Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s brilliant FA Cup penalty shoot out win against Tottenham
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt delivers his Tottenham verdict after the Canaries’ epic penalty shoot-out FA Cup win.
1. C'est Magnifique
Just when you thought this group of players under Daniel Farke's guidance might be running out of steam. And magic dust. What a performance in front of the 9,000 travelling strong army. The biggest away turnout since Wembley 2015. They might be heading back there at this rate.
After falling behind to a cheap free kick concession they dug in, rode their luck at times, and then relied on Josip Drmic's predatory instincts to battle to penalties.
Then this entered the realms of fantasy. Kenny McLean saw his first spot kick saved.
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Tottenham fans got ready to party. Step forward Tim Krul - as good a keeper as you would want in that nervy situation - and then in order Adam Idah, Marco Stiepermann and Todd Cantwell.
The celebrations at the end, when Krul denied Gedson Fernandes, will live long in the memory. The hunt for Premier League survival can wait. This was a landmark day. The latest in the reign of King Daniel.
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2. How big?
Too early to tell. It still looks a long road to safety. Sheffield United have an extra day to recover from their own extra-time FA Cup win. But the Canaries will surely travel brimful of confidence to Bramall Lane.
Just consider for a moment, in the midst of this euphoria, the adverse effect if City had tamely bowed out.
There was too much fight, too much heart and too much spirit in this group to go meekly. That applies to their Premier League future. At least in the short term.
As Farke would agree Norwich remain in 'little miracle' territory but do not underestimate the intoxicating uplift from a truly memorable cup win.
Tottenham may have been without their very biggest hitters but Jose Mourinho is a serial winner of these type of competitions.
He again hailed the Canaries and their superb support in the build up. Jose speaks the truth.
3. Deadly Drmic
Drmic has used the FA Cup to underline he is a master poacher of goals. Teemu Pukki may have largely hogged the limelight in the Premier League, although there has been a fair degree of shade to the Finn's labours in the second part of this campaign.
But on cup duty, Drmic showed both at Burnley in the fourth round and again at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, he has that uncanny knack to be in the right place at the right time.
There might not be a huge amount of finesse to his work in general play.
Nor does he mither centre backs and run himself into the ground in quite the manner Pukki attempts, but he was alive to the merest hint Michel Vorm might spill McLean's long range hit.
Then he showed enough composure to almost allow the rebound to hit his body and cushion it over the line from six yards.
For the battles ahead City desperately need a dollop of penalty box nous.
4. Hands up, hand down
The Swiss international striker was arguably the only member of the shadow squad to advance his claims for more sustained involvement when the focus returns to the Premier League.
Lukas Rupp, Mario Vrancic and Tom Trybull all earned rare starts but there was a clear sense with all three a lack of game time had blunted their potential effectiveness.
They looked collectively a touch off the pace.
Trybull typified this with a scary diagonal ball inside his own penalty box intended for Vrancic which Lucas Moura cut out before testing Krul.
In mitigation it was a big ask for all three to come in and strive to dominate in a key area of the pitch.
But equally they should have few complaints if it is a watching brief at Bramall Lane.
5. Quiz question
It may be the first and last time it ever happens but you could argue Norwich had technically reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1992 before those dramatic penalties.
Barely 10 minutes into extra-time, in the infinite wisdom you must deduce the broadcasters, the draw for the last eight got underway.
City (or Tottenham) got a home draw against either Derby or Manchester United for what it is worth.
Well you can scrub Spurs out of that equation.
Farke, his players and those magnificent travelling fans can now kick back and watch the Wayne Rooney derby on Thursday safe in the knowledge they have a truly epic Carrow Road occasion to savour, for a semi-final place at Wembley.