Chris Goreham: The best result I’ve seen in more than 30 years of supporting the Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
There can’t be many more gratifying sights for a football supporter than seeing one of your team’s players go down with cramp inside the final 10 minutes of a tense game.
Norwich City's medical department clearly has more pressing concerns to deal with at the moment but Saturday's pulsating win over Manchester City was a match that underlined how curious football's relationship with the dreaded cramp is.
Whenever a player goes down on their back, as Emi Buendia did on Saturday, and has either a team mate or an eager opponent, desperate for the game and the search for an equaliser to resume as soon as possible, pressing down on their toes while they stretch their legs towards the skies it's clearly a condition that even those of us without a background in medicine can easily diagnose from the from the comfort of the stands.
Cramp only seems to occur in monumental games. It's something that crops up in cup finals at Wembley and when World Cup knockout games head towards a penalty shoot-out.
Its symptoms are evidence of heroic levels of hard work and a sure sign that this player has given all they possibly can for the cause.
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It's the sort of thing that's far more likely to strike when you're moments away from one of the most remarkable wins Carrow Road has ever seen than during a goalless draw with Burton Albion.
Hyperbole is a dangerous habit for a football reporter to fall into.
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There's always a risk of leaving oneself with nowhere to go when the next most incredible game of all time comes along.
Even three days later, this Norwich City beating that Manchester City still feels better than any other one-off result that I have been fortunate enough to see in my 30 plus years of watching the Canaries.
MORE: 'We had tears in our eyes' - DeliaThe breathtaking atmosphere inside the ground backs that up. It was utterly thunderous. The result of a perfect storm created by the unfailing belief of the Norwich players on the pitch colliding with the utter disbelief that was pouring out of the stands at what was unfolding in front of us.
Before the game Norwich City fans predicting a three-goal defeat were considered optimistic and there was even hushed talk of nagging worries about Ipswich Town's record Premier League defeat of 9-0 to Manchester United being under threat.
Those concerns seem needlessly gloomy now but with Manchester City arriving at Carrow Road having scored five or more goals in a game no fewer than 11 times in the last year and Daniel Farke's sobering medical bulletin about the Colney treatment room being busier than The Snakepit on a match day the sense of a supporter base bracing itself for bad news was understandable.
I was at Farke's press conference on Friday lunchtime as we all groaned out loud at the length of the injury list we were supposed to remember and pass on to the outside world.
In the end it was remarkable that with nine first team players out Farke was still able call on a starting XI robust enough to include all bar the excellent Ibrahim Amadou in their favoured positions and his chosen front four all escaping the Canary casualty curse.
This was crucial. All shock results rely on having an attack that's clinical enough to take whatever chances come along and many rely on making the best use of set pieces and counter attacks.
Norwich did all of that and more on a night that, whatever happens from here, will never be forgotten by the Carrow Road crowd.
It's certainly another tantalising glimpse of what they're capable of when at their relentless best and if we don't see at least one Canary going down with cramp in each game from now on we'll want to know why.