It’s not over for Norwich City until last whistle
The wild celebrations that greeted Henri Lansbury’s late, late winner at Carrow Road showed exactly what it means to this City team that they should continue the incredible success story they have enjoyed so far this season.
With goalkeeper John Ruddy running the entire length of the pitch to join the rest of his team-mates in the goal celebrations and City boss Paul Lambert being not too far behind him, it was clear just how highly the Canaries rated this victory.
And on a night when Carrow Road was unusually quiet for long periods of the game, the unbridled emotion that erupted from the supporters in the stands at virtually the last kick of the game perfectly mirrored the scenes taking place down there in front of them on the pitch.
That stoppage time winner was arguably made all the more special last night because no one really saw it coming.
City certainly started the game brightly enough, and for a good half an hour or so they produced some impressive passages of play.
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Norwich moved the ball quickly and they switched the ball well from one side of the pitch to the other when it was right to do so.
David Fox and Henri Lansbury were prompting the play nicely from midfield, while Andrew Crofts caused the Millwall defence plenty of headaches with some well-timed and meaningful forward runs into the channels.
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City also delivered a healthy number of crosses into the box to complement instances of slick approach play.
But similar to the Crystal Palace game at the weekend, the opposition goalkeeper wasn’t really being tested enough, and as everyone knows, no matter how well you think you might be playing, when that happens frustration can easily become your worst enemy.
And so it proved. Because after that encouraging opening 30 minutes, City’s potency as an attacking force steadily began to wane the longer the game progressed. And when substitute Theo Robinson put the visitors ahead with a close-range finish following a swift counter-attack, it is safe to say that many of the 24,000-plus fans inside the ground would have felt that Norwich were in a fair bit of trouble.
But perhaps everyone should have known better?
Because this Norwich side just simply never gives up the fight, – no matter how they happen to be playing, no matter how big the odds might be stacked against them and no matter if they aren’t battering down the opposition’s front door.
As plenty of other sides have found to their cost, Millwall discovered that City are not finished until the final whistle has sounded.
They have picked up seven points from the past three league games, and they haven’t played anywhere near to their full potential in any of the three. But of course this has to be encouraging.
While it goes without saying that City will win their fair share of matches when they hit top form again, if they can continue to collect points when they’re not at their very best, then so much the better.
• NEIL’S MAN OF THE MATCH – HENRI LANSBURY: In addition to producing what could easily prove to be a priceless stoppage-time winner, the on-loan Arsenal man showed a touch of class on regular occasions in a hard-fought contest. He clearly has a big future ahead of him, as like so many of his team-mates at his parent club, Lansbury not only plays with intelligence, but he can also spot and execute a killer pass.