Millwall 4 Norwich City 0 match report: Canaries bullied at The Den
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have slumped to an emphatic 4-0 defeat to Millwall amid the hostile atmosphere of The Den, crumbling to a 3-0 deficit before the break.
It was the worst result of head coach Daniel Farke’s reign and a major backward step in the German’s hopes of Championship success as his side again looked defensively naive.
Spirits had been raised in midweek by a 4-1 win over League One side Charlton at Carrow Road in the League Cup second round but the Canaries reverted to the tame style which saw them beaten 4-2 at Aston Villa in the league last weekend.
There were four changes to the team which started at Villa Park, with Cameron Jerome out with a groin strain and Marco Stiepermann, Steven Naismith and Christoph Zimmermann dropping to the bench, and Nelson Oliveira, James Maddison, Ivo Pinto and Wes Hoolahan coming in.
Millwall keeper Jordan Archer had made a fine save from Hoolahan in the fifth minute, diving to his left to keep out a low shot from the edge of the box.
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City’s defensive woes soon reared their ugly head though, Marcel Franke getting his timing all wrong for a defensive header, to allow former Canaries striker Steve Morison to flick on to unmarked strike-partner Gregory, who fired low under Angus Gunn from close range.
Before the visitors knew what had hit them they were 2-0 down, Jed Wallace crossing from the right with Russell Martin and Franke totally out of position, Gunn coming out to try and thwart Aiden O’Brien with Ivo Pinto outnumbered, only to see the winger pass inside to George Saville, who fired low into the net past the despairing dives of Pinto and Martin.
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The Den was bouncing but City tried to rally, Pinto finding Oliveira on the edge of the box in the 24th minute and the Portugal international spinning and firing a low shot towards the bottom-left corner which Archer superbly tipped away.
Mario Vrancic got Josh Murphy in behind the Millwall back-line in the 32nd minute but Archer again made a good save at his near post.
The hosts took total control three minutes before the break though, James Maddison losing possession in his own half and Hoolahan’s tackle inadvertantly allowing Wallace to push forward unopposed, standing up Franke and firing low on his right foot into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box, past the grasping glove of Gunn.
There were no changes from Farke at half-time and it was very nearly 4-0 in the 53rd minute when skipper Martin – booed by some of the away support in the first half – slid in to divert an O’Brien cross from the right behind, but only just the right side of the post.
The visitors did make a double change in the 58th minute, Marcos Stiepermann replacing Harrison Reed in midfield and Christoph Zimmermann coming on for Martin, booed again by some as he trudged off.
Oliveira steered a golden chance just wide after being teed up by Hoolahan in the 60th minute and four minutes later the Portuguese forward spun on the ball in the left channel and curled a long-range effort just beyond the far post.
Morison nearly made it 4-0 in the 71st minute when a deep cross from the left from Wallace found him at the far post and he lashed across goal from close range.
However, the Lions got the fourth their dominance deserved a minute later when Shaun Hutchinson rose highest at the far post to head in a fine corner from the left from Shaun Williams.
Zimmermann headed a free-kick goalwards in the 80th minute and Oliveira lashed a shot just wide from the edge of the box in the 90th but it was a comfortable end to the game for Millwall, as a dreadful day at The Den came to an end for City.
After conceding four away from home for the second week in a row, it is set to be a long two-week international break for Farke and his disappointed squad, before Birmingham City come to Carrow Road on Saturday, September 9.
Millwall: Archer; McLaughlin, Hutchingson, Webster, Meredith; Wallace (Ferguson 74), Williams, Saville (Onyedinma 83), O’Brien; Gregory (Tunnicliffe 73), Morison (C). Unused subs: King (GK), Craig, Elliott, Cooper.
Yellow: Saville, foul on Maddison (35); Webster, foul on Oliveira (62)
Norwich: Gunn; Pinto, Martin (C – Zimmermann 58), Franke, Husband; Reed (Stipepermann 58); Hoolahan, Maddison (Tettey 75), Vrancic, Murphy; Oliveira. Unused subs: McGovern, Trybull, Naismith, Watkins.
Booked: Husband, foul on Gregory (58)
Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)
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