcastle retreated - or perhaps were pushed back from the kick-off - and looked to raid on the counter.
The link up and the telepathy with both Tom Trybull and the superb Cantwell was a joy to behold in that first half especially. It might not be the right cocktail every week in the Premier League, but it reaffirmed Leitner looks at home in such company.
5. Bring on the Chelsea
The atmosphere was electric by the final whistle as Farke took his first Carrow Road ovation in the Premier League. A wave was demanded and duly delivered as the clock ticked down. The German is master of all his surveys at present.
Imagine the scenes if Norwich can build on this when Europa League winners Chelsea come to town. Frank Lampard enjoyed his last visit in that painful Derby County comeback.
But the Blues will need to be very good to subdue a Norwich who must take immense confidence from how they surgically dismantled the Magpies. There will be tougher tests ahead but this City squad has so much more to give you sense.
There is certainly no trace of any inferiority complex.