Canaries’ Premier League relegation confirmed
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed this afternoon after the Canaries were thrashed 4-0 by West Ham United.
The Canaries record-breaking fifth relegation from the top-flight was confirmed - with Michail Antonio’s four goals recording a precious three points for David Moyes’ men in their own quest for Premier League survival.
Set pieces have been an Achilles heel for Daniel Farke’s men all season – with Virgil Van Dijk beginning a concerning trend on the opening night at Anfield when the Dutch centre-back put Liverpool 3-0 ahead. Antonio’s first two goals both arrived from dead ball positions, a problem City have been unable to rectify all season.
City’s improved performance in their 2-1 defeat to Watford in midweek prompted Farke to field an unchanged line-up. Mario Vrancic and Marco Stiepermann retained their positions in the starting XI.
Todd Cantwell returned to the bench following a hamstring injury prior to the defeat in midweek.
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West Ham are still embroiled in the relegation dogfight and the Hammers were without a win in their last eight top-flight away games before travelling to Carrow Road. Ukraine star Andriy Yarmolenko was named on the bench in the Irons only change - and was replaced by captain Mark Noble.
Club record signing Sebastien Haller making his first appearance as a substitute since the season resumed due to a hip injury – he netted at the London Stadium against the Canaries in August.
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The Hammers had the first opportunity of the game within the opening five minutes, when Antonio danced his way past Max Aarons before looking to test Tim Krul with a shot. His effort was tame but Tomas Soucek got to it ahead of City’s keeper, but he smashed his effort wide.
The Czech Republic international was given another chance to open the scoring soon after, with Antonio once again causing problems for City’s backline with his pace and power. He laid the ball off to the midfielder, who could only side foot his effort wide of the post.
Antonio had a chance of his own, after the striker latched onto ex-Ipswich Town left-back Aaron Cresswell’s cross – but his stab goalwards was smothered by Krul.
That chance led to a flurry of corners for the visitors, with West Ham taking the lead courtesy of Antonio. Pablo Fornals floated a ball to the near post – Issa Diop flicked the ball onto Antonio, who gleefully converted to put the Irons ahead.
City’s defenders were struggling to contend with Antonio, who once again outmuscled Ben Godfrey before feeding Jarrod Bowen through on goal. The Welshman unleashed a low shot towards the bottom corner – but it sailed narrowly wide.
Soucek continued to use his physicality to pose problems for the Canaries. This time, it was Noble’s cross that the midfielder volleyed towards goal – only for Krul to produce a stunning save to deny United a second goal.
West Ham did double their lead prior to half-time, with Antonio netting his second of the afternoon. Noble’s dinked cross was met by the striker, who diverted his header into the corner of the net.
Antonio secured his hat-trick less than 10 minutes after the restart, with Vrancic’s loss of possession proving fatal as Noble clipped the ball over the top for the striker to latch onto. His first effort was saved well by Krul, but he nodded the rebound into an empty net to compound City’s misery.
Defeat became humiliation for the Canaries as Antonio scored a fourth with 15 minutes remaining, with Fornals cross being tapped in by the Hammers frontman.
City thought they had netted a consolation late on, when Cantwell fed Adam Idah through on goal. The Irish youth international’s driven cross hit Cresswell and deflected into the net but Idah was judged to be offside in the build-up.
The Canaries return to the Championship after one season in the top-flight, with three games remaining against Chelsea, Burnley and Manchester City.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Klose, Godfrey, Lewis; Tettey (C), Vrancic (McLean, 78); Buendia (Rupp, 69), Stiepermann (Cantwell, 69), Hernandez (Martin, 69); Pukki (Idah, 69). Subs not used: McGovern (GK), Trybull, Drmic, Duda.
- Bookings: Stiepermann (foul on Noble, 34)
- Goals: None
- West Ham United (4-3-3): Fabinski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna (Balbuena, 87), Cresswell; Noble (C),(Wilshere, 77) Soucek, Rice; Fornals (Masuaku, 84), Bowen (Yarmolenko, 84); Antonio (Haller, 78). Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Lanzini, Ajeti, Johnson.
- Bookings: None
- Goals: Antonio 11, 45+1, 54, 74
- Added on time: 3 mins/ 3 mins
- Referee: Kevin Friend
- VAR: Simon Hooper