David Freezer: Six things you might have missed from Norwich City’s epic giant-killing triumph
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
After a momentous Carrow Road triumph for Norwich City, David Freezer analyses the key points of a 3-2 win over reigning champions Manchester City that sent shockwaves across the Premier League.
1 - Special memories to savour
All that hard work and effort in the Championship has paid off - Norwich City are back in the big time.
The spine-tingling roar which greeted the final whistle left ears ringing, hearts pounding and with a few tears in the eyes of many supporters. This was special.
Carrow Road had seemed nervous ahead of kick-off, wary of the huge challenge facing their injury-ravaged team, faced with the prospect of taking on one of the best teams in world football.
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Yet after surviving the first 10 minutes and then seeing Kenny McLean rise to head in the opener, belief surged around the stadium, as Pep Guardiola's superstars began to look like mere mortals.
When supporters in all four stands are on their feet and punching the air in celebration at saves or tackles, something truly outstanding is unfolding. It was a reminder of why we all love football, for the unscripted drama it can create. It was Champagne Supernova football.
- 1 MATCHDAY RECAP: Hornets frustrate City in title tussle
- 2 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 1-0 defeat against Watford
- 3 City ace Krul reflects on Premier League interest
- 4 Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 1-0 Watford defeat
- 5 Farke laments 'average' City display in Watford defeat
- 6 Transfer rumour: Canaries interested in Celtic defender
- 7 'Blown away' - Gibson reveals how City wooed him for Premier League push
- 8 QPR forced to deny manager is leaving ahead of City clash
- 9 David Freezer: Emotions bubbling for City as Watford tee up a proper title race
- 10 Hanley insists winning title 'means everything' to Canaries
2 - Emi shows top level capability
Canaries fans suspected that Emi Buendia could be a top Premier League player in the making.
If this was an audition for a place in the thoughts of coaches like Guardiola for the future, then the talented 22-year-old very much passed with flying colours.
He may have had a slightly slow start to the season but that only shows how much Norwich fans expect of their slice of Argentinian heaven.
Two assists and a pivotal role in the other goal earned Buendia an impressive comparison to Real Madrid and Belgium star Eden Hazard, who was the last player to register four assists in his first five Premier League appearances, for Chelsea in 2012.
He now has 21 assists in total from his 47 games for Norwich and - mixed with his usual defensive tenacity - this was a performance befitting of a player heading to the very top of the game. Keep playing at this level and City are going to make a huge profit on their £1.5m signing.
3 - Pukki just will not be stopped
Another week, another set of ridiculous Teemu Pukki facts and figures.
The Finland superstar now has eight goals and two assists to his name from seven games for club and country so far this season.
His five Premier League goals have come from 17 shots and 12 of those have been on target, or 70 percent. The only players to have scored more than Pukki's six so far are Sergio Aguero and Chelsea's Tammy Abraham with seven, who have hit the target with 42pc and 53pc of their shots.
The Finn is irrepressible. In 2019 he has 25 goals in 32 games for club and country. Those are the kind of figures you expect to hear in relation to the game's biggest names - Lionel Messi has 34 in 39 for Barcelona and Argentina, in case you were wondering.
The pace and unselfish pass to tee up Cantwell was a timely reminder that Pukki is very much a team player though. He may get many of the headlines but this is not a one-man team.
4 - Amadou's brilliant emergence
In amongst the chaos of the full-time celebrations, it was fitting that Ibrahim Amadou was announced as the sponsors' man of the match, after a defensive shift which earned the recent signing a lot of admirers.
The Cameroon-born summer loan arrival from Sevilla had been brought in as defensive midfield reinforcement primarily but City have needed his experience at centre-back amid their horrible injury crisis.
And it was one of those injury victims, Christoph Zimmermann, emerging on to the pitch from the South Stand despite being on crutches to make a beeline for Amadou and give his team-mate a big hug.
The 26-year-old formed a shield alongside Ben Godfrey, desperately repelling all they could, showing leadership and bravery throughout.
His interception of a Sterling pass in the 69th minute, preventing Bernardo Silva being clean through, was heroic and drew huge cheers. A star is born?
5 - Pep's boys were truly shocked
There have been moments since that glorious full-time roar when I've wondered whether we're all getting too carried away, should a win five games into the season mean this much? Can this really rival beating Bayern Munich in the Uefa Cup?
But then you remember this is the squad which has won back-to-back Premier League titles under Pep Guardiola, one of the greatest coaches of all time. A club which won the FA Cup and League Cup last season, and which narrowly missed out on the Champions League final.
It's a lavishly-funded super club which the stats experts at the CIES Football Observatory in Switzerland just last week declared to have the first squad worth in excess of one billion euros.
Aguero, Sterling, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne - these are superstars of the game, beaten by an injury-hit promoted side, ending their 18-game unbeaten run.
It was more than just a win. It was the next chapter in Daniel Farke's epic story.
6 - Best game yet of the Farke era
Since Farke arrived as an unknown at Carrow Road in May 2017 he has spoken many times of his hopes to achieve 'extraordinary' things with the Canaries, as the reasoning behind his adventurous style of play.
If the likeable German had not already achieved that with last season's superb Championship title triumph, he certainly has now.
A newly promoted team hadn't beaten Manchester City since a 1-0 loss at Burnley in March 2015, with 25 trying since then and just five managing a draw, scoring 61 goals against those promoted clubs.
Just two teams scored three against Guardiola's side last season, Spurs in the second leg of that epic Champions League quarter-final and Crystal Palace in a shock 3-2 win at the Etihad.
Farke looked crestfallen as he delivered the injury news ahead of the game but in the dressing room he used it as fuel for the fire, drawing the character and heart needed to inspire a giant-killing.